RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday pledged $3 billion to Pakistan as the South Asian country battles a balance of payment crisis, a statement from Islamabad said.
It also agreed to another $3 billion on deferred payment for import of oil, the statement added.
The agreement came between the two countries during a visit by Prime Minister Imran Khan to Riyadh where he met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The crown prince agreed to the Khan’s suggestion to reduce visa fees for Pakistani workers, which is a significant step toward enhancing Pakistan’s workforce in Saudi Arabia, as well as facilitating travel between both countries.
Khan also attended the Saudi Arabian Future Investment Initiative conference where the newly minted leader launched a charm offensive targeting potential investors as Pakistan seeks to secure funds.
Far-reaching decisions on bilateral economic and financial cooperation were also agreed, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed between Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan and his Pakistani counterpart Asad Umar to deposit $3 billion for a period of one year as balance of payment support.
It was also agreed that a one year deferred payment facility to import oil, up to $3 billion, will be provided by the Kingdom. This arrangement will be in place for three years, which will be reviewed thereafter.
An earlier visit by a Saudi delegation had evaluated the possibility of investing in a petroleum refinery in Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia also expressed interest in developing mineral resources in Pakistan. The Pakistani government and the government of Baluchistan said they would consult on the issue and have invited a delegation from the Kingdom to visit Pakistan shortly.
Source: Arab News