Pakistan promises high returns, profit repatriation priority on Saudi investment

Returns between 14% and 50% can allow Saudi Arabia to recoup its investment in three to nine years

Pakistan is actively seeking Saudi investment, offering projected returns between 14% and 50%, and promising prioritized profit repatriation without restrictions. 

The Express Tribune, citing government sources, reported that these returns could allow Saudi Arabia to recoup its investment in three to nine years, depending on the project type.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif plans to discuss this investment initiative with Saudi Arabia during his visit on April 27-28, accompanied by the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC). 

Earlier, the Saudi delegation showed their interest in agriculture, mining, and the Diamer Basha dam during a recent two-day visit to Pakistan.

Initially aiming for a $25 billion investment, Pakistan has revised its expectation to $5 billion by June 2025, due to concerns from Saudi Arabia about delays in profit repatriation stemming from Pakistan’s external sector liquidity issues. 

However, Pakistan has committed to giving Saudi investors priority in profit repatriation, with Prime Minister Sharif instructing the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to ensure preferential treatment for Saudi companies.

The Greenfield Mine Development in Khuzdar, described as the third largest mining project in Pakistan, promises up to a 50% return, with an initial investment of $154 million and a projected five-year payback period. 

In agriculture, Pakistan is encouraging Saudi Arabia to establish a cattle farm in Punjab, with an initial investment of over $25 million and a 34% return, projecting a payback period of just three years.

Saudi Arabia is also considering leasing 50,000 acres in Pakistan for corporate farming, with a potential 22% return and a six-year payback period, though water availability issues could delay the start by at least eighteen months.

Additional investment opportunities include a semiconductor development and chip packaging project with a $270 million investment and a 17% return, and the Iron Ore Mining and Steel Mills Complex in Chiniot, Punjab, promising a 20% return on a $1.5 billion investment over nine years.

Pakistan has also offered opportunities in the power sector, including a 600MW Solar Park in Kot Adu, Punjab, and a 1320 MW Thar Coal power project, both offering a 14% return.

A $680 million transmission line project is also on offer, promising the same return over seven years.

Monitoring Desk
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  1. We have Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with more than 40 countries. These BITs include MFN treatment and National Treatment clauses. How can we single out one country, Saudi Arabia, to provide priority in repatriation of profits on their investments?

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