Wed, 27 Mar 2019

Saudi Arabia pledges ongoing investment in Pakistan

By Jay Jackson, South Africa News
18 Feb 2019, 17:50 GMT+10

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Saudi Arabia has agreed to invest an intial $20 billion in Pakistan, and plans to invest much more.

Agreements were signed Sunday on the first day of a two-day visit to the country by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the investment in his country, which is in dire financial straits.

The crown prince said at the signing ceremony that the $20 billion would grow every month and every year, signalling more investment deals ahead.

"Saudi Arabia has always been a friend of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia has been a friend in need," Khan said Sunday.

The Saudi investment includes $10 billion to build an oil refinery and petrochemicals complex in the port city of Gwadar. Other amounts will be invested in energy, agriculture, food processing and mining sectors.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to support the cash-strapped Southeast Asian nation, recently subscribing to a $6 billion loan.

Khan has forged a close relationship with the crown prince, being one of the very few international leaders to attend his annual investment summit in October.

The red carpet was laid out for Prince Muhammad when he arrived in Islamabad, the capital on Sunday. He was afforded a military parade and was given a 21-gun salute, after being welcomed by the Pakistani prime minister and the head of the country's army General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the Noor Khan Airbase.

The crown prince will arrive in Mumbai on Tuesday for a two visit there at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He will then spend Thursday and Friday in China.

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