Pakistan, Saudi Arabia taking economic cooperation to new heights

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia taking economic cooperation to new heights

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The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is unique and unrivaled. The trust and understanding built up over generations bring endless possibilities for the future.

Numerous factors have contributed to this strong fraternal bond. The two countries have the same values and worldview. We share the same goals and ambitions in the political, economic and social spheres. We also have a commonality of interests and align closely with one another on all critical issues. The success of one is the triumph of the other.

The leaderships of our two nations are also personally invested in further deepening these bilateral ties and bringing more substance to the relationship. Due to these noble efforts, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are firmly set on the path to forging ever closer strategic partnerships in the political, security and economic domains.

For Pakistan, the Kingdom has a central role in the future of our economic plans. The new government in Pakistan has a strong desire to attract Saudi investment — from both the public and private sectors — to usher in a new era of economic growth and development.

The Saudi leadership is also keen to seize this opportunity and further enhance the economic, political and security cooperation with Pakistan.

It is no secret that Pakistan has the capacity and desire to augment the Kingdom’s own development plans

Ahmad Farooq

During last week’s meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, it was decided that the Kingdom would expand its collaboration with Pakistan across various sectors. Both countries also agreed on a roadmap for expediting investments from Saudi Arabia into strategic sectors of the Pakistani economy.

Guided by this clear direction from the leadership, a high-ranking ministerial delegation, led by Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, visited Pakistan on Monday and Tuesday and held detailed discussions with their Pakistani counterparts.

Prince Faisal was accompanied by Water and Agriculture Minister Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar bin Ibrahim Alkhorayef, Assistant Minister of Investment Ibrahim bin Yousef Al-Mubarak and other senior officials from the Ministry of Energy, Industries and Minerals, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and the Public Investment Fund.

The size and rank of the visiting delegation showed the keenness with which the Kingdom is pursuing economic engagement plans with Pakistan. Teams of the two countries discussed proposals in diverse sectors such as energy, renewables, connectivity, mining, agriculture, information technology, construction, human resource development and export and strategic investments. Concerted efforts are now underway to close the deals.

The two countries agreed to constitute a joint task force to follow up on the discussions. It was also agreed that the private sector in both countries would be encouraged to take advantage of the special incentives being offered by Pakistan for investments. To take discussions forward, a large business delegation from Saudi Arabia is already being planned to follow up on the ministerial visit and build on the discussions held at the governmental level.

It is no secret that Pakistan has the capacity and desire to augment the Kingdom’s own development plans. Its exceptional location, the size of its market, the skill set and age of the workforce and its vast natural endowment — from fertile lands to mineral resources — offer great prospects for mutually beneficial economic cooperation. Pakistan connects the Middle East to Central Asia. It is located at the crossroads of rapidly rising economies. With a population of about 250 million — most of whom are under 30 — it is both a huge market and a valuable resource.

With clear vision and unity of purpose, these two countries are set to take their economic relationship to new heights. The discussions between the two sides will surely unlock the immense potential for mutual growth and development.

– Ahmad Farooq is Pakistan’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view