For those with an eye for history, Al Ula represents not only a historical masterpiece, showcasing marvelous rock formations and canyons but also a key trade location which linked Arabia with the rest of the world.
Recently, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman chose to receive Pakistan’s Army chief at his exotic winter camp in the magnificent Al Ula, where they not only reviewed bilateral relations but also discussed ways of enhancing mutual ties.
Keeping in mind, Al Ula’s fascinating history of being at the crossroads along the famous trade routes, this fortuitous meeting might lead to a trade bonanza benefitting both countries especially facilitating Pakistan to avert the current economic decline that has bubbled up after years of economic mismanagement.
The COAS also met the defense minister and discussed matters of strategic partnership. The Kingdom’s defense minister later in a tweet said, “We emphasized the strategic partnership between our brotherly countries, reviewed the bilateral military and defense relations, and discussed ways of strengthening our cooperation.”
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia’s Crown prince, Muhamad bin Salman has ordered the Saudi Development Fund to study increasing investments in Pakistan. This much needed support can act as a confidence booster required to propel the country forward.
Today Saudi Arabia is a breeding ground for various success stories and also offers a unique potential for best talent across the globe. The Kingdom has diversified its economy by committing to create job opportunities through unlocking various underdeveloped industries. The tourism sector of Saudi Arabia has seen some very dramatic shifts lately and the Kingdom has opened its doors to visitors from across the globe. The Kingdom has become one of the most rewarding destinations as it is not only the birthplace of Islam, rich in heritage and history but also blessed with natural diversity.
Buoyed by sizeable investments in tourism, Saudi Arabia is rediscovering its history and revealing stories layered in time. One of the mega projects is the Red sea project which comprises of many islands, beaches, deserts and even various aquatic systems, thereby offering various opportunities to enjoy culture and natural world coupled with excellent accommodation.
Pakistan’s mature hotel and tourism industry with a better understanding of customer needs could partner with the Saudi’s to provide quality service of desired standards, hence attracting tourist arrivals. This collaboration would not only help in generating employment but also optimize profitability, where collaborative partners can share information and engage in greater future planning. Similarly Saudi Arabs hospitality industry could capitalize on their brand equity and with competitive strategies to become a part of various UNESCO heritage sites in Pakistan.
One of the world’s most ambitious onsite landscape nursery is also a part of the Red sea project which includes a large variety of fauna and flora. Here, various principles of smart irrigation are applied to tailor watering schedules in order to meet specific landscape needs and keep plants thriving at the same time.
For a country like Pakistan where exploitation and inequitable distribution of ground water is considered a major problem in the irrigation system, principles of smart irrigation can be used to improve crop productivity with minimum water loss and hence Pakistan can immensely benefit from this practice which has already been successfully implemented in Saudi Arabia.
As Pakistan’s agriculture sector is profoundly suffering from water crisis, smart irrigation could be a remarkable solution that controls the over exploitation of ground water. Saudi Arabia has also initiated other projects which promote tree plantation all across the country. These projects would eventually restore vital ecological functions, protect the environment and at the same time create new employment opportunities.
Pakistan being an agricultural country and having a long-term experience in agricultural growth, can definitely make a positive contribution in these green revolution projects. These promising sectors of agriculture initiated by the Saudi govt can offer interesting career opportunities for skilled workers from Pakistan.
Similarly, Saudi’s with their passion for aggrotech can invest in the agricultural sector in Pakistan, thereby introducing technological breakthrough in the agricultural field which would eventually enable local farmers to secure higher and better output. Hence sharing best practices can not only nurture a learning culture but also tend to boost efficiency and competence. The coastal and open ocean habitats in Pakistan which stretches along 1050kms boasts extraordinary diversity of sea life which includes dolphins, sea turtles, sharks etc. There are also a number of protected wet lands which are a habitat for migratory birds.
Unfortunately, Pakistan is facing an existential threat from environmental degradation which is affecting the sea life adversely. High levels of by catch of fish and marine pollution have further deteriorated our unique marine ecosystem. The country can definitely profit from Saudi Arabia’s sustainable development plans which include continuous monitoring of coastal environments together with innovative ideas for sea life conservation.
Protecting the nation and staying steadfast in its commitment to meet a variety of challenges is a prominent characteristic of Pakistan army. It possesses the operational and tactical capability to further strengthen Saudi Arabia’s defense and security system by providing expertise in world class training and assistance. This would deepen defense and security ties and create an optimum level of trust between both allies, ensuring enhanced cooperation.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan enjoy a close relationship which has continued to strengthen over the past decades. Both countries believe in the maintenance of peace and stability and as a part of their efforts, have also attempted to deepen understanding with other states across the region.
Over a period of time Pakistan has developed firm diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia promoting a wide range of cooperative ties through active and fruitful dialogue. In the recent difficult economic environment, Saudi Arabia’s financial aid has once again bolstered Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves and has contributed greatly to the stability of Pakistan. By doing this Saudi Arabia has adhered to the policy of continued support for Pakistan. Need of the hour at the moment for Pakistan is to effectively demonstrate that it can bring more to the table by promoting diversification in the field of economic collaboration, strengthening friendly relations through cultural exchange and by promoting new possibilities for deeper defense cooperation.