February 13, 2019 (MLN): The FPCCI Businessmen Panel (BMP) has expressed its confidence that $20 billion investment agreements expected to be signed during visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would provide needed relief to the country's foreign direct investment (FDI) sector.
BMP Chairman, Mian Anjum Nisar acknowledging the steady support extended by Saudi Arabia to Pakistan in its difficult times, said there was urgent need to strengthen the bilateral relations on the trade front too.
Efforts were said to have been made in this regard which could not achieve its optimum potential and remained restricted to around $2.5 billion.
“Despite the fact that the two countries pledged to strengthen their economic ties with a preferential trade agreement that also fits the Crown Prince's vision 2030, the total value of bilateral trade stands at around $2.5 billion” said Nisar.
The senior leader of business community also appreciated leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his commitment to ensure transparency in Pakistan attracting much ambitious foreign investment in the country from brotherly countries.
“It is thus most appropriate time and opportunity to strengthen bilateral trade relations and increase the same, he said.
In particular context of Pakistan's main imports from Saudi Arabia, he said this consists of crude oil and oil-based products while its export include rice, meat products, spices, kinnow, textiles, chemicals, footwear, and leather goods.
Secretary General (Federal) of the BMP, Ahmad Jawad supplementing his colleague said this would be for the first time that Saudi Arabia intends to make a big investment in Pakistan.
“This reflects confidence Saudis have reposed on the incumbent government and also the credibility it has clinched for the country internationally,” he said.
Jawad said massive Saudi investment in Pakistan will enhance opportunities for both Saudi and Pakistani merchants to boost bilateral trade between both the Muslim brother countries.
“Saudi investment to Pakistan comes within an economic aid package aimed at relieving the stress of external debt and a shortage of foreign currency, besides boosting the sluggish economy,” he said.
Similarly kingdom is to get secure market share and sustainable exports in the face of international competition and its investment will be expanding.
The BMP office bearers suggested that MOU be signed between FPCCI and the Council of Saudi Chambers during the forthcoming visit of Saudi crown prince so that interaction between businesses may strengthen further.