Saudi Arabia keen to explore more investment avenues in Gwadar

ISLAMABAD, April 25 (APP):Saudi Arabia has shown keen interest in exploring more avenues for investment in Gwadar to benefit from huge potential of trade and economic activities.
This was observed during a meeting of Saudi Shura Council Chairman Dr Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Ibrahim Al-Shaikh with Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani at a reception hosted in his honour here at a local hotel.
The Senate chairman while talking to Saudi Shura Council chairman said mutual trust and confidence was evident in the decades long friendship between the two countries.
Referring to the investment opportunities in Pakistan, the Senate chairman said conducive environment existed for multi-sector investment and Saudi investors could benefit from them.
He considered the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman highly important as it would help in laying the foundation for a new era of cooperation.
He said Saudi investment had helped in rejuvenating the confidence of international community in Pakistan.
He said during the visit of the Crown Prince, memorandums of understanding envisaging Saudi investment worth US$20 billion were signed which was a manifestation of the fact that Saudi Arabia considered Pakistan an important country.
He further said the recent high level reciprocal visits would usher in a new era of economic cooperation.
He called for developing an institutional mechanism and legal framework for better institutional collaboration.
Sanjrani also praised vision 2030 unveiled by Saudi Arabia and hoped that the initiative would help reduce unemployment and develop linkages with international markets besides offering a win-win situation for all.
Both the leaders exchanged views on matters of mutual significance and bilateral importance.
Senate Chairman Sanjrani said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were intertwined into a relationship having its basis in religious, social, cultural and historical commonalities.
He also appreciated the launching of Pakistan Saudi Arabia Supreme Coordination Council, hoping that the Council would take tangible steps for promoting political, economic, social and cultural linkages.
He welcomed the decision of increasing Hajj quota for Pakistanis and further reducing the visa fee saying that these steps would further help promote people to people contact.
He expressed his well wishes for King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
Saudi Shura Council chairman thanked Senate chairman and members of the Pakistan side for warm welcome.
He said Saudi Arabia accorded high importance to its relations with Pakistan.
He said the basis of our bilateral relations were deeply rooted in history and people of both the countries share common aspirations.
He said mutual exchange of frequent delegations would further boost the linkages between the two countries.
He agreed on enhancing institutional cooperation between Senate and the Shura Council.
The members of the visiting delegation while talking on the occasion said Saudi Arabia was very keen to benefit from the economic prospects being offered by future economic hub of the region and willing to invest in Gwadar.
The Senate chairman expressed the hope that Saudi Arabia would explore investment in different areas.
The cooperation in defence sector also came under discussion and both looked forward to enhanced the cooperation in it.
The Saudi delegation also witnessed the Senate session. The reception was attended by the political leadership of the Senate, federal ministers and other dignitaries.
Earlier, the delegation of Saudi Shura Council was given a comprehensive briefing on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by the ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms and Ministry of Maritime Affairs at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services.
The briefing comprised of an overall picture of the corridor as well as possible avenues for investment in the projects under the corridor for Saudi Arabia.
The delegation was briefed that CPEC aimed to make Pakistan an economically sound and vivacious country.
Under the CPEC projects work would be carried out in energy, transport, infrastructure, industrial development, Gwadar port development, socioeconomic development, trade and market access, and agricultural research.
The projects would provide much needed boost to Pakistan’s economy and be an instrument for regional integration.
The visitors were told how Pakistan’s geographical position allowed it to provide a well working connection between China, South Asia, Middle East and Central Asia. The viability of the project in terms of less time and distance as well as cost of business and transportation was also explicated upon.
Members of the Saudi delegation appreciated the work being carried out and expected to increase cooperation not just though investment in the energy and infrastructure development but also in social development.
Both sides expressed the hope that with increased linkages on the government and parliamentary level they could be benefited.
Saudi delegates acknowledged that this corridor was not just a project between the two countries but would benefit the whole region with two billion people and 48 countries.
The delegation was also told that around 15,000 soldiers of the Pakistan Army were being trained to control any untoward situation across the corridor.
The briefing also comprised a detailed overview of the Gwadar Port, its current position, existing port facilities, port to port interaction agreements and the future plans in short, medium and long term.
The importance of port in the development and success of any city and its adjoining areas was also explained.
Members of the Saudi Shura Council termed it a project equally for Saudi Arabia as it was for Pakistan and said Saudi Arabia would always be in support of any project that would usher in progress for brother Muslim states.