The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is exploring different ways to help Pakistan while assessing its own external financing model for helping allies in their hour of need.
Saudi Arabia’s finance minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said his country is discussing with the World Bank and other institutions how it can be more creative in providing support to Pakistan after extending the term of a $3 billion deposit to boost its forex reserves late last year.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum, the KSA finance chief said that the kingdom is changing the way it provides assistance to allies, moving away from previously unconditional direct grants and deposits. He said, “We used to give direct grants and deposits without strings attached and we are changing that. We are working with multilateral institutions to actually say we need to see reforms. We are taxing our people, we are expecting also others to do the same, to do their efforts. We want to help but we want you also to do your part”.
The Kingdom earlier indicated that it may extend investments in Pakistan to $10 billion and further raise the deposit limit at the Pakistan central bank to $5 billion. AL Jadaan added, “We are providing even oil and derivatives to support their energy needs. So there is a lot of efforts, but we wanted this to be conducted”.
Regarding the Kingdom’s strategy on doing business across other avenues of the continent, KSA’s top finance official said Riyadh was taking a “wider approach” in which relations with both China and the US were being balanced. He commented, “We are looking to enhance our relationship with Europe. We are actually advancing our relationship with Latin America, with Asia”.
He said the KSA enjoys a very strategic relationship with China and the same with other nations including the US. “We want to develop that with Europe and other countries who are willing and able to work with us,” he added.