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PM Shehbaz Heads to Saudi Arabia for WEF Summit Today

Photo : SPA

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is scheduled to depart for Saudi Arabia today to participate in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Special Meeting on Global Collaboration, Growth, and Energy for Development in Riyadh. His two-day visit from April 28 to 29 will entail crucial discussions and meetings, including with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.

During his stay, Prime Minister Shehbaz, accompanied by Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, will engage in talks with the Saudi Crown Prince to explore investment prospects in Pakistan and discuss arrangements for the Crown Prince's upcoming visit to Islamabad.

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Additionally, the premier is slated to meet with International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva to deliberate on the details of Pakistan's new economic package. Discussions will revolve around trade and investment measures, new investment frameworks, supply chain restructuring, sustainable growth, and the evolving energy landscape.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Shehbaz will participate in WEF discussions focusing on global health architecture, inclusive growth, regional collaboration, and balancing growth with energy consumption. Bilateral meetings with world leaders, heads of international organizations, and prominent figures are also on the agenda.

The forum, hosting over 700 leaders, will provide a platform for comprehensive dialogue on leveraging global cooperation for economic development, advancing a sustainable global energy transition, and fostering technological advancement.

Notably, Prime Minister Shehbaz is expected to interact with technology luminary Bill Gates during the event. His trip follows recent high-level engagements between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, including visits by Saudi Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

During the Saudi delegation's recent visit, Pakistan presented 25 projects, seeking investments exceeding $32 billion, including initiatives like a rail link connecting major mining sites and Gwadar, and the development of the Diamer Bhasha Dam.

Furthermore, the premier's meeting with IMF's Georgieva precedes the lender's April 29 session, where approval for a $1.1 billion funding tranche for Pakistan will be discussed. This funding marks the final installment of a $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement secured last year, with Pakistan now eyeing a new and larger IMF loan to support its economic trajectory.

April 27, 2024 4 p.m. 3683

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