ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey on Thursday finalised two memorandums of understandings (MoUs) to increase the level of economic engagement and mobilise the untapped potential for increasing trade and investment.
The understanding was reached during a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Trade and Investment held on the sidelines of the two-day visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Two MoUs finalised by the JWG include one on Trade Facilitation and Customs Cooperation, and the other to reinforce cooperation in the field of Halal Accreditation. The two sides agreed to explore the possibilities of enhancing bilateral trade by mutually beneficial market access and trade facilitation.
According to a statement issued after the meeting both sides reviewed the existing bilateral trade and agreed to increase the level of economic engagement.
Both sides also agreed to encourage their businessmen to establish joint ventures in industrial sectors and cooperate in the field of e-commerce.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) organised the Pakistan-Turkey Business-to-Business (B2B) networking session. Secretary Commerce Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera formally inaugurated the session. He emphasised that the warm bilateral relations need to be translated into economic gains for both countries.
Later, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood visited the venue and met with Turkish delegates.
He assured them of full support from the commerce ministry for working in Pakistan and with Pakistani companies.
B2B meetings were held in the engineering, energy, tourism, construction, defence, automotive, chemicals and IT sectors.
Around 450 fruitful B2B meetings were conducted between the visiting Turkish companies and their Pakistani business counterparts.
More than 200 prominent businessmen from Pakistani counterpart sectors, leading trade bodies as well as government organisations including PBIT, TDCP, PTDC were present at the event. The Turkish side was represented by TUMSAID, DIEK and Pakistan-Turkey Friendship Association.
Both the countries had started deliberations on closer trade ties in 2004 but failed to conclude a free trade agreement despite several rounds and officially concluded the talks last year on the agreement owing to differences on opening of certain sectors.
Turkey has expertise in shipping, road infrastructure network and export processing zones which will be helpful in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and other transit routes.
Both have the potential to explore possibilities of investment opportunities in defence industry, food processing and packing, automotive industry and auto parts, household appliances, construction material, textiles, leather machinery and finished products, sports goods and surgical instruments.
Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020