FILE PHOTO: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo
January 12, 2019
CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih held talks in Pakistan on Saturday on cooperation in refining, petrochemicals, mining and renewable energy, the official SPA news agency said, as Islamabad seeks to bolster its finances.
Falih met Pakistani Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan and Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi during a visit to Pakistan and its port of Gwadar on the Indian Ocean, SPA said.
The visit aimed to make final arrangements before signing memorandums of understanding with Pakistan in refining and other areas, the agency added.
The office of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that Islamabad expected to sign investment agreements with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in coming weeks.
Riyadh agreed last year to offer Pakistan a $6 billion package, with $3 billion in foreign currency support for a year and a loan worth up to $3 billion in deferred payments for oil imports to help stave off a current account crisis.
Pakistan has been seeking to strengthen its public finances and reduce its current account deficit, which a report from the International Monetary Fund in November estimated at 5.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2018.
(Reporting by Hesham Hajali; Editing by Edmund Blair)