Boosting an ailing economy: Saudi Arabia to support Pakistan’s finances

As Islamabad struggles to stabilise economy amid shrinking foreign reserves and a depreciating currency, Saudi Arabia has promised to extend financial assistance to the nation.

In this connection, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan on told a press conference in Riyadh that his country would help Pakistan’s finances.

The Saudi government will “continue to support Pakistan as much as we can,” Al Jadaan said as the Kingdom is looking to help shore up alliances with countries struggling with the impact of rising inflation.

It has already taken several steps to provide financial support to countries in the region as it looks to bolster allies and cement new relationships. It extended the term of a $3 billion deposit to boost foreign currency reserves and help Pakistan in overcoming economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this month.

Saudi Arabia is also looking to do more investments in Egypt and is planning to start doing deals in Turkey, Al Jadaan said.

“Our relationship with Turkey is improving greatly, and we hope to have investment opportunities,” he said. “We have started investing aggressively in Egypt and we will continue to look at investment opportunities and that is more important than deposits. Deposits can be pulled but investments stay.”

Saudi Arabia is in the final stages of agreeing to deposit $5 billion at Turkey’s central bank, the finance ministry said last month, a major boost for President Tayyip Erdogan’s bid to keep the lira stable ahead of presidential elections next year. Once concluded, the agreement would crown a recent rapprochement that ended years of hostility between the Turkish and Saudi governments.

It also extended the maturity of a $5 billion deposit with Egypt’s central bank last month, and the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund is also looking into $10 billion of potential investments in Egypt’s health-care, education, agriculture and financial sectors, according to an Egyptian cabinet statement.

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