Al-Falih visits Gwadar Port, seeks expansion of exports

January 12, 2019

GWADAR — Saudi Minister of Energy and Industry Eng. Khalid Al-Falih visited the Gwadar Port in Pakistan on Saturday, where he was briefed by the port officials on future projects and the ongoing programs in Gwadar Port.

Al-Falih received information regarding opportunities existing at the port during the visit, whose aim is to reinforce the affiliation between both the brotherly countries, deliberating the definitive approaches of reconciliation memorandums for investment in the fields of refining, petrochemicals, mining and renewable energy in Pakistan.

The aim is also to gain awareness on the prospects and plans existing in the Gwadar Port, consider methods to increase exports between the two countries, encourage the private sector investor in terms of investment and also make it easy for them to capitalize in Pakistan.

The dignified guest was welcomed on arrival in Pakistan by Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan; Minister of State for Port and Shipping Ali Zaidi and the Deputy Saudi Ambassador in Pakistan Habibullah Bukhari.

Al-Falih held a meeting with the Minister of Petroleum and Minister for Port & Shipping, soon on arrival, and discussed likelihoods of economically supporting Pakistan in the domains of energy, sanitation and mineral resources.

Reflecting the strong ties between the two countries, both parties reviewed possibilities of expanding exports between the two countries and facilitating ways for Saudi investors in Pakistan.

Aramco to set up refinery in Gwadar, says Al-Falih

Later, speaking to Pakistani BOL TV, Al-Falih said: “Saudi Arabia wants to help in Pakistan's development. We wish to see new opportunities for investment, prosperity and employment in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have historical and cultural ties.”

Al-Falih said that during the visit, they maintained the continuity of talks in Islamabad. He added that during the former visit, he spoke to the Pakistani prime minister in this context.

“Gwadar Port is one of the very crucial ports of the region and also the nucleus for trade and investment. We also spoke about the feasibility of an Aramco refinery. Aramco will be a huge refinery in Gwadar. We also had other areas in Pakistan for refinery. However, Saudi Arabia preferred Gwadar for the purpose of having its refinery there. Gwadar is the best from the strategic point of view and is also closest to Saudi Arabia. It would be very convenient to connect with Pakistani cities and Central Asia from Gwadar,” Al-Falih stressed.

“We also discussed cooperation in the fields of mining, energy and natural resources. The dialogue was pretty progressive and I’m hoping this dream will be soon fruitful. For Saudi Arabia, Gwadar Refinery will be the most imperative project. Its minimum worth will be $10 billion. This refinery would have the greatest impact on the region. We wish to increase investment in the energy sector. Investment will be made on fresh and preceding projects in Pakistan,” Al-Falih said.

“Mining and Logistics was also part of the dialogue,” he added. “The commitment of the leadership of both the countries is praiseworthy. Both leaders aspire for public welfare and economic development. In addition, there is a wish to blend all the allies of the region together.

“My hopes are very high regarding Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s bond. Due to conflict in the region, both the countries have suffered great difficulties. The conflict has critically influenced the speed of progress in the region. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan cannot compromise on our integrity.

“Saudi Arabia has stood up for Pakistan in every challenging period. Pakistan has always been on Saudi Arabia’s side as well,” Al-Falih said.

“Economy is the backbone and the defense of any country. Therefore, our attention is also focused on the economy. We are also making efforts to resolve issues through dialogue with the neighboring countries. Hopefully the foundation of the refinery would be laid within 18 months,” Al-Falih added. — SG

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