ISLAMABAD: In the first phase of his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Imran Khan rea­ched Madina Munawwara on Monday evening.

Mr Khan and members of his delegation were received by Governor of Madina Prince Faisal bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador in Pakistan Nawaz Almalaki, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sheryar Akbar and senior officials of the two sides.

Soon after his arrival he was scheduled to visit to Masjid-i-Nabvi to offer Isha prayers.

On Tuesday PM Khan will attend the Future Investment Initiative Conference (FIIC) in Riyadh. He is paying the visit on the special invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

Mr Khan is accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser to the PM on Commerce and Industry Abdul Razak Dawood.

Media reports hinted that the prime minister was eager to seek monetary assistance from friendly countries to overcome the prevailing financial crisis in the country and, therefore, he will also seek help of the Saudi leadership.

The visit comes as the State Bank of Pakistan warned this week that inflation would likely double in the coming year — hitting 7.5 per cent — while the country’s growth target rate of 6.2 per cent would likely be missed.

The conference, which will host businessmen and representatives of hi-tech industry from around the globe, will serve as an opportunity to interact with important business leaders who are interested in investing in Pakistan.

PM Khan’s participation in the first day of the conference is aimed at projecting Pakistan’s economic and investment potential and his vision of the country in the five years to come, an official press release said.

It is hoped that the prime minister’s participation in the conference will signify Pakistan’s solidarity with the kingdom in its efforts to become emerging hub of international business and investment.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2018

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