The Pak-Saudi Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment was constituted in the 11th session of Pak-Saudi Joint Ministerial Commission held at Islamabad in January 2018 with a view to enhancing bilateral economic cooperation through identifying concrete and specific areas in trade and investment.
The second meeting of the JWG was held in Islamabad on 5 September 2018. Pakistan’s Commerce Federal Secretary Mohammad Younus Dagha and Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade Abdulrahman Alharbi co-chaired the session. The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, H E Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki, officials from Saudi Ministries of Commerce and Investment, Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, SABIC, Maaden and officials from the Ministries of Commerce, Energy and National Food Security, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Board of Investment (BoI) participated in the meeting.
Mohammad Younus Dagha emphasised that the Government of Pakistan desires that the long and historic relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia should be translated into an enhanced economic partnership. He invited the Saudi government and private sector to invest in Oil Refining, Petro chemicals and food processing industries in Pakistan.
After the official discussions, Petroleum Division, and leading private sector companies presented their project proposals. The follow up of first JWG meeting was also discussed to resolve non- tariff barriers, facilitating business visas, and logistic arrangements of Pakistan Single Country Exhibition in Jeddah as well as activating a Joint Business Council.
Abdulrahman Alharbi elaborated that the Kingdom desires to have a close economic partnership with Pakistan and the two countries could cooperate and have joint ventures in petro chemicals, food processing and other sectors.
The Saudi delegation also comprised of six businessmen from petro-chemical and food sectors. Their business-to-business (B2B) meetings were arranged with Pakistani companies from meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables, rice and petrochemical sectors on 6 September 2018. The companies presented details of their meat and food processing plant which meet Saudi standards and have been registered by the Saudi Food and Drug Agency. The Saudi side expressed keen interest in the investment projects and trade proposals and the two sides agreed to take further steps expeditiously to materialise these proposals.