Video: Construction Week In Focus | Pakistan PM Imran Khan's Mideast focus

Can the Middle East's investments help Pakistan avoid a looming economic crisis?


Pakistan, led by newly elected Prime Minister Imran Khan, is looking to the Middle East to expand its infrastructure and overcome a looming economic crisis, but what does the future hold for these historic economic ties?

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative 2018 conference in Riyadh last week, Khan, who is also the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), confirmed the county is in talks with investors from Saudi Arabia relating to the construction of oil refineries.

READ: Contract signed for Expo 2020 Dubai's Pakistan Pavilion

Khan, who became prime minster on 18 August 2018, added: “We actually need two oil refineries in Pakistan to meet demand. We have already met with Saudi investors who have [recently visited] Pakistan.”

His comments came during the second iteration of the FII, hosted by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which is chaired by Crown Prince HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia was said to be backing the development of a $9bn oil refinery near the China-owned port of Gwadar, which Khan wants to turn into “an oil city”.

Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, was expected to visit capital Islamabad to sign a memorandum of understanding for the project.

READ: PM Imran Khan seeks Saudi investors for Pakistan oil refineries

These developments come as the number of Pakistanis in the UAE totals 1.21 million, according to the organisers of Pakistan Property Exhibition, which will be held in Dubai on 1-3 November 2018.

In this episode of Construction Week In Focus, Neha Bhatia and Jack Ball, editor and senior reporter of Construction Week, explore how Middle East investments could benefit Pakistan in the years to come.

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