ISLAMABAD: Senior Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Iftikhar Ali Malik Monday recognizing Saudi Arab’s timely incentive packages for cash-strapped Pakistan a great blessing urged the Saudi investors and businessmen to invest generously in different sectors as it is safe heaven for foreign investment.
He expressed these views during business to business meeting with Saudi Arabia traders’ delegation at federal capital. He said there is great potential of foreign investment in Pakistan and owing to government’s investors friendly policies, foreign investment is pouring into the country.
Iftikhar Malik said the Saudi investment in Pakistan would enhance opportunities for the merchants of both sides, which would subsequently boost bilateral trade between the two Muslim countries. He also acknowledged the steady support extended by Saudi Arabia to Pakistan in these difficult times and said there was an urgent need to strengthen the bilateral relations on the trade front too.
“Despite the fact that the two countries pledged to strengthen their economic ties through a preferential trade agreement, which also fits the crown prince’s vision 2030, the total value of bilateral trade stands at around only $2.5 billion,” he added. He said Pakistan is cheaper country with regard of human resources and labour and if Saudi Arab invests in Pakistan, it would get maximal benefit. He said there is dire need of exchanging trade delegations between both the countries and the governments of both the countries should announce free business visas for the business communities.
Iftikhar Malik also suggested that the Saudi Arab should also announce special incentive package for those Pakistani investors and businessmen who are interested to invest in Saudi Arabia. He said Saudi Arabia has always stood with Pakistan in difficult times and the Pakistani government and the business community highly acknowledged it.”
He said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always enjoyed close relations, primarily because of religious ties. Both countries are affiliated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Iftikhar Malik further said the Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman is not only a crown prince of Saudi Arab but also a jewel in the crown of all the Muslim countries. “The Saudis have been very generous when it comes to providing aid to Pakistan. For example, when a devastating earthquake hit Balochistan in 2005, Saudi Arabia supported Pakistan with $10 million in humanitarian aid. Moreover, when floods swept across Pakistan in 2010 and 2011, Saudi Arabia granted Pakistan $170 million for relief operations and reconstruction activities in the affected areas,” he pointed out.
He also viewed the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his commitment of ensuring transparency in Pakistan are the reasons behind much ambitious foreign investment in the country from our brotherly countries. He said it is first time in history of Pakistan that after its founder father Qauid-e-Azam, Imran Khan is the only Prime Minister who is introducing fair and merit based policies to make the country economic power in the region. He further said Pakistan is a citadel of Islamic world and only Muslim country possessing nuclear power which will be a great blessing for ummah.
Iftikhar Malik said if Pakistan strengthens, all the Muslim ummah will reap dividends and Pakistan will render all its duties and responsibilities to defend the holy places of Saudi Arabia.