Islamabad:

In order to meet the financial crisis, Saudi Arabia has come forward to aid Pakistan with an amount of $3 billion. Saudi Ambassador Nawaf Saeed Al-Malki said on Wednesday that Pakistan will receive the first instalment of Saudi aid in the next few days. In an interview to a news channel, the Saudi envoy said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would release the amount of $3 billion in terms of the balance of payment. In addition to this, the Saudi government would provide deferred payment facility for the import of oil, worth up to another $3 billion.

Saudi companies’ keen interest in investing an amount of $6-8 billion for establishing an oil refinery in Pakistan is quite significant. The envoy had stated that the kingdom would like to invest in the power sector of Pakistan and in this regard, a petrochemical industry would be established in Karachi. Moreover, he hinted that an investment would also be made in the Reko Diq project. Last month, after speculations, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia stepped forward with a $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan’s ailing economy that suffers from a balance-of-payments crisis. In this regard, arrangements were made in the second edition of the annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference in Riyadh.

Meanwhile, Pakistan imports 110,000 barrels of crude per day from Saudi Arabia. Taken at the current price, the oil imports from the kingdom amount to around $3bn in a year. Pakistan, which is facing the current account deficit of $18billion, has also sought assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to deal with the aggravating balance of payments problem.

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