Friday, July 18 2003 @ 04:09 AM MSD
| Pakistan and Turkey have finalised a roadmap to enhance bilateral trade to $ 1 billion in 2003-04, besides sharing each other's experience in major areas to strengthen economic ties between the two countries. |
This was announced by Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar and visiting Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen after a sideline meeting of ECO conference here.
Turkish Ambassador in Pakistan H Kemal Gur and Director General Turkish Foreign Trade were also present on the occasion.
Talking to newsmen, both commerce ministers termed the meeting very positive.
They said they were optimistic that Pakistan and Turkey were heading in the right direction, which would help establish long-term economic cooperation between Ankara and Islamabad.
They said they were satisfied with the pace of progress to push forward a plan of preferential trade agreement (PTA), which would subsequently translate into free trade agreement (FTA).
Humayun said that Pakistan and Turkey were engaged in finding ways and means to increase bilateral trade, and Wednesday's meeting was a major step in this direction. He added that the two countries have agreed to form a technical committee of experts on various important sectors to recommend areas of mutual interest.
Kursad Tuzmen said he was not satisfied with the present volume of trade between Ankara and Islamabad.
He said trade of around $ 150 million to $ 200 million was very low and his country was expecting a big jump in current fiscal as a result of on-going high level deliberations to promote economic activity between the two countries.
He added that his country was willing to explore new areas to boost trade with Pakistan.
He identified many areas which, in his opinion, have promising potential to achieve the objective of proceeding ahead on the economic front.
He added that several areas have been identified for mutual cooperation, such as food processing, construction, transport, infrastructure, mining, energy and textile.
During the meeting, it was agreed that Turkey would provide technical expertise to Pakistan to set up special industrial zones.
Pakistan would also follow Turkey in expanding its network of SMEs to increase its industrial production.
The two sides also agreed to set up a Pak-Turkish Investment Company to finance trade and investment activities between the two sides.
The Pakistan-Oman Investment Company would be taken as a model for establishing Pak-Turk Investment Company.
Turkey would help Pakistan to set up modern warehouses network to facilitate trade activities.
Turkish Trade Minister said he intended to import rice from Pakistan.
Humyun assured his Turkish counterpart that Pakistan would meet all specifications to export rice to Turkey.