Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and his delegation to the country, saying the Kingdom has always been a “friend in need” to Pakistan.
“For Pakistanis, this is a great day,” the premier said while addressing a dinner reception held in honour of the visiting Saudi guests at Prime Minister House.
He said Saudi Arabia has always been there when Pakistan needed friends, and that is why Islamabad values the Kingdom so much.
“I want to thank you for the way you helped us when we were in [a] bad situation,” Khan told MBS, adding that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were now taking their relationship to a new level, where investment agreements would be mutually beneficial for the countries.
The investment would revolve around minerals, tourism, petrochemicals, agriculture, food processing and other areas.
Prime Minister Khan also invited Riyadh to avail opportunities that can arise from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Pakistan’s close links with Beijing. “It is an exciting future where we have Saudi Arabia participating in what is going to be, in the next 10 years, probably the country with the biggest GDP,” he added.
Khan told MBS that if it hadn’t been for security concerns, “you would have seen thousands and thousands of people on the streets welcoming you.”
Prior to the dinner, Pakistani and Saudi officials signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for bilateral cooperation in a number of areas — a process overseen by Prime Minister Khan and MBS. The agreements signed include:
Technical cooperation programme between the Saudi Standards, Metrology And Quality Organisation (SASO) and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA)
Cooperation agreement between Saudi and Pakistani governments in the field of sports
Financing agreement for the import of Saudi goods between the Saudi Fund for Development and Pakistan
Framework MoU regarding Saudi funds’ participation in the financing of power generation projects between the Saudi Fund for Development and Pakistan
MoU between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to explore investment opportunities in refining and petrochemical sectors
MoU between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan in the field of mineral resource sector
MoU between the government of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on the development of renewable energy projects