UAE to provide $1b fresh loan to Pakistan, agrees to roll over existing $2b debt

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif invites UAE investors to explore opportunities in key sectors


Muzaffar Rizvi

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The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in Abu Dhabi on Thursday/
The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif in Abu Dhabi on Thursday/

Published: Thu 12 Jan 2023, 8:33 PM

Last updated: Thu 12 Jan 2023, 9:48 PM

The UAE has agreed to roll over the existing loan of $2 billion to Pakistan and said it will provide additional $1 billion loan that will help boost foreign exchange reserves of the country and stabilise the economy.

The decision was taken during a meeting with the President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, who arrived in Abu Dhabi on a two-day official visit of the UAE on Thursday.

This is the third visit of Shehbaz Sharif since he assumed powers in April last year after a successful no-confidence move against the cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed welcomed Prime Minister Sharif to Abu Dhabi and wished progress and prosperity for Pakistan. He praised the historical relations between the two nations and the valuable contributions made by the Pakistani community in the UAE.

Both leaders discussed the fraternal relations existing between the two countries and explored ways to further strengthen these ties in the fields of trade, investment and energy. They also had an exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

"We share a resolve and understanding that the continuous efforts need to be made to further strengthen trade, investment and economic relations," Sharif said in a statement from his office.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif invited Sheikh Mohamed for a state visit to Pakistan to which he agreed. The dates will be decided through diplomatic channels.

VP receives Shehbaz Sharif

In another meeting with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sharif explored new opportunities to expand ties in various sectors.

Sheikh Mohammed received Shehbaz Sharif at the Margham Conservation Reserve and discussed the strong relationship between the two nations.

“The two leaders explored new opportunities to expand ties in various spheres in ways that will serve the interests of the people of the two nations. They also discussed the latest regional and global developments and diverse issues of common interest,” according to a Dubai Media Office statement.

Sharif emphasised his country’s keenness to further strengthen bilateral cooperation with the UAE and expressed his deep appreciation for the UAE’s development support and the aid that it extended to assist Pakistan in recovering from the devastating floods that hit the country last year, causing more than $30 billion in financial damages.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, was also present on the occasion.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group; Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, and a number of senior officials were also present during the meeting.

“The UAE’s financial support is a reflection of generational trust that binds the two brotherly countries together from the times of Late His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan,” Faisal Niaz Tirmizi, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE, told Khaleej Times.

UAE investors invited

Later, Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with a delegation of UAE-based investors and businessmen and invited them to invest in the country.

The delegation comprised of Mohammed Hassan Al Suweidi, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company (ADQ), Syed Basar Shueb, managing director, International Holdings Company (IHC), and other leading groups of the UAE.

"Pakistan has great investment opportunities and the government is taking all necessary steps to facilitate investors,” Sharif said.

The delegation was briefed about geo-economic potential of Pakistan in the areas of food and agriculture, aviation, power, alternate energy including solar energy, financial services, healthcare, industry, logistics, real estate, tourism and hospitality.

ADQ to explore opportunities

Mohammed Hassan Al Suweidi showed interest in expanding ADQ's global presence and readiness to explore business and investment potential of Pakistan.

ADQ is one of the largest holding companies in the Middle East region with a diverse portfolio of large enterprises covering key sectors of the non-oil economy of Abu Dhabi.

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar; Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif; Federal Minister for Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique; Federal Minister for Investment Board Saalik Hussain and senior government officers were also present at the meeting.

Earlier, the UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri and the officers of the Pakistani Embassy received Sharif at the Abu Dhabi Airport.

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