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Coronavirus
LOW Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
28,745
824hr
Pakistan Cases
1,285,631
37724hr
0.85% positivity
Sindh
476,017
Punjab
443,240
Balochistan
33,488
Islamabad
107,765
KPK
180,146

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is requesting Saudi Arabia to organise a Working Group level meeting to finalise pacts including import of LNG, investment in refining and petrochemical sectors and supply of crude oil and petroleum products, to be made part of the agenda of the two countries, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

Pakistani delegation led by the Prime Minister Imran Khan during his recent visit has discussed avenues of cooperation in different fields between the two countries.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs had shared the composition of the Working Group and proposals for consideration by the Saudis sometime back. Now, it has been decided to share updated information with the Saudis with the request to organize Working Group level meetings to finalise the agenda and discuss the way forward.

According to sources, Board of Investment, as convener of the Joint Steering Committee for the economic pillar of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SPSCC) requested the Saudis to provide update on the proposals/agenda falling under the economic pillar of the SPSCC.

The sources maintained that Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) has agreed to the following Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs): (i) study opportunities of investment in the refining and petrochemical sectors between the Saudi Ministry of Energy and Pakistani Ministry of Energy; (ii) Finance agreement for supply of crude oil and petroleum products to Pakistan signed between the Saudi Fund for Development and the Government of Pakistan; (iii) signing a long-term agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Government of Pakistan to supply LNG to Pakistan; and (iv) MoU in the field of Mineral Resources between the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) in Pakistan. Power Division and Saudi Ministry of Energy have agreed to sign a pact in the field of developing renewable projects.

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However, the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has not supported the proposal to enhance trade exchange between the two countries through reducing obstacles facing Saudi exports to Pakistan, most notably "high tariffs". Pakistan has agreed to organize Pakistan Single Country exhibition in Saudi Arabia to be presented to Pakistani business community with a presentation on investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia to be presented to Pakistani business community.

Board of Investment (BoI) has not supported research and negotiation on the draft agreement on investment promotion and protection between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan by maintaining that an update on draft BIT template should be shared with Saudi Arabia.

Signing of an executive work plan for the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) signed between Saudi Organization for Standardization, Metrology and Quality with Pakistan Authority for Specifications and Quality Control will be discussed by the Working Group.

The working group will also discuss providing Saudi businessmen and companies wishing to invest in agriculture with information about investment opportunities available in Pakistan, and provide information on regulations, laws and incentives for investment in Pakistan, as well as, ensure cooperation in joint research in agriculture field, cattle farming, e.g. development of "Pak-Saudi farms" in Pakistan with Saudi investment.

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Pakistan has agreed to sign bilateral air services agreement between the two countries, exchange expertise in the rehabilitation and development of software and technologies in various fields, provide access to experience in promoting software development and the impact of its growth, exchange of information on policies, techniques, regulations and legislation in ICT field.

Pakistan would provide the Saudi Fund with Pakistan's National Development Plan in addition to Pakistan government priorities for development projects for the next two years, and study the possibility of financing important development projects in addition to presenting the possibility of financing development projects in Pakistan in the fields of Energy, Industry, Mineral Resources and infrastructure.

Ministry of Finance has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek further information on contribution to the activation of the MoU signed by companies in which the Saudi Fund owns shares, and provide the necessary information and its requirements. Saudi investment and cooperation in IT Start-Ups is also on the cards. The sources said signing of the "agreement on workers" during the next session of Pak-Saudi SCC is also under consideration.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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