See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Economics

Pakistan seals financial assistance from UAE

$3 billion financial assistance sealed as Abu Dhabi Crown Prince meets Imran Khan in Islamabad.


Written by

Updated: January 7, 2019

Pakistani and United Arab Emirates leadership have met thrice now in three months. Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the UAE twice after assuming office in August to seek economic assistance. Both countries last week finalised the terms and conditions of a $6.2 billion support package for Islamabad to help address its balance-of-payments crisis.

A joint statement issued after the UAE royal’s visit said Prime Minister Khan thanked the crown prince for the “generous” balance-of-payments support of $3 billion, which appears to have materialised first out of the total financial package.

Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, who last visited Pakistan in 2007, was given a red carpet welcome and a 21-gun salute when he touched down at Nur Khan airbase around noon today amid much fanfare in the capital.

Billboards displaying the crown prince’s face and positive messages about Pak-UAE ties were put up across the city to welcome the visiting dignitary. A troupe of folk musicians and cultural dancers also put on a small show to receive him.

Prime Minister Imran Khan hugged the crown prince as he stepped off the plane and then, setting aside protocol, drove him personally to PM House where a welcome ceremony honouring him was held.

At PM House, a guard of honour was presented by a contingent of the armed forces to the visiting dignitary, who reviewed the parade. The national anthems of both countries were played, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed was given a fly-past by an impressive formation of JF-17 fighter jets.

The crown prince also met members of the premier’s cabinet at the ceremony, including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Power Minister Omar Ayub Khan, Planning and Development Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister of State for Interior Shahryar Afridi, and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari.

Bilateral talks

Soon after his arrival, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed held a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Khan.

Following that, the visitors held delegation-level talks with the Pakistan side. Premier Khan led the Pakistani delegation comprising Qureshi, Umar, Chaudhry, Afridi and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, while Sheikh Mohammed led the UAE side.

According to the joint statement, the two leaders held wide-ranging talks that focussed on all areas of bilateral relations.

“Taking note of the positive trajectory of relations, the two leaders expressed their determination to further strengthen this historic and mutually beneficial relationship,” the statement said.

While thanking the crown prince for the $3 billion financial support, the prime minister said it was reflective of the UAE’s “continued commitment and friendship that has remained steadfast over the years”. He also welcomed the Emirates’ interest in investing in various sectors in Pakistan including oil and gas, logistics, ports and construction.

The two sides also discussed issues of regional and global importance, with Khan briefing the crown prince on the situation in Indian occupied Kashmir and the plight of the Kashmiri people.

The two leaders decided to form a task force for taking all necessary measures to deal with matters relating to trade enhancement.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Khan and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed noted that the Pakistan-UAE Joint Ministerial Commission, to be co-chaired by the two countries’ foreign ministers in Abu Dhabi next month, could “play a pivotal role in chalking out a comprehensive roadmap, and in fast-tracking the approval of pending agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs)”.

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction with the ongoing defence and security cooperation between the two countries and resolved to explore further collaboration in the areas of training, joint exercises and defence production.

The crown prince in his comments recognised the “efforts and unparalleled sacrifices” made by Pakistan to eliminate terrorism and extremism.

Khan thanked the UAE leadership and people for their commitment to the socioeconomic development of Pakistan in the form of the ‘Pakistan Assistance Programme’, as well as for Sheikh Mohammed’s support to eradicate polio from Pakistan.

The crown prince left for the UAE around 3pm after the whirlwind back-to-back meetings. Before departure, the foreign dignitary was presented a photo album depicting his engagements during the brief visit.

What the support package means

The new support package from the UAE is the same size and has the same terms and conditions as those given by Saudi Arabia, according to a cabinet member who earlier spoke to Dawn regarding the development.

With the new package, Pakistan will save a total of about $7.9bn on oil and gas imports from the two friendly countries, accounting for over 60pc of the annual oil import bill amounting to roughly $12-13bn.

This includes about $3.2bn each of oil supplies on deferred payments from the UAE and Saudi Arabia and about $1.5bn trade finance from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

Islamabad has been decked out with billboards and panaflexes welcoming the visiting crown prince. — DawnNewsTV

The total financing support from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, including the ITFC’s trade finance, is to be around $13.9-14bn when cash deposits of $3bn each from the two countries are also included, according to the cabinet member.

Additionally, a deep-conversion oil refinery is to be set up by Parco — a joint venture of Pakistan and Abu Dhabi — worth $5-6bn at Khalifa Point and an expected petro-chemical complex by Saudi Arabia at Gwadar Oil City.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Economics

S. Korea grapples with gender discrimination in workplace

Despite it’s high economic developments, critics say that South Korea has to improve workplace equality. South Korea has seen its female employment index improve steadily over the past 10 years, but continues to struggle with gender equality when it comes to parental leave and consequent career breaks, data showed Monday. Unlike in most developed economies which tend to see the employment rate of women in their 40s peak and start declining in the 50s, Korea has seen women in their late 30s and early 40s — the prime age for childbirth and childcare — being pushed out of the labor market. All seven of the so-called 30-50 club count


By The Korea Herald
October 22, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

New Delhi slams Islamabad for unilaterally stopping postal services

Prasad further said that Pakistan ‘without any prior notice or information has stopped sending postal department’s letter to India’. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that Pakistan had stopped postal service from India for the last two months and slammed the move saying that it was in contravention of international norms. “For the last two months, Pakistan has stopped postal service from India. It’s directly in contravention of the World Postal Union’s norms,” Prasad told reporters. “But Pakistan is Pakistan,” Prasad, who is the Minister for Communications and IT, added. He said that Pakistan “without any prior notice or information has stopped sending postal department’s letter to India”. Pakistan has upped the ante against India ever since Parliament withdrew special category status to Jammu and Kashmir by revoking Article 370 of its Constitution.


By Dawn
October 22, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Beijing sounds warning against foreign interference at annual security forum

China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe delivers a speech at the Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, China. China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe sounded a thinly veiled warning against the United States at a security conference in Beijing, saying that interfering in the internal affairs of others and inciting colour revolutions have led to wars and turbulence in various regions in the world. Such “reckless interference” would not foster harmonious relations, said General Wei on Monday (Oct 21) in his speech to open the conference. Beijing has blamed foreign countries, including the US, for inciting the unrest that has convulsed Hong Kong for five months. It has also


By The Straits Times
October 22, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Border clash with India leaves 7 dead in Pakistan

Kashmir is becoming an untenable boiling point. At least six civilians and a Pakistani soldier were killed as Indian troops resorted to “indiscriminate and ruthless” shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), officials said on Sunday. Officials said that nine other civilians were injured, adding that this was the highest death toll in 2019 in a single day of Indian shelling from across the dividing line. Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) notified through a tweet that one soldier had been martyred in the exchange of fire while two others were injured. ISPR added that in response to unprovoked ceasefire violations by India in Jura, Shahkot and Nauseri sectors, nine Indian soldiers were killed while several ot


By Dawn
October 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Chinese TV drama to air on Kenya’s national television

China has expanded aggressively into Africa. Kenya Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday signed a partnership agreement with China’s National Radio and Television Administration that will see the national broadcaster air a popular Chinese TV drama, Feather Flies to the Sky. The drama is a 55-episode series that will be aired by national broadcaster Channel one TV until June next year. Speaking during the launch event in Nairobi, Kenya, Dr Naim Bilal, the managing director of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, said the TV series has been dubbed in Standard Kiswahili, one of the official languages in Kenya, to make it appealing to many people. “We have reviewed the series, looked at its quality and content as well as the quality of the language, and we are fully satisfied that it’s a drama that is going to entertain Kenyans,” Bilal said. He sa


By China Daily
October 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Economics

Hong Kong march spirals into chaos, again

Violence begets violence as more protests hits Hong Kong on the weekend. An illegal protest rally through Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui spiraled into chaos on Sunday, as protesters began to engage in acts of vandalism and arson even as the police warned of a response. Signs of trouble began to emerge towards the end of the march near the West Kowloon terminus in a now familiar pattern. Protesters were seen spraying over the MTR logo with black paint, building barricades and digging up bricks from the ground. At Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station, demonstrators tossed multiple rounds of Molotov cocktails at the station and police responded with multiple volleys of tear gas from the upper floors of the building while warning protesters over a loudspeaker to stop. Two hoses were constantly spraying water to douse the flames. A similar scene played out at the Mong Kok police station, prompting officers insid


By Asia News Network
October 21, 2019