A Saudi delegation of businessmen and investors which met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday has reportedly expressed great interest for investment in different sectors in Pakistan.
It was also agreed that both the countries accelerate for the promotion of trade and investment and for this purpose Pakistan-KSA joint working group will also be activated.
At a time when Pakistan is struggling to address macro-economic challenges such as current account deficit, the very interest shown by the Saudi investors in Pakistan’s economy indeed is great news and no effort should be spared by our relevant authorities to materialize this at the earliest.
The Saudi investors must be facilitated in every possible manner whilst removing all the hurdles in their way.
The investment that will pour in from Saudi Arabia, in fact, will also encourage other countries in the Gulf to follow the suit.
There is no denying that there are great opportunities for the businessmen in Pakistan be it investment in energy, information technology, agriculture, livestock, food processing, tourism, minerals, textile, leather or many others.
The irony, however, is that the political instability has always discouraged the investors and the result is that the foreign direct investment in the country has reduced to mere one billion dollars.
If we really want to address economic woes such as current account deficit and balance of payment issues, we will have to focus on attracting foreign direct investment by restoring the confidence of foreign investors.
This will lead to export-led growth which will also create immense job opportunities to our youth bulge.
During the last visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to Islamabad back in 2019, the Kingdom had promised to invest twenty billion dollars in Pakistan including in an oil refinery project.
Given the goodwill which exists for Pakistan in the KSA, we have no doubt in saying that the Saudi friends will be more than willing to fulfil the commitment which, in fact, will be a win-win for both the countries and go a long way in building a strong economic partnership and open more opportunities for investment in Pakistan.
We, therefore, will ask our government to sit with the Saudi authorities for realization of the investment portfolio.