One Billion Dollars in Saudi Investments for Pakistan

Saudi state TV reported that the Saudi government was planning to invest $1 billion in Pakistan.

State TV also reported that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz had ordered his country to aid Pakistan’s economy. The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, reportedly called his Pakistani counterpart, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, to inform him of the decision, as reported by Al-Arabiya News.

According to SPA, King Salman bin Abdulaziz has ordered an investment of $1 billion in Pakistan, a move that is “in line with” the Kingdom’s position in support of Pakistan’s economy and its people.

According to the report, the foreign ministers also talked about ways to strengthen bilateral ties and other regional and international issues of common concern.

Pakistan’s foreign reserves have dropped to as low as $7.8 billion, providing barely enough for more than a month’s worth of imports amid the country’s economic turmoil and looming balance of payments crisis. Inflation topped 24% in July, and the country’s currency, the rupee, has been steadily depreciating.

Pakistan was able to get friendly countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar to help meet the requirement after being asked to close a $4 billion financing gap by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates each plan to give the South Asian country $1 billion in oil financing.

It is worth noting that on Wednesday, the Emiri Diwan of Qatar confirmed that the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) plans to invest $3 billion in Pakistan to help prop up the cash-strapped economy of the South Asian nation.

Emiri Diwan said that the Qatar Investment Authority “announced its aspiration to invest $3 billion in various commercial and investment sectors in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” without providing further context.

The announcement was made during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Doha, where he met with the QIA on Tuesday and the Qatari Ameer Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Wednesday.

According to Emiri Diwan, “His Highness emphasised the importance of the brotherly and strategic relations between the two countries and their aspiration to enhance economic partnership by raising trade exchange and promoting investments through the Qatar Investment Authority.”

Qatar’s $445 billion sovereign wealth fund is reportedly evaluating strategic investments in the key economic sectors of the South Asian nation.

Sources told the outlet that Pakistan’s “main airports in Islamabad and Karachi, as well as the renewable energy, power, and hospitality sectors,” might be the target of the investments.