Pakistan and Turkey should move fast ahead by resolving technical issues to materialize Preferential Trade Agreement: Zakaria Usman

Karachi, April 18, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Turkey is under technical discussions for the last more than three years. Both the governments should move fast ahead by resolving the technical issues to materialize the PTA.

This was stated by Zakaria Usman, President FPCCI during an interactive session of Pakistan – Turkey Business Council of FPCCI held in Federation House, Karachi. The session was also graced by Murat Mustafa Onrat, Consul General of Turkey in Karachi.

The meeting was also attended by Mr. Shaukat Ahmed, Sr. Vice President FPCCI, Amjad Rafi, Chairman, Pak – Turkey Business Council of FPCCI, Nasir Hayat Magoon, Capt. Rashid Abro and large number of members of the Council and prominent businessmen.

Zakaria Usman said that Pakistan and Turkey are enjoying good friendship. Their relations are historical and best in terms of both trade and politics. The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey will be further developed by the implementation of the decisions of Istanbul Forum 2014 held in Turkey.

Though the balance of trade is in favour of Pakistan but statistics show the volume of trade have been reduced to US $ 621.5 million in 2013 as compared to US $ 1.2 billion in 2011. In this situation if PTA is implemented, it can play major role to augment the trade and economic relations between both the countries.

He further said that the freight train service between Istanbul, Tehran and Islamabad is not yet started. Although it was decided in the Istanbul Forum that the freight train service will be started with a proper time schedule and also will be extended to Afghanistan through Trucks to Kabul from Islamabad and through Chaman to Qnadhar. He emphasized on speedy work on both PTA and ITI Freight Train Service so that the regional trade can be boosted.

The Consul General of Turkey said that the Turkish government took several measures to develop the local industry and to protect them, the government imposed counter veiling duties as safeguard measures on the import from all over the world including Pakistan especially on textile products.

Due to this reason the volume of trade reduced but it is still in favour of Pakistan. He assured his full support in pursuing his government for early conclusion and finalization of PTA. He informed that Turkey is now technologically very advanced and has the 6th largest economy in Europe and 16th largest economy in the world.

He said that the technological support and collaboration can be extended to Pakistan. The first wind energy project in Pakistan was initiated by a Turkish company. In Karachi Shipyard a ship is under construction under the supervision of Turkish company which worth of US $ 18 million.

He also informed that due to the initiatives of Chief Minister Punjab who personally takes care of Turkish investors and their projects in Punjab the Turkish investors feel secure. He informed that 300 Pakistani students are getting education in Turkish universities. They are very dedicated to their study and the management of their universities has also expressed their gratitude for Pakistani students.

Mr. Amjad Rafi, Chairman, Pakistan Turkey Business Council informed that the meeting of Pakistan – Turkey Joint Ministerial Commission is expected to be held in the month of June/July this year in which the major subject of discussion would be PTA between both the country on the commerce group.

He also emphasize the need for early acceding to the TIR agreement by the government of Pakistan paving the way for truck transportation through land route to Turkey. This will accelerate the trade activity between both the countries as it will take only 10 days to reach Turkey as compared to 28 days by ship. He also pointed out that Turkey can help Pakistan in energy and other technological sectors.

Zakaria Usman further stated that Turkey has become more popular in Pakistan because of their TV dramas serials shown on various Pakistani TV Channel. The general public likes these dramas which show their cultural association and love and affections with Turkish people. He stressed on reciprocal arrangement and said that Pakistan has also potential in TV Shows and dramas which can be translated in Turkish language for showing on Turkish TV Channels.

For more information, contact:
M. A. Lodhi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

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