$10 billion Saudi investment in Pakistan
KARACHI – Federal Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Asad Umar has clarified that volumes and areas of Saudi investment are yet to be ascertained, rejecting media reports that Riyadh and Islamabad had struck a $10 billion deal.
Giving an interview to Arab News, Umar said that final decisions in this regard will be taken when a Saudi delegation will reach Pakistan in the first week of October to hold a meeting with Pakistani officials.
The reports of massive investment in the country facing financial crunches surfaced when Prime Minister Imran Khan was in the Kingdom on an official visit.
PTI’s Central Deputy Secretary General Usman Dar took to Twitter to announce that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has struck $10 billion deal with Saudi Arabia.
Talking about the premier’s visit, the finance minister said: “The prime minister’s visit was meant to make agreements at the highest level with the King of Saudi Arabia and build a stronger relationship. In principle, only verbal discussions have taken place so far”.
He said that matters of trade, foreign direct investment, visa fees and others were discussed during the meetings.
Rejecting the impression of financial emergency in Pakistan, he said: “Pakistan is not in an emergency situation that requires it to rush to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to seek a bailout”.
The IMF team is set to visit Pakistan on September 27 to engage with Islamabad. Umar said they are in contact with IMF but no negotiations were being held for the release of a bailout.
“Our purpose is to do our homework, in case we want to approach them at some stage,” the minister clarified.
Besides talking about import-export measures, he said a plan to issue the dollar-based saving certificates for Pakistanis living abroad in October is on the table.