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Pak-Saudi-Iran economic proximity

By News Desk

May 11, 2024 02:41 PM


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Naveed Aman Khan

UPON the special instructions of the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, a delegation of investors from the Kingdom arrived in Pakistan last week. The 50-member Saudi delegation included representatives of 30 companies from various sectors including technology, energy, aviation, construction, mining, and human resources. The purpose of the visit was to create bilateral jobs and promote exports. Big businessmen of Balochistan province have also completed preparations to deal with the Saudi business delegation. Saudi Arabia and selected big businessmen of Pakistan are determined to increase a wide range of exports. For the first time, trade deals among the investors of the two countries will be settled directly.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has championed foreign investment to propel remarkable economic growth in the country. To spur economic expansion and forge international partnerships, the Pakistani Premier has unveiled a comprehensive plan to attract foreign investment. During a recent address to business leaders and diplomats, the Prime Minister underscored Pakistan's strategic location, abundant resources and skilled workforce as compelling reasons for international investors to consider Pakistan a lucrative investment destination. Establishing a conducive business environment by streamlining regulations, improving infrastructure and ensuring investor protection is the pressing need of the hour. Additionally, various incentives, including tax breaks and investment-friendly policies, aimed at enticing foreign investors, should be prioritized.

The potential sectors for investment in Pakistan are wide open to foreign investors, especially the Saudis. We just need to highlight available opportunities in energy, infrastructure, technology, agriculture and manufacturing. Emphasizing the importance of sustainable development and environmental conservation in all investment endeavours is crucial. A three-day Pak-Saudi investment conference was held between the two countries, during which agreements were inked on energy, food, chemicals, meat and mining. Business-to-business meetings were also scheduled between Pakistani and Saudi delegations. Balochistan Chief Minister Sarfaraz Bugti and Federal Minister Jam Jamal should prioritize the interests of Balochistan while continuing negotiations with the Saudi delegation on various projects.

Endless mineral deposits exist in Balochistan. It's now the responsibility of the Balochistan government to open the doors of these mineral treasures hidden in the province to foreign investors, especially the Saudis. The Saudi high-level business delegation has shown extraordinary interest in the mineral reserves of Balochistan. International stakeholders are welcoming the proactive approach of Pakistan towards attracting foreign investment and showcasing optimism about Pakistan's economic prospects. Several prominent multinational corporations have already expressed their interest in exploring investment opportunities in the country. As Pakistan seeks to recover from impact of the global economic crunch, the Prime Minister's initiative to promote foreign investment signals a renewed commitment to driving growth, creating jobs and improving the standards of living for its citizens. Amid evolving geopolitical dynamics, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have reaffirmed their commitment to deepening bilateral relations through a series of strategic agreements aimed at enhancing cooperation in various fields.

In a significant political and diplomatic development, high-level officials from both countries convened in Pakistan to discuss mutual interests and explore avenues for collaboration. The talks have underscored the shared history, cultural ties and common challenges faced by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Central to the discussions should remain on the expansion of trade and economic cooperation between the two nations. Both sides are expressing their determination to bolster bilateral trade and investment by leveraging their geographical proximity and complementary economies. Plans for the infrastructural energy, power, minerals, IT, agriculture projects and the facilitation of trade routes be also deliberated upon. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have reiterated their commitment to enhancing cooperation in diverse sectors. The Saudi exploration of greater business opportunities in different sectors of Pakistan will become a milestone achievement in the economic stability of Pakistan.

Cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts should also be highlighted as crucial components of the bilateral relationship, with both countries expressing their desire to promote tourism, educational exchanges and cultural events. The discussions between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia be culminated in the signing of several agreements and MoUs in future, covering areas such as trade, transportation, energy and cultural cooperation. These agreements are expected to lay the groundwork for deeper collaboration between Iran and Pakistan in the years to come. The strengthened ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are revealing at a pivotal moment, as both countries seek to navigate new avenues and capitalize on opportunities for mutual benefit. The commitment to closer cooperation reflects a shared vision for stability, prosperity and development of both the countries. Prior to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman's visit to Pakistan after Eid in third week of June, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited Pakistan few days before. Earlier the CP MBS visit was scheduled in May. I suggest Iran to join hands with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in economic ties. Pak-Saudi-Iran trilateral ties will strengthen strategic and economic affairs of three of them culminating a broader group later on.

 

The writer is editor, anchor, book ambassador, geopolitical scientist and author of several books on media and international affairs based in Islamabad. He can be reached at [email protected] and X@AmanNaveed11


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