Saudi Arabia planning to increase investments in Pakistan to USD 10 billion

Riyadh: Pakistan, which is facing a severe cash crunch, has found a ray of hope in Saudi Arabia as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has directed officials to study augmenting the Kingdom’s investments to reach USD 10 billion, Geo news reported.

The development comes a day after the Saudi crown prince held a meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir, who is on his first overseas official visit to the kingdom.

Islamabad’s efforts to shore up the country’s forex reserves with the help of Saudi Arabia amid a worsening currency crisis have started paying off as Riyadh is considering ‘beefing up’ its deposit in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) from USD 3 billion to USD5 billion, according to the same Geo News report Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report today,
Pakistan is facing a currency crisis due to dwindling forex reserves which have slumped to USD 4.5 billion.

Pakistan is in the midst of the most serious crisis it has faced since 1971. The political economy has been ripped to shreds through self-inflicted wounds, its international stature is down and
Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, has directed to study augmenting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s investments in the sisterly Islamic Republic of Pakistan which have previously been announced on August 25, 2022 to reach USD10 billion, According to a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report.

The Crown Prince also directed the Saudi Development Fund (SDF) to study increasing the amount of the deposit provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in favor of the Central Bank of Pakistan (CBP) which have previously been extended on December 2, 2022 to hit a USD 5 billion ceiling, confirming the Kingdom’s position supportive to the economy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and its sisterly people, the report added.

This came within the framework of the existing communication between the Crown Prince and Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Last month, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) extended its term for the $3 billion deposit in the State Bank of Pakistan which was set to mature on December 5.

On the other hand, Islamabad is making hectic efforts to revive the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme stalled for months.

A Pakistani delegation held a meeting with the IMF officials in Geneva on Monday on the sidelines of the donors’ conference and reiterated its commitment to completing the programme, Geo Tv reported.

Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar and IMF officials “discussed challenges to regional economies in the wake of climate change,” according to a Finance Ministry statement following the meeting’s conclusion.

“(The) finance minister reiterated the commitment to complete the Fund programme,” it added.

The lender is yet to approve the release of $1.1 billion originally due to be disbursed in November last year, leaving Pakistan with only enough foreign exchange reserves to cover one month’s imports.

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