Pakistan and Turkey signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on Monday as their leaders pledged to boost trade cooperation and investment opportunities.
Just as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised to facilitate Turkish investments in Pakistan, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan asked his country’s top businessmen, many of whom are accompanying him on his two-day trip, to invest in the Metro Bus services for two more cities
Specifically, PM Nawaz invited the visiting entrepreneurs to invest in six sectors namely that of infrastructure, textile, tourism, agriculture and milk industries. He also assured them assistance from the revamped Board of Investments in this regard. Nawaz said Turkish entrepreneurs could expect a one window facility for all queries, issues and implementation of their projects.
According to an official handout, both sides also inked three memorandums of understanding between the Punjab Industrial Department and Turkey Cooperation Agency; Pakistan Railways and Turkish Logistics Organisation; Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and Turkish Standards Institution.
Both Nawaz and Erdogan addressed the Pak-Turk Business Forum at a local hotel, where the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was present along with ministers from both countries.
Nawaz welcomed the Turkish delegation to invest in Pakistan. “We are open to competitive proposals for building infrastructure projects from roads to bridges in a public-private partnership modality and shall safeguard your investments in Pakistan,” he told the delegation.
He said that Turkish and other European airlines are welcome to use Pakistan’s ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities at Karachi and Lahore International airports for layovers during onward flights to the Far East and Australia.
Erdogan said that both he and Nawaz made a commitment to further enhance the bilateral trade and economic relations during his recent visit to Istanbul and that the current visit is also part of that process.
‘Preferential trade deal should be signed soon’
“The Turkish prime minister has asked our businessmen to invest in the Metro Bus services for two more cities,” a Turkish official said, adding that their country’s biggest businessmen and exporters were part of the delegation.
“Turkey’s trade minister made an emotional speech, and said that if Pakistan increases exports to Turkey – which is against the Turkish economy –he will support it,” he added.
When asked to comment on the signing of the much talked about Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries, the official said that a time had not been announced but that the Turkish side feels it needs to be done as soon as possible. “It must be signed immediately,” the official quoted senior members of the delegation as saying. “It has taken too long.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2013.
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