KARACHI: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed on a timeline to make tangible progress on the promised $21 billion investment projects signed in February this year, the country’s de facto commerce minister, Abdul Razak Dawood, told Arab News on Sunday.
The understanding was reached during the ongoing visit of Saudi Deputy Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer which also allowed officials of the two states to interact with each other and review progress on the investment projects that also include a mega oil refinery.
“We have discussed things in great detail and covered all areas where they showed interest,” Dawood said. “Their interest was to sell LNG [Liquefied Natural Gas] and they also wanted to know more about the power sector. Other than that, they showed keen interest in mining and refinery projects.”
Without divulging further details, he said that a timeline had been fixed by the two sides to make noticeable progress on the Kingdom’s investment commitments to Pakistan.
“The first progress will be on LNG and then on power and mining and after that on refinery,” Dawood informed, adding: “The progress on oil refinery project is an ongoing process that entails feasibility and market studies. The two countries are moving in this direction as planned, though the project may take some time.”
Apart from Dawood, Al-Mudaifer also met the country’s petroleum minister, Omar Ayub Khan, Chairman Board of Investment, Zubair Gilani, and other officials to review progress on the implementation of all investment projects.
The Saudi investment consists of Aramco oil refinery project that will be constructed in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and house a petrochemical complex project at Gwadar deep-sea port.
The meeting of the Pak-Saudi Supreme Coordination Council is tentatively scheduled to take place early next year, and the Kingdom wants to use this period to take its projects in Pakistan to next level of implementation.