ISLAMABAD: The Turkish government has presented its proposals on the Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) to the Government of Pakistan.
The decision to enter into an SEF was taken during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Turkey. Vice President Fuat Oktay has written to Finance Minister Asad Umar acknowledging the receipt of proposals from Pakistan side and presenting additional proposals from the Turkish side. The proposals by the two countries cover trade, tourism, healthcare, hospitality industry, education, housing, agriculture, aviation, and banking.
Following the successful visit of Imran Khan to Turkey in January, major progress is taking place in operationalising the SEF.
The purpose of SEF is to enhance volume of bilateral trade five times (currently $900m). Towards this goal, the two governments are negotiating a FTA to be signed this year. Trade facilitation is to be enhanced through improving connectivity through rail, air, road and sea. Cooperation between Pakistan Railways and Tudemsas (Turkish Railway Car Company) and Tulomsas (Turkish Locomotive and Engine Company) for rail vehicles production maintenance, repair and operation is also envisioned.
Turkey has expressed interest in developing legal framework for tourism infrastructure planning, allocation of public properties to the investors, determination and classification of qualities of hospitality facilities based on international standards.
Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2019