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Saudi Crown Prince to visit PM Imran Khan in Pakistan

Items expected on the agenda include the $10bn Gwadar oil refinery and the reduction of expat fees for Pakistani workers

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince is due to meet PM Imran Khan in Pakistan.
CW Archives
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince is due to meet PM Imran Khan in Pakistan.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman as the Asian leader seeks billions of dollars in investment for the struggling economy's infrastructure development sector.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince will arrive in Islamabad for a two-day visit on 17 February, marking his first state-level meeting since becoming Crown Prince in 2017.

The state-owned Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) reported that numerous trade and investment deals for sectors including power and renewable energy will be signed as Pakistan draws on its geopolitical ties to attract key project funding.

Among the projects on the agenda will be an oil refinery in Gwadar, reported as being worth $10bn. Saudi Aramco will work on the megaproject, believed to the largest-ever investment the kingdom has made in Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia may also reduce expat fees for Pakistani workers in efforts to deepen its bilateral trade, investment, and political ties with the country. According to APP, nearly one-third of Pakistani expat workers are based in Saudi Arabia, making it home to the largest foreign Pakistani community in the world.

The Crown Prince’s visit to Islamabad may provide some relief and help to stabilise Pakistan’s troubled economy. Earlier this month, PM Khan met with the managing director of International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, where they discussed terms of a potential bailout package for Pakistan.

Lagarde said her meeting with Khan was “constructive” and reaffirmed IMF’s plan to support Pakistan with financial stimulus if required.

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