As part of strengthening the cooperation between UAE and Pakistan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Shehbaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan met at the Margham Conservation Reserve in the presence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; Deputy Prime Minister; Minister of Finance of the UAE.
The Pak Prime Minister is on a two-day visit to the UAE and during the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid stressed the strong bond that the two countries share with each other.
Shehbaz Sharif said thanks To the UAE for its support, particularly with recent floods
The two leaders also discussed the various opportunities that can be explored to increase the economic ties between the nations as that would also benefit the people of both nations.
Sheikh Mohammed observed that the relationship between UAE and Pakistan goes way back into history and this will also help the countries to establish extended cooperation in different areas, especially in investment, trade and energy.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister also expressed his deep appreciation towards the UAE for the support it has extended to Pakistan multiple times. In 2022, UAE provided around three thousand tonnes of flood relief aid to Pakistan and a $2 billion loan was also granted to help Pakistan recover from the flood crisis and subsequent economic breakage.
In a recent meeting with the President of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE administration has agreed to extend the repayment tenure of the $2 billion and has also agreed to loan another $1 billion to the struggling nation of Pakistan.
Sheikh Nahyan welcomed the Pak Prime Minister to the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi and expressed his appreciation towards the large-scale contributions of the Pakistani community in the UAE. Both the leaders discussed various matters of global relevance and agreed that both UAE and Pakistan should enable further investment channels that can effectively increase bilateral relations.
Pakistan has been facing some serious economic letdowns in the past years, especially after the great floods that destroyed almost one-third of the nation. Shrinking foreign exchange reserves, economic deficits, mounting pressure to compensate for the $30 billion losses incurred during the floods etc. are all creating a spiral of problems for the South Asian Nation.
Economic experts and analysts are welcoming the decision of the UAE to lend an additional loan and extend the time of the previous loan to Pakistan. They believe that this will give ample time and money for Pakistan to recover from its economic problems.
The economic aid by the UAE will definitely encourage investor confidence and boost foreign exchange reserves thus bringing a more stable economic balance to the nation. The aid will also help in decreasing the pressure on the Pakistani Rupee and import bills.
The Rupee has been reeling under a strong current from the US dollar as it had lost around eleven percent of its value during the financial year of 2022-23 which is almost reaching its end in another two months.
A prominent Pakistan economist commented that the UAE aid is definitely a temporary relief for Pakistan but in the long run, the country needs to find a solid solution for its economic crisis.
Apart from UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the US, World Bank etc. also gave financial aid in the form of loans and relief packages. The Saudi Development Fund is planning to conduct a study to analyze the extent of aid that Saudi will have to provide from their side in order to lift the Pakistani economy. As of now, Saudi Arabia is considering investing around $10 billion in the Pakistani economy and also increasing their Central bank deposits in Pakistan from $3 billion to $5 billion.
Last week, the central bank forex reserves of Pakistan had sharply stumbled to an eight-year low of $5.6 billion, which is considered to be a serious issue for financing imports. As of the data reported till the 30th of December, Pakistan has only half the foreign exchange reserve when compared to the values of the previous year. A global energy crisis coupled with an all-time high inflation rate has put the country’s economic metric on an all-time low.
The Pakistan Prime Minister’s meeting with the UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid was also attended by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the 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 couple of other senior officials from both the countries.
As part of this two-day visit, Shehbaz Sharif will also meet with multiple Emirati investment company representatives to discuss investment options in Pakistan and he will also be visiting the Wahat Al Karama to pay tribute to the national heroes of the UAE.