Saudi Arabia pledges $20bn in deals with Pakistan

18 Feb 19

Saudi Arabia has promised investment deals worth $20bn with Pakistan to help boost its struggling economy.

Pakistan, which is going though economic turmoil and only has $8bn left in foreign reserves, is looking for international backers to support it.

Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan, has been seeking help to cut the size of a likely IMF bailout package, which comes with very strict conditions. This would be the country’s 13th bailout since the late 1980s.

Saudi Arabia has already agreed a $6bn rescue package to help Pakistan deal with its debt problems.

The two countries signed provisional agreements and memorandums of understanding in the energy, petrochemicals and mining sectors, according to reports, during Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s high-profile Asian tour.

One deal is expected to fund an $8bn oil refinery in the city of Gwadar, on the southwestern coast of Pakistan.

Pakistan was the first stop on bin Salman’s tour. He is scheduled to visit India Tuesday and China on Thursday and Friday.

It is an attempt to recast the international image of Saudi Arabia following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the country’s consulate in Istanbul. Many countries around the world have condemned the Saudi kingdom over its role in the murder.

 

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