SLAMABAD/RIYADH: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will examine the prospect of extending the duration of the kingdom’s $3 billion deposit with the State Bank of Pakistan “or through other possibilities,” according to a joint statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia deposited $3 billion in Pakistan’s central bank last year to assist sustain the country’s foreign reserves. With a massive current account deficit and foreign reserves as low as $10.8 billion, the country is in desperate need of external funds.
According to SPA, Pakistan also appreciated Saudi Arabia’s decision to renew an arrangement to finance the export of crude oil products and oil derivatives.
The announcement came during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Saudi Arabia, when he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
‘SECURITY AND STABILITY
Meanwhile, the two countries reaffirmed their commitment to consolidate security and stability, to reject violence, extremism, and terrorism, to support the region’s unity and independence, as well as its territorial integrity, and to prioritise political solutions that bring prosperity and progress to the region and its people.
According to the joint statement, in the political context, the two sides shared views on topics of common concern at the regional and international levels, and agreed on the need of continuing to coordinate their positions in a way that serves their interests.
Sharif and a delegation were invited by the crown prince to visit the realm.
The two sides agreed to continue exchanging support and coordination in international organisations and forums, emphasising the importance of all countries adhering to the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law, as well as adhering to the principles of good neighbourliness, respect for state unity and sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, and striving to resolve disputes peacefully.
The monarchy appreciated Pakistan’s words expressing a desire to resolve all concerns with India, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
The two parties emphasised the need of discussion between Pakistan and India in resolving issues between the two countries, particularly the Jammu and Kashmir conflict, in order to guarantee regional peace and stability.
During a formal meeting, Sharif and Mohammed bin Salman reviewed the two countries’ historical links and strong cooperation in numerous domains, as well as discussing measures to expand relations in all areas.
In the bilateral context, the two sides emphasised the importance of bolstering cooperation through the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council, diversifying trade exchange between the two brotherly countries, and intensifying communication between the two countries’ private sectors in order to discuss trade and investment opportunities and turn them into tangible partnerships.
The kingdom reaffirmed its ongoing support for Pakistan and its economy, including discussions about increasing the $3 billion deposit with the central bank through term extension or otherwise, as well as exploring options to further enhance petroleum product financing and supporting economic structural reforms for the benefit of Pakistan and its people.
“Pakistan profoundly appreciates the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s sustained unwavering support for Pakistan,” the statement stated.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen bilateral investment cooperation, boost partnerships, and facilitate investment integration possibilities between the two nations’ private sectors.
They also agreed to collaborate on efforts to improve the investment climate in both nations and to assist a number of shared investment areas.