RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is considering enhancing the Kingdom’s assistance and investments in cash-strapped Pakistan to ease the plight of Pakistan,, which is facing a substantial current account deficit and depreciating currency while forex reserves are nosedive.
A report shared by Saudi Press Agency said Crown Prince and premier Mohammad bin Salman ordered officials to study amplifying investments in Pakistan to reach $10 billion amid booming relations between Islamabad and Riyadh.
Saudi de facto ruler MBS ordered Saudi Development Fund (SDF) to ‘study increasing the amount of a $3 billion deposit previously provided by Kingdom for the State Bank of Pakistan to reach $5 billion’, with the aim of supporting the country’s dilapidating economy and to help brotherly people.
— SPAENG (@Spa_Eng) January 10, 2023
The recent development comes up as Pakistan’s Chief Of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir visited Kingdom and called on top leadership, including Crown Prince, to bolster ties.
SPA, however, mentioned that MBS ordered to boost funds under the framework of existing communication between the Saudi Crown Prince and Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif.
Last year, Prime Minister Sharif first visited the Arab nation after getting into power and then began to review historical relations between the two sides in October.
Kingdom continued to help Pakistan to pass through the economic crunch that occurred in the wake of floods, Russia, Ukraine war, and political instability.
Finance chief looking at KSA, China to beef up forex reserves
Lately, the country’s new finance czar Ishaq Dar dodged questions on the country’s moving toward default on its foreign debt, as country Pakistan relied on the global lender and friendly nations to tide over the crisis.
In December 2022, Riyadh extended another loan of $3 billion at 4% to Islamabad for a year, while the Sharif-led government is also looking to seek an extension of $2.1 billion from Beijing that is due in the next two months.
The country’s foreign exchange reserves plunged below $5 billion — the lowest in almost a decade, and are not enough to cover less than one month of imports. However, Dar opposed the number, saying it currently stands at $10 billion.