KARACHI, Oct 20: The leaders of Pakistan-Turkey Joint Business Council on Thursday stressed the need for early signing of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) between Turkey and Pakistan.
In a meeting of the council held at the PFCCI, it was pointed out that without the PTA, bilateral trade volume of $2 billion set by the prime ministers of both the countries last year would be difficult to be achieved.
The members of the joint business council also felt that in the absence of direct shipping service between the two countries, high freight cost was also working as an impediment in bilateral trade.
The meeting was co-chaired by Amjad Rafi from Pakistan and Huseyin Akin from Turkey. The 12-member Turkish delegation mainly consisted textile, construction and energy.
The participants of both the sides identified areas of tremendous potential for bilateral trade between the two countries. These items included textile machinery, equipments, chemicals, agriculture chemicals, fertilisers, food and food processing, auto parts, energy, mineral resources and mining.
Huseyin Akin, co-chairman of PTJBC, said that on the investment side both Turkey and Pakistan offer tremendous opportunity as they have strategic geopolitical location and highly qualified and productive labour force.
He said Turkish companies are ready to cooperate with their Pakistani counterparts in construction, energy, textiles, dairy farming and food processing industries.
However, in the technical session most of the participants from Turkey and Pakistan complained that the safeguard duty imposed by Turkey would badly hurt exports of Pakistan textile raw material to Turkey which presently made a win-win situation for both the countries.
At the end of the meeting, a joint recommendation agreed upon included frequent exchange of trade delegations between the two countries.