Turkish President hopes to increase trade, business with Pakistan PM Imran Khan assures to fully facilitate Turkish business community

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STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to take Pak-Turkey bilateral trade volume to one billion dollars in the first phase and eventually to five billion dollars later. Addressing the PakistanTurkey Business Forum in Islamabad on Friday, he said there is vast scope for increasing the current two-way trade volume of 800 million dollars. He said we want to take the commercial relations between the two brotherly countries to the same level as political ties. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the two countries can collaborate in a number of industries for their mutual benefit. He said Islamabad and Ankara should not allow protectionism or trade walls between us. The Turkish President said his country is increasing investments in Pakistan. He said Turkey is one of the top twenty economies of the world. He said we have brought down our debt from 72 percent of GDP to 33 percent. He said Turkey increased tourists from 13 million to 68 million, resulting in increased to 35 billion dollars from 8.5 billion dollars earned from this sector. He said that Pakistan and Turkey have to take determined and strong steps towards their common objectives. He also invited Pakistani investors to invest in Turkey. “We have a model of offering Turkish citizenship to international investors,” he said. On Pakistan’s improvement in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings, Erdoðan said: “The country is taking important steps in facilitating the business environment under the leadership of my brother, [Prime Minister] Imran.” “Our top construction companies would like to enter work in major infrastructure projects,” he said. About China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Turkish President said that the CPEC should be “better explained to Turkish entrepreneurs”, adding that the country is “ready to work on that”. The president also highlighted that his country offers better value for money for those looking for medical treatment abroad. “With affordable prices, Turkey is far more advanced than Western countries,” he said. Speaking on the high-level business event, Prime Minister Imran Khan invited Turkish business community to invest in different sectors of Pakistan especially tourism, mining and agriculture. He pointed out that Pakistan has a huge untapped potential in tourism including in beach and historic places. The Prime Minister said Pakistan can greatly benefit from the Turkish experience in the development of necessary infrastructure for the promotion of tourism. Imran Khan said Pakistan also desires to learn from the experiences of Turkey in the fields of agriculture and mining. The Prime Minister assured to fully facilitate Turkish business community including their joint ventures with Pakistani companies. Imran Khan said ours is the most business friendly government. We have gained twenty places in the world ranking in ease of doing business. We have reduced regulations to facilitate the businessmen. The Prime Minister expressed the confidence that the business communities of both the countries will come forward to benefit from the excellent political relationship that exist between the two countries. Speaking on the occasion, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood invited the Turkish investors to initiate the joint projects in Pakistan. He said both the countries have immense opportunities of cooperation. He said Pakistan and Turkey enjoy excellent bilateral relations. Abdul Razak Dawood said both the countries have agreed to promote the strategic relations between them.