Saudi Arabia to invest $500m to strengthen Pakistan’s energy sector

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday announced that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has decided to invest another $500 million to strengthen the energy sector in Pakistan.

“The Saudi Arabian assistance would help overcome the imbalance in energy mix,” he said adding that it was meant for alternate and renewable energy including solar, wind and hydel power.

He was talking to media after offering Fathea on the death of international fame scholar Qari Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar Naqshbandi during visit to his residence.

He said the fund would improve Pakistan’s energy mix balance, help make the tariff become cheaper gradually, and focus on infrastructure development and investment for water resources projects.

Qureshi said that the three-day KSA visit was made on the invitation of crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman and it helped defuse the designs of detractors.

He said that Pakistan had enjoys good relation with Saudi Arabia, however, the recent initiative of Saudia-Pak Strategic Supreme Council (SSC) brought it from Adhoc to institutional arrangements.

He informed that this institutional mechanism stood on three pillars including security and political pillar to be headed by the foreign minister, economic outreach led by interior minister and cultural and communication pillar would be led by the minister for information and broadcasting.

Furthermore, Qureshi informed that Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman would pay his second visit to Pakistan soon whereas a delegation of Saudi officials would visit Pakistan to meet officials after Eid, which will be followed by a two-day visit by the kingdom’s foreign minister to finalise arrangements for the Crown Prince’s visit.

The foreign minister disclosed that Saudi Arabia has allocated special manpower quota for Pakistani workers under its 2030 development vision that involved huge investment for Saudi Arabia development. He said, the new jobs opportunity would benefit hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis.

Moreover, he said that the issues of visas with Kuwait have also be set and the issues faced by Pakistani families living in Kuwait have been resolved.

He said that there was ban on export of Pakistani kino to Iran for last 12 years which has now been lifted adding that it would benefit the Pakistani farmers, exporters and the overall national economy.

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