ISLAMABAD, Nov 6: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Monday said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are strategic partners and enjoy a deep rooted relationship based on shared history and culture.

Talking to Ali Al-Naimi, minister for petroleum and natural resources of Saudi Arabia, who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House, he said that Pakistan wants to further consolidate the unique relationship and bolster collaboration in all areas including economy, trade, investment, energy and mining sector.

The prime minister said the people of Pakistan have emotional bonds with Saudi Arabia and hold King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in high esteem for guidance.

He said that energy, food and water security are the three major determinants of growth and there is a huge potential of mutual cooperation among the Islamic countries in these areas.

Shaukat Aziz said the demand in energy and electricity sectors is growing by 8-10 per cent and 10-12 per cent per annum respectively and the government is encouraging investments to enhance production in these fields.

Terming mining as one of the most under-explored sectors in Pakistan, the prime minister invited the Saudi companies to invest in mining, oil and gas sectors.

Mr Aziz said Pakistan has an ideal position to serve as the regional energy and trade corridor because of its geo-strategic location.

An oil refinery, which will refine 300,000 barrel oil per day, being set up near Gwadar by a company of Abu Dhabi will facilitate oil export in the region, the prime minister added.

Mr Ali Al-Naimi appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for arranging the second World Islamic Economic Forum and said it will contribute to strengthening of economic ties among the Muslim countries.

He conveyed the wishes of King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz to Shaukat Aziz.—APP

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