ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has started preparations for signing the Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) and Plan of Action (PoA) agreed upon with Turkey whereas the government has decided to establish a special unit at the Ministry of Economic Affairs Division for SEF after both the countries consented to the draft of the framework.
Ministry of Economic Affairs Division has dispatched a letter to Ministry of Foreign Affairs to contact Turkey through diplomatic channels.
Ministry of Economic Affairs Division told The Express Tribune that after extensive deliberations, the draft on SEF between the two countries had been finalised.
The SEF and PoA will be signed during the Turkish President’s visit to Pakistan, the date of which is to be finalised. Sources said that nine working groups had been set up under the SEF and work was under progress to make them operational.
Ministry of Economic Affairs Division has written letters to secretaries of all ministries and divisions and advised them to complete their homework for the meetings of nine joint working groups for cooperation in 71 departments including agriculture, political cooperation, information technology, trade, transportation, communication, power, tourism and cultural heritage, social sector, water resources, bilateral investment, defence industries and banking and finance.
According to a document available with The Express Tribune, the drafts of the SEF and action plans have already been approved by the federal cabinet.
Minutes of the federal cabinet meeting said that Pakistan and Turkey would cooperate in 71 departments, the progress of which will be monitored strictly.
A High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) would be established, which will be jointly headed by the prime minister of Pakistan and president of Turkey. HLSCC would provide overall guidance and vision for the implementation of SEF.
Every working group will have a focal person who will be responsible for coordination, maintenance of records and implementation of decisions made during the meetings.
Each working group will have two meetings a year, in Turkey and Pakistan alternatively. The meetings will also be made possible through video links and the special unit in the Economic Affairs Division will work as a secretariat for the SEF.
A special joint ministerial committee headed by federal minister for economic affairs will also be set up. The committee will review the performance of the joint groups quarterly. Each working group will brief the committee about the progress of its department.