PESHAWAR: Commercial counsellor at the Embassy of Turkiye in Pakistan Nurettin Demir on Friday said his country wanted to launch joint ventures with Pakistan to strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties.

Addressing businesspersons at the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, Mr Demir said his country had passed through a difficult phase of its history due to economic meltdown and other issues but stayed steadfast and got to its feet.

He called for a joint roadmap to “give new direction to Turkiye-Pakistan economic and commercial relations to generate employment, strengthen the economy and overcome the growing financial problems.”

Mr Demir said new avenues of investment and bilateral cooperation should be explored.

He said the Turkiye-Pakistan trade volume, which was very low, would increase through mutual cooperation.

Preferential trade accord set to be okayed by Turkish parliament

“A preferential trade agreement has been signed between Turkiye and Pakistan, which is expected to be approved by the Turkish parliament next month. The agreement will also act as a catalyst for improving trade and economic ties between the two countries,” he said.

The envoy also said the “review meeting for exploring trade potentials of both countries” would be held next month.

Earlier, SCCI senior vice-president Shahid Hussain said the chamber was making all-out efforts to enhance commercial and economic relations between Pakistan and Turkiye.

He said joint initiatives would be taken to explore new trade avenues and potential in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Besides traders, importers and exporters, industrialists, SCCI vice-president Ejaz Khan Afridi, secretary (commercial affairs) at the Embassy of Turkiye in Pakistan Abdul Baseer, members of the SCCI’s executive committee Haji Ghulam Hussain, S Minhajuddin, Naeem Qasmi, Javed Ahmad Khan, Laal Badshah, Munawar Khurshid, Abdul Hakim Shinwari and Qurtulain also attended the event.

Mr Shahid Hussain said prospects of boosting Pakistan-Turkiye trade were very bright.

He, however, said that trade volume between Pakistan and Turkiye was very low due to a lack of information regarding trade potentials of each other.

“KP is a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics,” he said.

The SCCI leader said Pakistan, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was a suitable trade route for Turkish investors to export goods to Central Asian states via Afghanistan.

He hailed the seriousness and keenness of the government and leadership of Turkiye to enhance trade with Pakistan.

Mr Hussain said Pakistan’s economic issues were once faced by Turkiye. He said Pakistan could address the current economic issues by taking advantage of Turkiye’s experiences.

The SCCI SVP invited Turkish companies to invest in the province. He called for concrete measures to bring the business community of both countries closer, business-to-business meetings, joint trade exhibitions and full exploitation of the bilateral trade potential.

Executive members of the SCCI suggested ways to enhance trade between Pakistan and Turkiye.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2023

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