Saudi Crown Prince likely to visit cash-strapped Pakistan after promise of $5 bn investment package
This will mark the Crown Prince’s first visit to Pakistan in five years. He had earlier visited India in 2023, but by-passed Pakistan.  

at 7:46 pm
Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
File pic of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Islamabad, May 6: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is likely to visit Pakistan soon, as a high-level delegation from Riyadh is in Islamabad on a two-day visit amid the kingdom’s promise of investing over $5 billion in the cash-strapped country.

This will mark the Crown Prince’s first visit to Pakistan in five years. He had earlier visited India in 2023, but by-passed Pakistan.

Currently reeling from a major economic crisis, Pakistan has time and again been saved from a total default by KSA.

The Saudi delegation, which landed on Sunday, is led by Deputy Investment Minister of Saudi Arabia Ibrahim Almubarak, who is accompanied by representatives of over 30 companies based in the kingdom.

The Saudi delegation is in Islamabad for the two-day Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Investment Conference. Almubarak has called Islamabad a good source of investment, citing the country’s strategic location, natural resources, demography, as well as their cultural ties, common religion, and shared values.

This is the second visit of a major Saudi delegation to Pakistan in less than a month after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif went on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia last month to attend the World Economic Forum, and met up with some of Riyadh’s top officials.

In order to woo Saudis to invest in the country, the Pakistani government has arranged a series of business-to-business (B2B) meetings between Saudi investors and Pakistani companies.

During these meetings, the Pakistani companies will pitch viable business proposals and ideas to the Saudis, so as to encourage them to invest.

The Saudi companies are looking to invest in sectors such as energy, agriculture, mining, telecom, chemicals, IT, tourism, aviation, defence, etc.

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has declared the federal government’s commitment to make Pakistan an export-based economy and take it on a positive economic trajectory.

Pakistan has already taken over $3 billion in foreign aid from Riyadh back in 2021.

The kingdom in November 2023 agreed to extend the deadline of repaying the loan by another year, amid Pakistan’s depleting and meager foreign reserves.

Virtually bankrupt, with just $13 billion in foreign reserves, Pakistan had initially sought investments worth $25 billion from both KSA and the UAE.

The $5 billion investment package in Pakistan is part of a first investment package from Saudi Arabia to Islamabad, and part of KSA’s plan to diversify its primarily petroleum-based economy through international investments in various areas.