ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan said that Saudi Arabia would no longer give unconditional foreign grants.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, he said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was changing the ways it assisted allies and was shifting from “giving direct grants and deposits unconditionally”. Saudi minister further said that the Kingdom was encouraging countries in the region to enact economic reforms.
When Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch was asked to comment on the statement of the Saudi finance minister at her weekly press briefing in Islamabad, she said “I would like to underline that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are close friends and brothers and we have for decades worked together to further strengthen this friendship and partnership. We have certain frameworks in which various areas of cooperation are discussed.
These include the Economic Pillar of the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council, the meeting of which is chaired by the finance minister from our side. Attracting investments from Saudi Arabia has remained on the agenda of Pakistan and in this regard, we are in close contact with Saudi Arabia.”
Minister of Finance of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad al-Jadaan, said “we are taxing our people, we are also expecting others to do the same, to do their efforts. We want to help but we want you also to do your part.” He added, “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.”
While earlier this month, Saudi state media reported that the kingdom might increase its investment in financial crisis-hit Pakistan to $10 billion from the $1 billion announced in August, as well as might raise the deposit limit to $5 billion in Pakistan’s central bank.