Imran Khan and Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during an MoU signing ceremony. File
Pakistan has returned $1 billion to Saudi Arabia as a second installment of a $3 billion soft loan, as Islamabad reaches out to Beijing for a commercial loan to help it to repay another $1 billion to Riyadh next month, officials said on Wednesday.
With the $1 billion flowing out, Pakistan — which has $13.3 billion in central bank foreign reserves —could face a balance of payments issue after clearing the next Saudi installment.
"China has come to our rescue," a foreign ministry official said.
A finance ministry official said Pakistan's central bank was already in talks with Chinese commercial banks.
"We've sent $1 billion to Saudi Arabia," he said. Another $1 billion will be repaid to Riyadh next month, he said. Islamabad had returned $1 billion in July.
Although a $1.2 billion surplus in its current account balance and a record $11.77 billion in remittances in the past five months have helped support the Pakistani economy, having to return the Saudi money is still a setback.
Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan a $3 billion loan and a $3.2 billion oil credit facility in late 2018.
Prime Minister Imran Khan told a foreign TV that his government and the Pakistan army have the most harmonious relationship and noted that in the past, civilian and military leaderships had had a chequered relationship.
Shaukat Tarin, finance adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan, said in a tweet: “I want to thank His Excellency Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the kind gesture.”
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill said that there was no increase in the prices of petroleum products despite the continuous rise in the prices in the world market.
The SBP said the accounts have been opened by overseas Pakistanis from over 100 countries, indicating the increasing reach of the RDA and helping the government and the central bank improve the external account of the country.
Sheikh Mohamed witnessed the signing of the UAE-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, alongside Joko Widodo. Under the trade deal, over 80% of UAE exports will gain immediate duty-free access to Indonesia.
AD Ports Group on Thursday announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire a 70 per cent equity stake in International Associated Cargo Carrier BV,
Four Chinese airlines said on Friday they will buy a total of 292 planes from Airbus in a $37 billion windfall for the aviation giant, as the industry rebuilds after the coronavirus pandemic.