Pakistan all set to receive $500m from Saudi Arabia for development projects

Pakistan and Saudi Arab have signed several agreements and memorandums of understanding to boost bilateral cooperation in areas such as the economy, trade, energy investment and the media.

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According to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to give strategic direction to their ties through the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SP-SCC), the Saudi Development Fund will finance projects worth $500 million in Pakistan.

The projects which will be initiated will be related to the sectors of energy, hydropower generation, infrastructure, transport, communication and water resource development.

Prime Minister Imran Khan went on a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Friday to enhance historically close relations between the two allied nations.

The visit took place at the the invitation of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was present at the Jeddah Airport to receive Khan and his high-powered delegation.

The SP-SCC, which will be co-chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Prime Minister Imran Khan, was established after the two leaders signed an agreement in this regard late on Friday night. Khan and Mohammad Bin Salman later held delegation-level talks that Pakistan’s military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was a also a part of.

Bajwa was already in Saudi Arabi to discuss bilateral defense cooperation.

Before visiting Madina, the prime minister and Saudi crown prince in a one-to-one meeting expressed hope that SP-SCC would play a crucial role in fostering enhanced bilateral cooperation in all fields.

Read More: Why is PM Khan visiting Saudi Arabia?

The two sides also sealed agreements to fight climate change and drug smuggling and facilitate recruitment of the Pakistani workforce, officials said.

Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Khan’s special envoy to the Middle East and a top Pakistani religious scholar, informed the reporters that the leaders of the two Muslim nations would also discuss Islamophobia, Palestine, and Pakistan’s long-running territorial dispute with rival India over Kashmir.

Pakistan’s and Saudi Arabia bilateral annual trade stands at around $4 billion, mostly consisting of Saudi oil imports. More than 2 million Pakistanis work in Saudi Arabia, sending around $6 billion annually in remittances to their nation.