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PM Imran Meets Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz

Riyadh (October 23, 2018): Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh on Tuesday.

According to the Radio Pakistan, they exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional and global political situation. They expressed desire to further enhance and diversify bilateral cooperation.

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Matters pertaining to mutual interest, trade, investment and economic ties also came under discussion during the meeting.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Minister of State Haroon Sharif, and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Khan Hasham bin Siddique were also present on the occasion.

They also talked about the problems being faced by the Pakistani workers and laborers in Saudi Arabia.The Saudi King directed the ministry concerned to take immediate steps to solve the problems being faced by the Pakistanis.

Earlier, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan on Tuesday addressed the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Saudi Arabia and highlighted some of the challenges facing his government and his plans to tackle them.

He discussed some of the biggest challenges facing his government and his plans to tackle those issues and said that Pakistan has contacted International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loan.

PM said that the coming three to six months are really crucial for Pakistan.

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“We need new loans to pay-off our previous loans,” the premier said while speaking about Pakistan’s current economic situation. “We have approached the International Monetary Fund and our friendly countries,” he added.

Stating that his government has been in power for 60 days, the premier said, “The immediate concern for our government is to increase our exports so we can bolster our foreign exchange reserves.”

Warning that the next three to six months will be difficult for Pakistan, PM Imran said, “Our institutions were destroyed as corrupt people were in top positions but we are taking measures to increase exports.”

“Pakistan’s strength is overseas Pakistanis and we have to make conditions favourable for them to invest in the country,” he said.“We need Pakistanis to send remittances through banking channels.” He also asserted, “We need to clamp down on money laundering”.

Speaking about his Naya Pakistan Housing Programme, PM Imran said, “There is a need for 10 million houses in Pakistan and we have embarked on a programme to build 5 million houses in the initial phase.”

“The reason I feel I have to avail myself of this opportunity is because, in a country of 210 million people right now, we have the worst debt crisis in our history,” he mentioned to the Middle East Eye (MEE) in an interview that was published on Monday.He said that Pakistan was created to in the name of Islam.

Talking about corruption, he said that it destroys the countries and economies. He said that Pakistan is affected due to rampant corruption for years.

Replying a question regarding CPEC, Prime Minister said that CPEC provides great opportunities to the windows of investment.

“Pakistan has 100 million people below the age of 35,” he told his audience. “There is a big pressure on the government to find employment for this population.

“We have embarked on this programme that in the first five years we will build 5 million houses. We are also trying to create an enabling environment for investment; we have this big resource lying outside Pakistan.“The plan is to create an enabling environment in Pakistan so that we could attract not just foreign investors, and not just overseas investors but our own investors.We are restructuring our duty sectors.”

The prime minister said that the mineral reserves in Pakistan could not be extracted due to terrorism and corruption issues in the past, adding that that will change now.

“There are vast amounts of mineral wealth in Pakistan,” he said. “We have hardly had any investment in our mineral resources and one of the reasons as I said in the last 15 years was the war on terror. Investors would not come back to Pakistan. We also had very poor governance and corruption.

“Now thanks to our security forces and intelligence agencies, Pakistan has brought terrorism under control. In December, Exxon is coming back to Pakistan.”The premier vowed to facilitate foreign investors, and added that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is already helping the country attract foreign investment.

PM Khan said he has asked the Chinese government to help Pakistan in two areas: eliminating corruption and ending poverty.

“China in the past five years has really clamped down on corruption,” he said. “We have corruption so we are going to look for ways, because white collar crime is very hard to convict.

“Secondly the way in which they have brought this huge amount of people out of poverty …we have already asked the Chinese government to help us in these two areas.”The conference termed as “Davos in the Desert” has brought leading businessmen, investors, corporate giants, representatives of hi-tech industry and major media outlets at one platform.

Hundreds of bankers and company executives are expected to join officials at the annual event designed to help attract billions of dollars of foreign capital as part of reforms to end Saudi dependence on oil exports.

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