ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said the foundations of Pakistan’s foreign policy start from relations with Saudi Arabia and China.

“All the political parties and our society have consensus on the brotherly and deep relations with these two countries”, he said during a meeting with Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan Ali Saeed Asiri.

He said one of the missing links in relations with these two countries was slow economic relations which is being addressed by our government.

Highlighting this lacuna in external relations of Pakistan with China and Saudi Arabia, the Minister said, “next year China will be number one country having the biggest foreign Direct Investment FDI in Pakistan under China Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC against current 16th position”.

He said Pakistani people and businessmen see Saudi Arabia as a holy place and it is our challenge to bring private sector firms in both countries to invest and create business opportunities.

Minister welcomed Saudi Arabia to be a part of Asian consortium on Diamir Basha Dam and New Asia Infrastructure Bank to make Asia the center of global attention under CPEC project.

He also expressed desire on State of the Art University in Islamabad. “The University project will be a knowledge think tank for Central Asia, Middle East and China and flagship project of this government”, he added.

He appreciated knowledge initiatives being undertaken in Saudi Arabia like Women University of Riyadh as a welcome sign in increasingly global world. Saudi Ambassador assured the Minister to take up such initiatives with his government on priority basis.