PM seeks Turkish investment in 10,000MW solar project

Shehbaz pitches govt strategy to meet Pakistan's energy requirements


APP November 26, 2022
PM Shehbaz addresses a Turkiye-Pakistan Business Council meeting in Istanbul. PHOTO: APP

ISTANBUL:

Rolling out a 10,000 megawatts solar project, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday urged the Turkish companies to seize upon the investment opportunity in Pakistan.

Addressing a Turkiye-Pakistan Business Council meeting, the prime minister said his government would no longer tolerate any snags and impediments in the way of investment from foreign investors, including the Turkish brothers.

The prime minister, while narrating the initiatives of his government to meet, said that the government had decided and resolved to cut the import of very expensive oil and petroleum products over which they spent $27 billion in the last year.

“We cannot afford the import of such costly oil and petroleum products.”

The prime minister said that they had been committed to implement the scheme and also ensured an enabling and friendly environment to investors as they would be walking into the future with great understanding and learning.

The prime minister assured the Turkish investors that his government would ensure speedy payments, within a period of 60 days through a very transparent manner.

Terming it “a gateway to new order in Pakistan”, the prime minister expressed the confidence that it would save them from import of costly oil and other products.

"Come to Pakistan and I will assure you that we are great partners," he added.

The prime minister said that Pakistan and Turkiye both believed in peaceful coexistence and regretted that some countries had the habit of dictating terms, but the use of peaceful means should be the world order.

He reassured that his government would fully provide hassle and red tape free environment to Turkish investors.

The prime minister said that it was regrettable that in the past regime, the Turkish companies that had invested in Pakistan were not given their due payments. Similar, was the case with the Turkish airlines operating in Pakistan.

The prime minister said such a lethargy and red tape were not acceptable to his government and the people of Pakistan as they had benefitted from the Turkish investment and support.

"I want to convey this message to all through you that we are brothers and family and will not tolerate such snags and impediments which hurt our ties," he said, reassuring that his government would resolve all issues and address their genuine problems.

He said that they had inked an MoU to enhance the bilateral trade volume up to $5 billion in the next three years.

Turkiye's annual trade stood at around $250 billion dollars and the trade between Pakistan and Turkiye was hovering around $1.5 billion which was peanuts while considering the immense potential, he added.

The prime minister said their friendship and brotherhood had been known to all and sundry, as the world knew them “like brothers and a family”.

"Though the people of the two countries speak different languages, but they understand each other as their hearts beat together," he said, adding that the historical relations and fraternal ties were not properly reflected in the volume of bilateral trade and business.

The prime minister opined that in every country, the trade, investment and business activities were governed by the financial rules and regulations.

He said that in this regard, the two brotherly countries had threshed out their problems to a great extent.

The prime minister said that he firmly believed that it was not too late to mend, stressing that they should move forward with joint efforts and cooperation.

"Let's start today and look forward and learn from the past and move with speed, so that we can compensate for the past losses and make dividends. There is immense potential on both sides, let's synergise and move speedily to show the world that we, as brothers, have the will, commitment and sincerity of purpose to convert our words into action," he added.

Premier Shehbaz mentioned that certain Turkish companies faced red tape in Pakistan. There might be a lack of understanding of the wider pictures as sometimes bureaucracy created problems, he said, adding that they needed to cut down the red tape with sharp scissors and to simplify the system.

He said the governments might come and go, but the trade and business ties between the two brotherly countries should not be impacted.

The prime minister said that China was a sincere and time-tested friend of Pakistan that had invested about $33 billion in the flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project during 2014 to 2018 before the completion of Nawaz Sharif's government and subsequently, it had slowed down.

The prime minister also noted that the world had been passing through difficult challenges, like the Russia-Ukraine conflict which saw spiralling of commodities and petroleum prices with the supply of gas becoming scant.

The countries like Pakistan were suffering due to such a scenario; wheat and fertilisers were hugely required by Pakistan to meet its domestic requirements.

The prime minister also lauded President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for making diplomatic efforts and rescuing the world by streamlining the supply of wheat from Ukraine.

He also mentioned the incredible efforts of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in this regard as well.

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