Saudi Arabia and UAE committed $25 billion investment
Pakistan’s interim prime minister announced on Monday that both Saudi Arabia and UAE (United Arab Emirates) have committed to investing $25 billion each in Pakistan over the next five years. Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar disclosed this information to a gathering of foreign journalists based in Islamabad. The investment is expected to be directed towards various sectors, including mining, agriculture, defense production, and information technology, although specific details were not provided.
Prime Minister of Pakistan remarks
The prime minister explained that these significant investments from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are part of a new economic revitalization strategy aimed at boosting foreign direct investment in Pakistan. This initiative falls under the oversight of the recently established Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which was formed in June and comprises both civilian and military leadership.
Kakar’s remarks followed comments made by Pakistan’s military chief, Asim Munir, who, during an address to business leaders in Karachi, emphasized the SIFC’s potential to attract investments totaling up to $100 billion from not only Saudi Arabia and the UAE but also Qatar, Kuwait, and other Middle Eastern nations.
When questioned about the reported statements by his military chief regarding the substantial investments from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Kakar confirmed their accuracy. However, there has been no immediate response from Saudi or UAE officials regarding Kakar’s announcement.
Kakar also highlighted Pakistan’s vast untapped mineral reserves, estimated to be valued at approximately $6 trillion, with specific mention of the impending commencement of work on the extensive Reko Diq gold and copper mines in the southwestern Baluchistan province, scheduled to begin in December. Last month, a Saudi delegation explored investment opportunities within Pakistan’s mining sector and expressed interest in harnessing the potential of the Reko Diq deposits.
Pakistan is currently grappling with a severe balance of payments crisis, necessitating billions of dollars in foreign exchange to service international debts and address the trade deficit in the current fiscal year. To address this issue, Islamabad has initiated long-overdue economic reforms, in line with International Monetary Fund (IMF) requirements. These reforms have led to a historic surge in energy prices, further exacerbating an already high inflation rate of around 29%. Consequently, the stringent reforms have sparked daily nationwide protests, increased electricity bills, and soaring fuel prices.
(Credit: VOA NEWS)
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