Narendra Modi invites Saudi Salman, expects investment into infrastructure and energy sector

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Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is likely expected to announce investments into infrastructure and energy during his coming visit to Pakistan and India in some recent days.

Crown prince, also known as MBS, is also likely to pay a visit to Indonesia, China and Malaysia during his tour marking it as first since the incident of killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince, in Saudi’s consulate Istanbul on October 2 last year.

According to Reuters news reports, Salman is due to pay his visit to Pakistan this weekend where he is expected to sign agreements, especially linked to the power and refinery sector, according to Pakistani officials.

Salman is likely to pay a visit to New Delhi next week along with his country’s leading businessmen, as per the invitation from the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian foreign ministry has confirmed on Tuesday.

In a statement, the ministry said, “In recent years, there has been significant progress in bilateral cooperation in key areas of mutual interest, including energy security, trade and investment, infrastructure, defence and security.”

An Indian official said India is so far expecting an announcement regarding initial investment into its national investment and infrastructure fund from Salman during his visit in order to assist accelerate the construction of highways and port.

In fact, Saudi Arabia has also red-flagged its desire to invest in farm sectors on India, importing farm products to Saudi, a trade ministry official said.

Saudi Arabia has also announced its investment into refinery and petrochemical complex worth $10 billion at the port city of Gwadar, where China is constructing a port as a part of its project – Belt and Road initiative.

Pakistani investment minister Haroon Sharif told Reuters: “They’re looking at the energy sector, at some of our privatization plans that they might bid for through our privatization process.”

An unknown second Pakistani minister said: “Saudi Arabia has huge resources. Their investment fund is over $1 trillion, so we want just a fraction of that.”


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