ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: An eight-member Turkish business delegation expressed deep interest in forming joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts in various fields.
The delegation, led by Incubation Istanbul Director Technology Transfer and Project Management Ali Kurt, visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) as well as the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Friday.
Delegation members represented various sectors, including automobile, home appliances, information technology, financial technology, LED lights and education.
The head of the delegation said Turkish businessmen were ready to initiate joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts as they were convinced that ample opportunities existed in a number of sectors, including construction and energy.
He said Turkey, being the second fastest growing economy of the world after China and first in the European Union, had a lot to offer to Pakistani businessmen and they should capitalise on the available opportunities.
Echoing similar sentiments, the delegation members said they considered Pakistan as an attractive destination and wanted to establish business partnerships in automobile, IT, home appliances, education and other fields.
They said Pakistan and Turkey had great potential to enhance cooperation in many areas and stressed that both countries should forge strong linkages between their private sectors to explore all potential areas of mutual cooperation.
The delegation members said the purpose of the visit was to study the market and find local partners. Turkey could cooperate in many fields, they said.
Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Ahmed Hassan Moughal said many multinational companies (MNCs) were doing successful business in Pakistan, which showed the great potential for foreign investors. He said many new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would be set up in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while the government was providing attractive incentives for investing in SEZs.
The ICCI president pointed out that Turkey had good expertise and experience in the tourism sector while the government of Pakistan was actively promoting tourism. He urged Turkish investors to help Pakistan in building tourism infrastructure and promoting the industry.
Separately, LCCI President Almas Hyder said Pakistan and Turkey were strong trade partners and among global importing and exporting destinations of Pakistan, Turkey came at 31st and 17th places respectively.
“It is encouraging to see that there is an increasing trend in bilateral trade. For instance, in 2016, the volume of bilateral trade was $497 million, which surged to $596 million and $661 million in the next two years,” the LCCI president said.
He said the balance of trade had traditionally been in favour of Pakistan, but in 2018, the imports from Turkey ($358 million) exceeded exports ($303 million) to Turkey.
“We wish to enhance the bilateral trade volume, which will possibly be through deeper penetration into each other’s markets,” he said, adding that both the countries had marvellous untapped business potential that needed to be tapped by maximising the involvement of private sectors of the two countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2019.