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Al-Falih: Saudi-Pakistani SCC opens wider horizons for economic growth
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 05 - 2021

Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Investment, has praised the establishment of the Saudi-Pakistani Supreme Coordination Council, which seeks to strengthen relations between the two countries, develop trade relations, and open wider horizons for economic growth.
In a statement, Eng. Al-Falih said that the council, whose establishment agreement was signed Friday by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy prime minister and minister of defense, and the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, will contribute to boosting bilateral economic and trade cooperation via exploring investment fields and the opportunities available in light of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, and consolidates relations between the two countries at all levels.
He noted that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounted to SR33 billion during the past three years, of which SR9 billion in 2020 despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that among the most prominent trade commodities exchanged between the two sides were mineral and oil products, petrochemicals, leather, clothes, and grains as well as meat products.
The minister indicated that the Kingdom's fertile and attractive investment environment and security and stability factors were the main engines behind the increase in the influx of foreign direct investment over the past three years, which witnessed an improvement of more than 20% in 2020 compared to 2019 despite the repercussions of the COVID-19, bringing the number of foreign companies licensed in 2020 to 1,278 companies, an increase of 13% over the year 2019.
With regard to Pakistani investments in the Kingdom, the number of Pakistani investment licenses in the Kingdom in 2020 increased dramatically, he said, adding that the Investment Ministry granted 52 investment licenses to the Pakistani companies, while the number of licenses granted in 2019 amounted to around 24 licenses, which is a clear indication of the increasing demand for Pakistani investors to take advantage of the promising investment opportunities and the competitive advantages of the Saudi economy.
Statistics issued by the Ministry of Investment indicate that the number of Pakistani investments in the Kingdom have reached 362 establishments, 19% of which are joint, and the remaining percentage is 100% Pakistani investments.
The Ministry's data also showed that the construction and manufacturing sectors are the most prominent investment fields in which Pakistani companies operate, with 148 and 124 establishments, respectively, followed by the telecommunications and information technology sectors and wholesale and retail trade sectors.
The Ministry of Investment, in cooperation with other government agencies, provides a set of incentives to facilitate the entry of investors into the Kingdom, including the promotion of investment opportunities and investment requirements, in coordination with the Kingdom's Embassy and the Commercial Attaché in Islamabad.
In Pakistan, a group of Saudi companies operates in a number of vital sectors, such as Petromin in the automotive oil industry, Aljomaih Power and Water Company, Savola Company in the food and retail sectors, and ACWA Power, while a number of major national companies are considering plans to enter the Pakistani market due to the investment and commercial opportunities it holds.
The Ministry of Investment has been working recently to reduce licensing requirements for investors and developed a mechanism for obtaining licenses electronically without the need to attend in the Kingdom, in addition to providing solutions, initiatives, and legislation that provide an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and economic growth. — SPA


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