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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are said to have agreed to activate the agreement on financing and providing crude oil and petroleum products and exploring possibilities of supply of LNG to Pakistan, well informed sources in Board of Investment (BoI) told Business Recorder.

This was agreed during a first virtual meeting of the Joint Economic Sub-committee of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council.

Pakistani team was headed by Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar whereas Saudi side was led by Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister for Energy.

Sharing details, sources said while discussing cooperation in energy sector the two sides agreed to follow up and achieve the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Energy Saudi Arabia and Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division). Pakistan would study investment opportunities in the refining and petrochemical sectors and discuss Saudi Aramco’s proposal and emphasise their role in improving the economics of the refinery project and the petrochemical complex.

The two sides agreed to follow up and activate the MoU already signed in the field of developing renewable energy projects in Pakistan. Both sides also agreed to explore the possibility of participation of Saudi developers in the renewable energy projects through competitive bidding.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia agree to strengthen ongoing cooperation in energy, investment

The two sides agreed to follow up and activate the agreement on financing and providing supplies of crude oil and petroleum products to Pakistan, signed between Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and Pakistani government and to discuss the following: (i) extension of the financing agreement signed between SFD and GoP and the provision of supplies of petroleum products to Pakistan; and (ii) supply of LNG to Pakistan subsequent to the completion of the Saudi side evaluation of its LNG export potential and infrastructure requirements for LNG liquefaction and export.

The two sides agreed to continue working on achieving the MoU in the field of mineral resources between Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) Pakistan. The Saudi side indicated their desire to view the mining sector in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan will facilitate participation of potential Saudi companies intending to invest in the mining sector of Pakistan, including the Saudi Arabia Mining Company “Ma’aden”.

The two sides agreed to cooperate to promote and develop trade exchange and to remove obstacles that may face exports between the two countries, in addition to holding a Saudi-Pakistani economic forum in Riyadh to promote trade exchange and diversify exported and imported commercial products between the two countries and explore the available investment opportunities. Both sides agreed to support Business Council in their efforts to increase trade between the two countries; and to organize the “Pakistan’s Single Country” exhibition in Saudi Arabia during 2023-24.

The two sides agreed to start the process of negotiating on a MOU in the field of trade finance between the Export-Import Bank of Pakistan and the Saudi Export-Import Bank.

Cooperation in financing sector: Saudi side, represented by the Saudi Fund for Development expressed their desire to view Pakistan’s national development plan, in addition to the Pakistani government’s priorities for development projects for the next two years, in order to study the possibility of financing important development projects.

The Saudi Fund for Development has completed preparation of four loan agreements as per confirmation by Pakistani side for funding four projects in energy and water sector. The two sides agreed to initiate negotiation process for entering into a MoU in the area of banking supervision between SBP and SAMA. The Saudi side agreed to provide assistance to Pakistan to meet the rehabilitation and reconstruction needs arising out of the recent floods.

Cooperation in investment sector: The Saudi side has sent the new ‘Saudi Model’ regarding the agreement for the promotion and protection of investment to Pakistani side to be studied, reviewed and to complete the legal procedures required by the Pakistani side to initiate the negotiation to reach mutual ground concerning the draft Bilateral Investment Treaty text.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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