Saudi energy minister Al-Falih signs $18bn MoUs with Pakistan
Agreements come as Saudi-Pakistan trade council is formed and Crown Prince praises PM Khan's efforts to develop local economy
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry, and Mineral Resources, Eng Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, signed multibillion-dollar memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Pakistan during the two-day visit to the PM Imran Khan-led country by the kingdom’s Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers, and Minister of Defence, HRH Mohammed Bin Salman.
The Asian country’s Prime Minister received Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on 17 February, and the two-day visit saw a total of $20bn (SAR75bn) agreed by the kingdom for investment in Pakistan.
Al-Falih, who is also the chairman of the state-backed giant Saudi Aramco, signed MoUs that are related to various sub-sectors within the energy and mining segments. One of the four segments is worth $6bn (SAR22.5bn), whilst the second deal, focused on the renewable energy sector, is valued at $2bn (SAR7.5bn).
According to Saudi Arabia’s state press agency, SPA, the third agreement is related to the refining and petrochemicals sector, and is worth $9.8bn (SAR37bn).
The final MoU signed by Al-Falih relates to the funding of a liquefied natural gas project that will help Pakistan secure fuel supplies, including power generation. This MoU is valued at $320m (SAR1.2bn).
Additional details of the projects have yet to be revealed, but earlier this week, it was reported that at least one of the bilateral agreements inked during the Crown Prince’s two-day visit covered the almost-$10bn (SAR37.5bn) Gwadar oil refinery project in Pakistan.
According to a joint statement published by SPA, both sides are said to have discussed Saudi Arabia’s “rapid progress and prosperity” that would be driven by investments in the Vision 2030 programme, aimed at economic diversification in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have also formed the Joint Supreme Coordination Council, an organisation that will be co-chaired by the kingdom’s Crown Prince and Pakistan’s PM Khan, to drive bilateral investments in various fields.
Meetings of the council will alternately be held in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The existing Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade will be a part of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council, and will be tasked with facilitating trade in select products and sectors.
During the Crown Prince’s two-day visit, both Saudi and Pakistani officials also agreed to encourage the private sector to drive collaboration between both nations. Senior leaders also discussed new geopolitical developments in India and Afghanistan, according to SPA.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince is said to have “praised the efforts of PM Khan to develop the economic and social structure in Pakistan”, and highlighted “the potential of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)” as a key contributor for growth in the Asian country.