Pak-Turkish FTA urged to enhance trade up to US$ 5 billion

The ambassadors of Pakistan and Turkey have assured their full support to enhance bilateral trade to US$ 5 billion as desired by their heads of states. They said that they were passing through Covid-19 pandemic which had badly hurt trade and economy of both the countries reducing their economic activities. They advised to intensify interaction between the business communities of both countries.

The ambassadors of both the countries made comprehensive presentations on economic issues to the BoDs of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) and Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchange of Turkey (TOBB).

This was transpired in a joint meeting of the Board of Directors of Pak-Turkey Chamber of Commerce organized via zoom link, which was co-chaired by Mr. Amjad Rafi from Pakistan and Dr. Omar Bolt from Turkish side in presence of Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Syrus Sajjad Qazi and Ambassador of Turkey to Pakistan Mustafa Yardakul who acknowledged the efforts of FPCCI and TOBB towards promotion of bilateral economic cooperation. The Forum urged upon the Governments to foster the process of signing equitable and balanced Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to unleash enormous potential available markets.

Addressing to the occasion, Prof. Dr. Omer Bolat, Co-Chairman TPC Forum (Turkish chapter) said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey is very low and mutual efforts and initiatives of both Chambers will help us achieve our goal. Mr. Amjad Rafi, Co-Chairman TPC Forum (Pakistan Chapter) emphasized on the need of early implementation of FTA for enhancement of bilateral trade as decided in the recent visit of the Heads of the State of both the countries. He however was of the opinion that being competitors in textile and denim fabric, Turkey should consider concession to Pakistani products as far with these availed by EU, so that Pakistani products could made vide and help balance trade gap.

Amjad also highlighted that there were enormous opportunities for collaboration in various sectors including tourism, education, construction, infrastructure development, health, entertainment etc. He further said that Pakistan’s exports to Turkey is hampered by the imposition of countervailing duties by Turkey and the recent enhancement of custom duties on various items including textile resulting in further reduction of Pakistan’s exports. He emphasized on the need of transfer of technology in various sectors and joint ventures under CPEC. He also informed the Turkish businessmen about the low cost housing scheme introduced by Pakistani PM which open vistas for the construction industry. He also suggested for operational ITI known as Gul Train.

The Board of Directors exchanged views on various specific sectors including power, solar energy, marble, textile, tourism, education, surgical instruments, construction etc and also discussed the need of organizing business road shows, forums, and trade fairs to explore new avenues of business and investment in both countries.

Sheikh Sultan Rehman, Vice President- FPCCI spoke about collaboration in education and SMEs sector, seeking the support of TOBB in both sectors. Nasser Hayatt Magoo Sr. Vice Chairman of TPCCIF also spoke about the exploration of new sectors and areas for joint ventures and non-traditional items.

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