Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are expected to sign three major memorandum of understanding (MoUs) amassing to over $10 billion during the upcoming visit of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to the country, a report by Dawn stated.
Quoting the Pakistan Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif, the report said that, “Three mega government-to-government MoUs will be signed and their total volume will be in double digit billion dollars.”
In the report, he said the three MOUs will be signed in the fields of oil refining, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and mineral development.
The Saudi Crown Prince will most likely visit Pakistan for two days on February 16, on the invitation on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Apart from MoU, other business agreements will likely to be signed between businessmen and industrialist of the two sides, according to the report.
“A group of top 40 Saudi businessmen is accompanying Prince Mohammed. The delegation will interact with the local business community. It is expected that some other private level agreements will also be inked during the visit,” the BoI chief was quoted in the report as having said.
Sharif said that an oil refinery that Saudi Arabia will set up at Gwadar will be established at a cost of $8 billion.
“Besides foreign investment, it will also provide job opportunities to the locals of the port city. If they [Saudis] also establish a petrochemical complex along with the refinery, it will require an additional investment of billions of dollars,” he said, as per the report.
According to the report, the chief said the Saudi government was keen to install an oil refinery at Gwadar and further urged the preparation of a feasibility report in this regard.
While replying to a query regarding China’s reaction over Saudis investment in Gwadar, Sharif said the former had no objection over the latter’s plan to establish an oil refinery. “In fact the area where Saudis will install the refinery will exactly be determined after feasibility study. However, it will be far away from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” he stated in the report.
While asked a question as to why Saudi Arabia has suddenly come up with huge investment plans in Pakistan, the board’s chairman said, “The leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his commitment of ensuring transparency in Pakistan are the reasons behind much ambitious foreign investment in the country,” as per the report.