Saudi Arabia and Pakistan signed a raft of investment deals worth up to $20 billion for the cash-strapped South Asian country, as Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman launched his Asia tour seeking to emerge from the Khashoggi affair.
The crown prince, widely known as “MBS”, is staging the high-profile three-country visit five months after he came under intense pressure following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Among eight agreements, one of the agreements is about Saudi Arabia’s Aramco-run refinery in the Pakistani port of Gwadar, one of the world’s largest refineries, at a value of USD 10 billion.
The deals include exploration of investment opportunities in refining and petrochemical sectors; cooperation in the field of sports; financing agreement for the import of Saudi goods; power generation projects; and development of renewable energy projects.
“Pakistan is a dear country to the Saudi people and we will be partners as we have always been,” said Saudi Crown Prince. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are working together to expand economic partnership, particularly in the tourism sector, he added.
The Crown Prince is currently on a two-day official visit to Pakistan, the first leg of his Asian tour, starting Sunday. He is scheduled to visit India and China later.