ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday invited Turkish businessmen and investors to invest in various fields and industries in Pakistan, including construction, tourism and exploration of natural resources.
Addressing the Turkish business fraternity at the Türkiye Odalar ve Borsalar Birligi in Ankara, the prime minister said the Belt and Road Initiative of China would bridge communication gap between Pakistan and Turkey and help increase trade between the two countries.
Prime Minister Khan, accompanied by his economic team, is on his first official two-day visit to Turkey.
In his late-night address, the prime minister said that trade between Pakistan and Turkey remained quite low in the past and they could not get benefit of trade due to lack of road and rail routes.
He said that with a population of 210 million people, including 120m below the age of 35 years, Pakistan was a big market for foreign investors.
Prime Minister Khan said that Pakistan had ample tourism attraction due to its fascinating hilly ranges, plains, sea and rivers. “Out of 12 highest peaks in the world, half of them are in Pakistan,” he added.
He said that his government had streamlined the governance system and removed red-tapism and hurdles in Pakistan to facilitate foreign investors. “We want to provide ease of doing business to the businessmen and investors for wealth and jobs creation,” he said.
The prime minister invited Turkish investors and construction firms to invest in his government’s five-year plan of building five million houses.
Earlier, the prime minister and his delegation arrived in Konya.
To pay homage to Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, the prime minister and his delegation visited the great Sufi saint’s mausoleum. He also visited the symbolic grave of Allama Iqbal located in the graveyard where Maulana Rumi’s mausoleum stands.
The prime minister was accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar, Adviser to the PM on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production Razak Dawood and Special Assistant to the PM on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari.
During the visit, the prime minister will also meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It is expected that the prime minister’s visit to Turkey will bring some respite in the prevailing economic crunch in Pakistan as some memoranda of understanding on trade and investment are likely to be inked between the two sides.
Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2019