Saudi energy minister visits 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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Pakistani Finance Minister Asad Umar told Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry that Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy, and the chairman of the board of Saudi Aramco, arrived in Pakistan on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (AN 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 13 January 2019

Saudi energy minister visits Gwadar oil refinery site

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

KARACHI: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy and the Chairman of the Board of Saudi Aramco, Eng. 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 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 during the expected visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman 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 the 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.


Saudi forum to tackle world’s biggest humanitarian challenges

Updated 2 min 55 sec ago

Saudi forum to tackle world’s biggest humanitarian challenges

  • Almost 1,300 delegates from 80 countries to attend second Riyadh conference to focus on natural disaster, conflict victims

RIYADH: Experts from 80 countries will attend a major Saudi conference next month aimed at tackling some of the world’s biggest humanitarian challenges.

Almost 1,300 delegates are expected at the Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum, being held from March 1 to 2, to discuss action plans and improve knowledge exchange.

The event, being hosted under the patronage of King Salman and which will be attended by Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar, will bring together specialists and senior decision-makers from the international humanitarian community.

Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, assistant supervisor general director for planning and development at the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) and chairman of the forum’s supervisory committee, said the gathering would introduce practical and effective measures that considered the changing needs on the ground.

Forum participants will include representatives of 228 external and 156 internal bodies, 21 international and 46 governmental organizations, as well as officials and heads of international humanitarian agencies, civil society institutions, NGOs, the private sector, 11 universities and specialized research groups. There will also be 61 speakers.

In its bid to improve levels of service to victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters, the conference will tackle humanitarian issues and global trends through five main panel discussions, two media sessions and one volunteers meeting.

The panels will focus on humanitarian and development work, poverty and long-term migration challenges, displaced women and children, bridging the gap between theory and practice, and health emergencies.

On the sidelines of the forum, an exhibition will be held for humanitarian NGOs, international and UN organizations to showcase their work.

Another exhibition for humanitarian art will highlight the concept of humanitarianism in all aspects of society through paintings, sculptures, photography and digital art.

The forum’s recommendations will be presented in a comprehensive report, to be coordinated by specialists in Saudi Arabia and the UN, which will provide participants with the principles to be adopted and used in the field.

Saudi Arabia has been ranked a global fifth, and first in the Arab world, for its provision of humanitarian aid.

According to figures published by the UN Financial Tracking Service platform, the Kingdom contributed $1,281,625,265 (SR4,808,021,026 or 5.5 percent) toward the total amount of international spending on relief programs.

In Yemen, the Kingdom’s 2019 share of international humanitarian aid funding for the war-torn country amounted to $216 billion (31.3 percent).