FTA with Turkey to double bilateral trade

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Amanullah Khan

Karachi—Pakistan and Turkey are enjoying brotherly relations but there is a lot of opportunities need to be explored for expansion of bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries and early implementation of FTA. This was stated by Arshad Farooq, Acting President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in a meeting with Murat Mustu, Commercial Counselor of Turkey at Federation House, Karachi. Arshad Farooq, briefed the activities of FPCCI and its role in economic development of Pakistan.
He suggested that Pakistan should make use of expertise of Turkey in various sectors particularly in development of infrastructure, construction, energy and information technology. While quoting the trade statistics, he stated our bilateral trade volume is just US$ 599.7 million comprising of Pakistan’ export to Turkey $310.5 million and imports from Turkey US$ 289 million in 2015. He believed that with the implementation of FTA both countries will come closer to each other and will open a new horizon in economic and commercial ties.
At presents, there are some countervailing duties from Turkish side for Pakistan’s textile due to which the exports of Pakistan has declined to Turkey. He hoped that all impediments will be resolved after the implementation of FTA. While appreciating the efforts of Pakistan Turkey Joint Business Council he suggested for regular exchange of delegations and participation in trade fairs of each other countries.
Murat Mustu, Commercial Counselor of Turkey gave a comprehensive presentation on economy of Turkey and bilateral trade and economic relations between two countries in the backdrop of recent development and situation in Turkey. He stated that on 15 July, Turkey was faced with a military coup d’état attempt against its Constitutional order, but the people of Turkey foiled it and succeeded in saving democracy. They said that Turkey’s friends, allies, partners and international organizations were standing by it. He further added that there is no impact of failed coup attempted on Turkey’s economy and all the industries continue their production and complying their export orders well in time.
While the flow of investment is increasing particularly from GCC countries and rating companies also indicates stable rating of its sovereignty. He expressed his thanks to Acting President FPCCI Arshad Farooq and Captain Rasheed Abro, Chairman Pakistan Turkey Business Council and other members and assured his full cooperation for increasing the bilateral trade between two countries. He expected that FTA between both countries will double the existing bilateral trade. He also assured the participants to pursue the issues/problems taken up during the meeting with Turkish government. He agreed to the fact that the bottlenecks mentioned in the meeting are major cause of low bilateral trade volume between two nations for which commercial office will pay its due role. Earlier, Captain Rasheed Abro Chairman, Pakistan Turkey Business Council (PTBC) welcomed the commercial counselor of Turkey and gave a brief about the activities of PTBC. He further said that Pak-Turkey friendship is time tested and exemplary. However, there is much more to be explored in the bilateral trade relations by exploiting all the available resources.