Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L), Turkish President Abdullah Gul (C) and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (R) speak during a press conference after their meeting in Ankara on December 12, 2012. – Photo by AFP

ANKARA: A Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed Wednesday among the governments of Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan to promote and facilitate trade and economic cooperation among the three countries to the mutual interest.

The MoU, signed during the 7th trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey in Ankara, provides for the establishment of Trilateral Trade Council, which will work for promotion of foreign investment, enhancing and diversifying commercial ties and exploring possibilities for cooperation in services sectors among the three countries.

The MoU will also facilitate exchange of information particularly concerning their respective legislation on trade and economic activities.

The “Trilateral Trade Council” will provide a useful platform to discuss advancement of regional, bilateral and trilateral cooperation besides sharing practices on the issues of commercial and economic relations, trade -policy matters and trade facilitation among the three countries.

The council meeting will be convened annually or when the parties deem it necessary more often, alternately in Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Under the framework of “Trilateral Trade Council”, the three governments have agreed to provide the necessary facilities to the businessmen of the three countries to increase trade and to resolve the issues that may emerge in this regard.

The entrepreneur and organisations of the three countries would also be encouraged to participate in exhibitions, fairs and other promotional activities as well as to promote the exchange of trade delegations and business representatives.

The MoU has been initially signed for a period of one year and will be renewed automatically for successive periods of one year as per consent of the three countries.

Foreign Minister of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul and Turkish Minister for Communication Binali Yildirim signed the MoU on behalf of their respective governments.

The three presidents witnessed signing of the MoU at the Cankaya Presidential Palace, Ankara.

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