Pak-Turkey business council for trade agreement between two countries

KARACHI: It is the need of Pakistan and Turkey to sign a preferential trading agreement (PTA) of which discussion has already started between the two countries at the earliest.

Pakistan-Turkey Joint Business Council (TPJBC) Co-Chairman Amjad Rafi briefed to a 12 members of Turkish delegation consisting on textile, construction, energy etc that the non-existing of direct shipping which makes the freight cost high and vogue time to 5 weeks for importing and exporting products to and from Turkey was an obstacle. The areas which have a tremendous potential between Pakistan and Turkey are textile machinery, equipments, chemicals, agriculture chemicals and fertilizers, food and food processing, auto spare parts, energy, mineral resources and mining and textile garments.

Huseyin Akin, co-chairman, (TPJBC) said on the investment side both Turkey and Pakistan offer tremendous opportunity as they have strategic geopolitical location and highly qualified and productive labour force. Turkey is an ideal investment hub for the whole region. Pakistan’s young and dynamic population and rapid urbanisation combined with its growing GDP present tremendous opportunities for all cooperation in various industries.

He said there was still much to do in developing the economic relations between the two nations. He expressed his believe the trade volume did not reflect the real potential of two countries and it should be significantly increased in terms of variety and volume.

He said last year, Prime Ministers of both countries set an ambitious target to increase bilateral trade volume to $2 billion and “We are making every effort to achieve this target and even go beyond it, so our trade relations would reflect the real potential between the two countries in terms of both variety and volume.”

He informed Turkish companies were ready to cooperate with their Pakistani counterparts in construction, energy, textiles, dairy farming and food processing industries. Murat Onart, Consul General of Turkey reiterated now the time has come to convert the relations into economic terms. He appreciated the role of both the business councils.

In 2010 Turkish trade volume was around $1 billion. In 2011, we already achieved $850 million in the first 8 months and he assured the trade volume would exceed $1 billion by the end of this year.

FPCCI Vice President Dawood Usman Jhakura appreciated the role of Turkish assistance to Pakistan at the time of needs like earthquake and floods.

He emphasised on the need of joint ventures and exchange of trade delegation. In the technical session most of the participants from Turkey and Pakistan complained the safeguard duty imposed by Turkish side would badly hurt export of Pakistan textile raw materials to Turkey, which presently make a win win situations for both the countries.

In joint recommendation both the side agreed to more frequent exchange of business delegation between the two countries. Jointly lobby with e respective governments for early signing of PTA with meaningful products in the agreement. To encourage businessmen from both side take part in the sectoral exhibits in Turkey and Pakistan. Both sides emphasised the importance of enhancement of trade through ECO and Islamic CCI. The next meeting of Joint Business Council will take place in Istanbul, Turkey in 2012.

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