Saudi Arabia has announced a $1 billion investment in cash-strapped Pakistan which is currently in a state of both economic and political upheaval.
This development came during a phone call between Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, and his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, where he informed him of the Saudi King’s directive, in addition to discussing Saudi-Pakistani ties, as well as the regional and international issues.
“The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, issued a directive to invest USD 1 billion in Pakistan, in confirmation of the Kingdom’s support of the Pakistani economy and the Pakistani people,” Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Thursday.
The Pakistan foreign minister welcomed the kingdom’s $1 billion investment in Pakistan.
“Pleased to have a conversation with HH FM Faisal bin Farhan. Recalling fraternal bilateral ties, welcomed KSA commitment of USD 1 billion investment. in Pakistan. Briefed my counterpart on damages caused by unprecedented floods, highly value solidarity expressed and KSAs all possible assistance,” Bilawal Bhutto said in a tweet.
This announcement regarding the fresh investment comes days after the State Bank of Pakistan informed about $4 billion in financing for Pakistan from friendly countries.
“Pakistan will get USD 2 billion from Qatar, USD 1 billion from Saudi Arabia under the umbrella of deferred oil facility and USD 1 billion investments from the UAE in various sectors,” Dawn quoted State Bank of Pakistan Acting Governor Murtaza Syed as saying.
In the face of gross financing needs of around $30 billion for FY23, Syed said the available financing against this is estimated at $37 billion for FY23. The amount increased after Pakistan secured $4 billion of financing from friendly countries, the report.
As Pakistan’s economy is again on the brink of collapse, the new coalition government has again come knocking to the kingdom for help. The $1 billion investment has come following visits made by Pakistan’s newly elected prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and the country’s chief of army staff Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Writing for the Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council, Uzair Younus said recurring economic crises in Pakistan have made it more embarrassing for its leaders to seek Saudi money as both the Saudis and Pakistanis know that Islamabad’s value proposition has been declining.
“But this need not be the case–Pakistan is the only country in the world that can solve the House of Saud’s growing security concerns in an increasingly hostile regional environment,” he added.
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