Saudi Grants of $16m confirmed for Pakistani Hospitals, University
Three grants in-aid agreement was signed by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The aid is worth $16 million for the establishment of universities and hospitals and also for the providence of necessary equipments required in the institutes.
The aid is provided for the use of furnishing the campus of the King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, providence of medical equipment and furniture for the King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Teaching Hospital (KATH) , and be gift the Hayaserai Hospital in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with medical equipment and furniture. Pakistan has promised to let the goods imported for grant in-aid to be free from custom duty which are financed by Saudi Fund for Development (SFD).
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary’s Official Statements
In an official statement made by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary informing press, he said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have signed, “Three grant agreements”, to bring in investment to China-Pakistan Economic Corridors projects. He further remarked on investment made by Saudi Arabia, “Saudi Arabia wants to bring a major investment in CPEC and this has begun”. The investment announcement was made prior to PM Imran Khan’s two day visit to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Fawad Chaudhary also informed the press that high-profile delegations from Saudi Arabia and UAE will visit Pakistan in October for further discussions on trade and security. Moreover explaining the purpose of delegation’s visit he added:-
"A high-level coordination committee has has been constituted [to look into matters of trade and commerce] and it has the complete backing of the Saudi King, His Highness Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, as well as the Crown Prince [Mohammad bin Salman] and PM Khan”.
All the details and clauses regarding the implementation of projects will be finalized upon the visit of delegations. It will prove to be a major economic investment. During Prime Minister Pakistan Imran Khan’s visit, Saudi Arab was invited to be a third partner in CPEC projects.
"We expect major investments from Saudi Arabia," the Information minister Fawad Chaudhary said. He also remarked:-
"Our strategic cooperation has been revitalized. We have assured the Saudi leadership that we will continue to provide security to their country and provide strategic support wherever needed,"
Both of the two sides also have signed three agreements of understanding for grant-in-aid for health and education projects in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Increase of Saudi Arabia’s Investment in Education
Saudi Arabia has largely increased its investment in educational projects, in last six years. The educational budget has been increased to $28.12 billion in 2008, $32.62 billion in 2009, $36.63 billion in 2010 and $45.18 billion until 2011. Saudi Arabia pays a lot of attention for development and high standards of educational institutions. In August 2018, Saudi Arabia announced more scholarships for students in Balochistan. Saudi ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki while in a meeting with Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani in August announced that 50 more scholarships financed by the Saudi government would be granted to students of Balochistan.