A high-level Saudi delegation, in a meeting with Energy Minister Omar Ayub in Islamabad, has shown interest to invest in the alternative energy sector in Pakistan, Radio Pakistan reported on Monday.
Led by Riyadh’s adviser on energy Ahmad Hamed Al-Ghamdi, the visiting Saudi delegation is expected to sign four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for oil and mineral sector investment and trade cooperation that would ultimately extend the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from Gwadar to Africa through Oman and Riyadh.
Ayub informed the Saudi delegation about the power production and new hydropower projects in Pakistan, adding that there was a huge potential of investment in energy sector and assured that foreign investors will be facilitated at every level.
In reply, the Saudi delegation assured full cooperation for the resolution of problems faced by the energy sector in Pakistan.
Moreover, the Saudi delegation also met PM’s Adviser on Trade Abdul Razzak Daud and discussed ways to increase bilateral trade.
Dawn had earlier reported that the visiting delegation also includes members from the Saudi national oil firm, Aramco. Besides authorities of various ministries, state-run Pakistan State Oil (PSO) would be the only Pakistani firm to be part of a direct dialogue.
The MoUs are planned to be signed on the conclusion of a four-day visit of the Saudi delegation.
The move will enable Islamabad to secure supply of petroleum products and crude oil on deferred payments and Riyadh will be looking into setting up of an oil refinery at Gwadar, invest in a copper and gold project in Balochistan’s Reko Diq and LNG-based power projects in Punjab.