RIYADH: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged the Saudi companies and entrepreneurs to benefit from Pakistan's strategic location, as well as, huge investment potential in diverse areas of economy, including housing and construction for mutual benefit.
He particularly mentioned the mega development projects of Ravi City and Central Business District in Lahore and said it was the right time for Saudi investors to benefit from these projects.
The prime minister was addressing the Saudi-Pak Investment Forum, organized in cooperation with Saudi Ministry of Investment. The Investment Forum was attended by senior representatives of the leading Saudi companies and entrepreneurs, as well as, Pakistani businessmen.
Besides Saudi Investment Minister Engr. Khalid Al-Falih, the Forum was also addressed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Advisor on Finance Shaukat Tarin and Energy Minister Hammad Azhar. Prime Minister Imran Khan, highlighting the close and historic ties between the two brotherly nations, said that Pakistan-Saudi relations transcend all other relations due to people to people contacts.
Whichever government comes to power in Pakistan, it does not affect Pakistan-Saudi relations, he added. The Prime Minister said the special relationship with Saudi Arabia besides the fact that they were tied with the two Holy Mosques, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia always stood with each other in hard times.
"As human beings, we don't remember those who were with you in good times but those who stood with you in bad times", he remarked. Reiterating his country's commitment to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom, the PM said that whenever there is any security threat, Pakistan will stand with Saudi Arabia and ensure its security.
Imran Khan said like Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who has dynamism and a passion for change, he also wanted a 'Naya Pakistan'.
He said that Pakistan had been the fastest growing economy in Asia until 1960s with strong institutions like PIA being one of the best airlines in the world at that time. "Then we lost that path through the policy of nationalization," he added.
Prime Minister said that now the present government was exploring the potential by incentivising various sectors in a country of 220 million people, out of which majority of people were below the age of 30 years.
He said that Pakistan due to its strategic location having two biggest markets in the neighbourhood and connectivity with Central Asia through Afghanistan provided a real opportunity to investors to take benefit. Prime Minister said that if relations with India are improved, which was possible only through the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the UN Resolutions and giving the Kashmiris right of self-determination, Pakistan will have access to three big markets.
Urging the Saudi companies to benefit from Pakistan's potential and opportunities, he said that it was right time for them to invest in two mega projects of Ravi City and Central Business District in Lahore.
"Successful businessmen take risks. If you look at the strategic location of Pakistan, which is open for investment, it can benefit both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan," he added.
Similarly, the Prime Minister said that with 300,000 acres of virgin land - next to River Indus, allocated for investment, Saudi companies can invest in agriculture and food security sectors. "If we come together, it will really benefit the two countries," he stressed.