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PM Imran woos investors at Riyadh investment forum

JEDDAH – Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed the importance of engaging the private sector of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to fortify the economic relationship.

Addressing Saudi-Pakistan Investment Forum in Riyadh today, he urged Saudi companies and entrepreneurs to capitalise on Pakistan’s strategic location and tap into its “huge investment potential,” particularly in the housing and construction sectors, the PM office said. 

Khan emphasised that Pakistan offers a strong and large consumer market of over 220 million, with an ever-expanding middle class. He highlighted the Pakistan government’s liberal and investor-friendly policies.

He underlined that the government is committed to providing an enabling environment to strengthen the investor-friendly dispensation in the country.

Imran Khan underlined that the geo-strategic position offers Pakistan distinctive opportunities to stimulate intra-region trade by building regional connectivity on modern lines.

To realise that potential, the premier underscored the historic shift in Pakistan’s strategic focus from geo-politics to geo-economics.

“Pakistan has excellent relations with China and that there could be further economic dividends if the unresolved dispute of Jammu and Kashmir is peacefully resolved with India,” he added.

Reaffirming Pakistan’s long-standing deep fraternal relations with Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister underscored the reverence Pakistanis have for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s abiding support to Pakistan at every juncture.

He said Pakistan will always stand with Saudi Arabia against any threat to its security, sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

Leading Saudi firms including SABIC, ACWA Power, Ma’aden, SALIC, Al-Zamil Group, Al-Bawani Group and Riyad Bank attended the Forum and affirmed their resolve to build deeper engagement with Pakistan. Key Pakistani business leaders, investors from the Pakistani diaspora, and stakeholders from Pakistan’s private sector based in the kingdom were also present, the PM office said.

Addressing the Forum, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi focused on Pakistan’s shift from geo-politics to geo-economics.

Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin highlighted economic resurgence of Pakistan. Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar outlined the vast opportunities in the energy, agriculture, livestock and other key sectors.

In his keynote address, Saudi Minister for Investment Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih underscored the longstanding and abiding ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and reaffirmed the resolve to further deepen bilateral trade, investment and business links.

Khan is on an official visit to the kingdom on the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This is his second trip to the kingdom this year. He visited the kingdom last in May and signed several agreements.

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