The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will deposit $2 billion into the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) account “within the next seven working days”, reported Radio Pakistan on Saturday.
The development was reportedly confirmed by KSA Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki during a meeting with Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Muhammad Jawad Sohrab Malik in Islamabad.
As per the national broadcaster, the envoy said the Kingdom is committed to building long-term, sustainable investment transactions between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
The ambassador reiterated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s pledge to increase Saudi Arabia’s investments to $10 billion in Pakistan’s energy and IT sectors within the next few years.
During the meeting, Malik expressed his gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s support to Pakistan.
The Saudi envoy expressed a keen interest on behalf of the Saudi government to recruit more manpower from Pakistan during the current and next year for various sectors of the kingdom. He stated that the Saudi labor market is continuing to expand, mainly due to the launch of several mega projects under the Saudi Vision 2030.
Discussions were also held on further strengthening of bilateral business relations, recruitment of more workforce from Pakistan, and enhancing FDI in potential sectors of the economy.
Earlier this month, Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha had said that Saudi Arabia has assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) it will provide a $2-billion loan to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan announced financial support Friday from the United Arab Emirates and China totalling $1.3 billion, giving the ailing economy a shot in the arm as it seeks to meet conditions for the resumption of an IMF bailout.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the UAE had promised a billion dollars to prop up Pakistan’s forex reserves — which at their current level of $4.04 billion can barely pay for four weeks of imports.
China on Friday released $300 million to Pakistan — the last tranche of a $1.3 billion rollover loan, Dar said.
Pakistan is required to give assurance to the IMF that its balance of payments deficit is fully financed for the remaining period of the IMF programme that has been stalled since November last year.
“Timely financial assistance from external partners will be critical to support the authorities’ policy efforts and ensure the successful completion of the review [with Pakistan],” Julie Kozack, the IMF’s Director of Strategic Communications, stated last month.
“Ensuring that there is sufficient financing to support the authorities is the paramount priority. A Staff Level Agreement (SLA) will follow once the few remaining points are closed,” she had said at the time.