Saudi-Pakistan business forum begins with $20 billion trade target

February 22, 2024

Saudi Gazette report

— The Saudi-Pakistani Business Forum commenced in Riyadh on Wednesday, under the aegis of Minister of Commerce Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi. The event, orchestrated by the Federation of Saudi Chambers, witnessed the attendance of high-profile Saudi and Pakistani representatives.

Fawaz bin Rafaah, acting Deputy Governor of the General Authority of Foreign Trade for Private Sector Affairs and Global Presence, highlighted the pivotal role of the private sector in bolstering trade relations. He addressed the gathering on behalf of Dr. Al-Qasabi.

Dr. Gohar Ejaz, Pakistani Federal Minister for Commerce, Industries & Investment, emphasized the potential of the Free Trade Agreement to unlock new avenues for investors. He noted the agreement's significance in protecting Saudi and Gulf investments and voiced Pakistan's eagerness to tap into Vision 2030 projects for enhanced cooperation. Dr. Ejaz underscored Pakistan's ambition to elevate trade with Saudi Arabia to $20 billion, underlining the importance of fostering a conducive business environment and engaging the private sector. He also highlighted Pakistan's substantial market potential for Saudi investments.

Hassan Al-Huwaizi, Chairman of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, shed light on the forum's objective to foster investment and trade partnerships. He pointed out the remarkable progress in trade exchanges between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which have reached $5.7 billion. Al-Huwaizi mentioned Pakistan's current standing as the 20th largest trade partner of Saudi Arabia, with vast opportunities for collaboration, especially in Vision 2030 projects.

Eng. Fahad Al-Bash, Chairman of the Saudi-Pakistani Business Council, discussed ongoing initiatives developed collaboratively by investors from both nations. These initiatives include a dedicated portal for Pakistani rice importers, a technology center in Riyadh, a halal meat center in Makkah, a marketplace for Pakistani products within the Kingdom, and joint ventures in petrochemicals catering to Pakistani market demands.

The forum also featured presentations by the Ministry of Investment titled "Invest in Saudi Arabia", the Agricultural Development Fund on developing the agricultural sector, and the Saudi EXIM Bank on bolstering Saudi exports and aiding exporters. Additionally, the Investment Council made a presentation on investment opportunities available in Pakistan, aiming to further strengthen bilateral ties and achieve the ambitious trade target.

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