Saudi energy minister visits Pakistan’s Gwadar oil refinery site

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Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Khalid A Al-Falih is received by Pakistan Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Port and Shipping minister Ali Zaidi. (Twitter photo)
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Pakistan and Saudi officials discuss prospects of oil refinery and development of Gwadar in a meeting held in Gwadar. (Twitter photo)
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Pakistan’s minister of Port and Shipping, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, takes selfie with Saudi minister of energy, Khalid A Al-Falih. (Photo Courtesy: BoI)
Updated 15 January 2019

Saudi energy minister visits Pakistan’s Gwadar oil refinery site

  • Pakistan, Saudi Arabia in talks over oil refinery in Balochistan’s Gwadar district
  • MoU to be signed next month

KARACHI: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Khalid A Al-Falih on Saturday visited the port city of Gwadar to witness development work and the area allocated for a multibillion oil refinery.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are in talks over an agreement to install the Saudi Aramco Oil Refinery in Balochistan’s Gwadar district. 
Last year, the Saudis also offered Pakistan a $6-billion rescue package to help shore up the economy. 
The Saudi delegation was received by Pakistan petroleum minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, port and shippings minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi and Baluchistan information minister Zahoor Buledi.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the two sound foundations of peace and stability”, Khalid A Al-Falih, said while speaking to media in Gwadar.
Al Falih, who is also chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco, said bilateral relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are very strong and Saudia Arabai would "play its role for the development and prosperity of Pakistan."
“The Saudi delegation led by Al Falih has come to see the area allocated for the oil refinery in Gwadar. Soon a state of the art oil refinery would be set up in Gwadar”, Ghulam Sarwar said, according to a statement issued by the ministry of petroleum.
The petroleum minister said he hoped that a memorandum of understanding about the oil refinery would be signed between the two governments next month: “This would be the biggest investment of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan."
The government of Pakistan has already given approval for the MoU.
The visiting Saudi delegation was briefed by the chairman of Gwadar Development Authority, Dostain Jamaldini, about the development of the country’s deep sea port being constructed with the help of China.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Finance minister had said that Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy and the Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco, had arrived in Pakistan to meet with officials and new investments would be announced as the "next step."
Umar was speaking at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and called the Saudi minister the "world’s most powerful minister of energy."
“In the next step, the announcement of investment will be made,” Umar said. “The bilateral support our country has received from friendly countries in last five months has never happened in our history."
Saudi Aramco will construct the petrochemical complex which will house the multibillion oil refinery. 
“Overall directions of agreement (MoU) have been agreed upon and the agreement will be signed at the appropriate time,” Haroon Sharif, Chairman of Pakistan Board of Investment, had recently told Arab News.
“I am expecting around $15 billion investment from Saudi Arabia in the next three years. The inflow of investments for the oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Pakistan is estimated to be between $6 billion to $10 billion,” Sharif said.
Pakistan is hoping to attract more than $40 billion foreign direct investment in the next five years, he said. 
“We estimate that roughly around $40 billion investment will be made by these three countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and China) during the next three to five years,” Sharif added.

Sweet victory as rising star wins Jeddah baking contest

Updated 47 sec ago

Sweet victory as rising star wins Jeddah baking contest

  • More than 120 women submitted a range of bakery creations and 10 finalists were selected
  • The winner won various prices and will have the chance to create her own business with the help of sponsors

JEDDAH: A Saudi woman has won a prestigious home-baking competition after being encouraged to enter the contest by her daughter.

Reem Rida Khashoggi beat nine other finalists in the Jeddah-based Golden Whisk competition with one of the simplest desserts of the night — “petit four” biscuits served in a small box that drew unanimous praise from the judges on Sunday.

“I got into this competition through my daughter,” Khashoggi told Arab News after accepting the trophy. “She has pushed me to improve and convinced me to be a part of this.” 

The Golden Whisk competition was organized by Crate, a Jeddah concept store that encourages local entrepreneurs, along with Mariam Haddad, owner of a bakery in Crate and one of the judges. 

More than 120 women submitted a range of bakery creations for judging with 10 finalists chosen for Sunday’s showdown.

Khashoggi said she gained her baking experience by “randomly opening recipe books and studying recipes.”

“I started baking with petit four biscuits and the reaction I received from the people was amazing,” she said.

Her daughter, Heba Bakri, said was “beyond happy” to see her mother win. “I am so proud, she is a great person. Congratulations, mom. You deserve the best,” she added.

The competition finale was hosted by Abdulrahman Baaghil, co-creator of Jeddah Attractions, and judges Basma El-Khereiji, chef behind the Social Kitchen, and Raneen Joudah, a home baker, together with Haddad.

“I believe that it is an act of giving back to society by getting involved with small bakers, especially people who are just starting their careers,” said El-Khereiji. 

Contestants’ offerings were judged on taste, presentation, creativity and originality. 

The winner will have the chance to create her own business with the help of recognition from startup Bakery M, design services from Loud, shelf space at Crate, a range of products from Baker’s Choice and a SR1,500 voucher from Chef & Chef.