King Salman to hold talks with Japanese premier today

King Salman is received by Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito in Tokyo on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 13 March 2017
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King Salman to hold talks with Japanese premier today

RIYADH: King Salman, whose ongoing visit to Japan has rich political and economic connotation for the two countries, will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

On arrival, Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito and top Japanese officials at Haneda airport greeted the king and his entourage of about 1,000 members.
“King Salman is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday, while the king will attend a lunch banquet hosted by Japanese Emperor Akihito on Tuesday,” said Setsuo Ohmori, charge d’affaires at the Japanese Embassy, here on Sunday. He said that several agreements would be signed during the royal visit.
“Some of them include an accord for implementation of Saudi-Japan Vision 2030, cooperation in the field of trade and investment, agreement in the field of art and culture, industry, health care, science and technology, education and sports,” said Ohmori. He said the Japanese Embassy will release details of the agreements after formal endorsement by both sides.
Ohmori said that an order named “Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of Chrysanthemum” will be conferred on the king. “This is the order of the highest rank and conferred exclusively to the kings and high-profile royalties,” said the diplomat.
Commenting on the visit of the king to Japan, an SPA report quoting Norihiro Okuda termed the visit as “important,” which will enhance bilateral relations between the two countries. Okuda said, “the regional issues in Asia and the Middle East would dominate the agenda of the meetings of the two leaderships, who are keen to achieve international peace and stability.”
He added that an earlier visit to Japan undertaken by Deputy Crown Prince, and Defense Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman was a good opportunity that led to the cementing of relations between the two countries.
The envoy said that the Kingdom remains the key and dependable oil supplier to Japan, while Saudi Arabia will remain one of the key importers of Japanese industrial products. “This is a good proof that the future trade relations between the two countries will be promising and bright,” he added.


Saudi Arabia pledges $3bn to Pakistan, defers oil payments

Updated 24 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia pledges $3bn to Pakistan, defers oil payments

  • It was agreed Saudi Arabia will place a deposit of $3 billion for a period of one year as balance of payment support: statement
  • Pakistan is seeking foreign aid to help plug a massive budgetary gap which the Pakistan prime minister has blamed on the mismanagement of the previous administration

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has pledged $3 billion in support to Pakistan and allowed for deferred oil payments to help stave off a budget crisis.

The deal came as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the opening of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Earlier Khan met with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss bilateral issues. It was his second visit to the Kingdom in just over a month.

“It was agreed Saudi Arabia will place a deposit of $3 billion for a period of one year as balance of payment support,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“It was also agreed that a one-year deferred payment facility for import of oil, up to $3 billion, will be provided by Saudi Arabia. This arrangement will be in place for three years, which will be reviewed thereafter.”

During his address to the gathering of global business executives, Khan also confirmed that Pakistan was in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new bailout.

Pakistan is seeking foreign aid to help plug a massive budgetary gap which the Pakistan prime minister has blamed on the mismanagement of the previous administration. During his election campaign, the former cricketer vowed to create 10 million jobs and establish an “Islamic welfare state.”

After a consultative visit last month, the IMF had warned that Pakistan needed to quickly secure “significant external financing” to avert a crisis. 

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have also discussed potential investment in mineral resources in Balochistan, the largest of Pakistan’s four provinces which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

Further discussions were held about a refinery project in Pakistan, the Finance Ministry said in the statement.

Pakistan’s external balance of payments represents one of the biggest challenges facing Khan.

The country’s current account deficit has ballooned as its central bank’s foreign reserves dropped to about $8.1 billion in October.

That was barely enough to meet the country’s sovereign borrowings between now and the end of the year.

The IMF expects Pakistan’s economic growth to slow to about 4 percent in 2019.

Pakistan is seeking to attract increased inward investment to help shore up its finances and Khan used the event as platform to talk about opportunities in sectors such as tourism, minerals, coal and gas exploration.

He also highlighted what he said were the successes of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, which has brought peace and stability to the country, and pointed to the significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China has become an increasingly high-profile investor in Pakistan as Beijing pushes ahead with major projects such as the CPEC.