ISLAMABAD: Ibrahim Almubarak, Deputy Investment Minister of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday concluded a three-day visit to look into potential investment opportunities in various sectors of the economy.

Almubarak highlighted the Saudi government’s ongoing interest in Pakistan and emphasized that the current visit is an extension of earlier agreements, demonstrating the Saudi government and companies’ desire to invest in Pakistan.

Ahead of the visit of the Saudi delegation, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had constituted a 16-member Inter-Ministerial Committee headed by Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Musadik Masood Malik to facilitate the Saudi private sector delegation.

Pakistan is eyeing an investment of up to $15-20 billion from Saudi Arabia in different sectors/fields including the purchase of public sector entities or share purchases to deal with its financial woes.

It has been reportedly said that GCC countries including Saudi Arabia want special treatment for investing in Pakistan at the B2B level instead of trade. The government has already shown its consent to amendment of Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) as per the proposals of GCC countries.

Saudi Arabian companies have established separate desks, and Pakistani companies engaged in negotiations to enhance their business at the international level.

In a press conference on Monday, the petroleum minister said the presence of over 100 Pakistani companies at the investment conference, negotiating cooperation with Saudi companies across various sectors including agriculture, mining, human resources, energy, chemicals, maritime, IT, religious tourism, telecom, aviation, construction, water, and power generation.

He believed that the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia investment conference would promote bilateral trade and investment, ushering in a new era of growth and prosperity and creating job opportunities for young people to start small businesses with Saudi Arabian companies.

He said that the investment conference would provide new directions and hope for Pakistan. An official of the Petroleum Division said that it was B to B meetings and no discussions on mega projects in mining and other petroleum sector took place as no discussion was held on such project which came under the government to government cooperation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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