Islamabad, February 16, 2014 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal stressed upon the importance of further enhance in the bilateral cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Government of Pakistan while talking to H.E Dr. Mohammad Bin Sulaiman Al-Jasser, Minister for Economy and Planning, and Dr. Osama H. Mansouri, Adviser to the Minister for Economy and Planning, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
While welcoming them at his office Federal Minister appreciated the special cooperation that Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has shown to Pakistan including KSA’s generous assistance to Pakistan in relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work after Earthquake of 2005 and devastating floods of 2010.
He also expressed gratitude for $100 million grant pledged by Saudi Development Fund during their recent visit to Pakistan. Minister told the visitors that under the visionary leadership of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Planning Commission is in the process of preparing Vision 2025 which would be launched shortly.
Development agenda of the government revolve around seven pillars including; energy for all, inclusive growth for self-reliance, making private sector the driver of growth, value addition in productive sectors for a globally competitive economy, development of modern infrastructure, institutional and governance reform, building social capital.
Prof Ahsan Iqbal offered to sign agreement for supply of skilled manpower to KSA in the areas where there is a shortage. He offered that Saudi firms could invest in large infrastructure projects on BOT basis including Karachi-Lahore motorway and coal fired Energy Park at Gaddani aimed to generate up to 6600MW electricity.
Investors from Qatar, China, and Turkey have already shown their interest in these projects. He also proposed that frequent meetings of Pak-Saudi Joint Ministerial Commission could be held. Minister proposed the establishment of joint forum to bring Pakistan and Saudi entrepreneurs on the table to discuss and suggest policies.
Saudi Minister expressed gratitude to his Pakistani counterpart for sharing his views with his delegation. He appreciated that Government of Pakistan is working on long-term planning based on seven pillars around which the development of the country would evolve. He showed optimism that Pakistan economy is at the verge of take-off.
He agreed that Saudi business delegations should visit Pakistan and see themselves the investment opportunities available in Pakistan. The Minister suggested that Pakistan should use modern techniques to produce quality agricultural products especially Basmati rice, mango.
The Minister further suggested that Pakistan may invest in education, especially medical technologies and produce quality nursing that are not only in great demand in Saudi Arabia but also around the world.
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