Turkish delegation led by Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan and Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi accompanied by Secretary, Maritime Affairs Rizwan Ahmed, Additional Secretary Nadir Mumtaz Waraich and Joint Secretary Kamran Faroq Ansari held the first delegation level meeting as a part of the historic visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyab Erdogan in Islamabad today.
Cahit Turhan emphasized on bilateral cooperation in the shipping sector whereby Pakistan can be assisted in shipyard operations by exchanging technology and experience. Pakistani manpower will be given preferential opportunities in Turkish companies. Once agreed upon the details and other necessary protocols, bilateral MOUs will be signed to ensure expeditious implementation.
The Turkish side also showed interest in CPEC and expressed their support for infrastructure development of Pakistan. Pakistan and Turkey have a long history of relations whereby both countries have stood with each other through thick and thin.
Ali Zaidi disclosed the salient features of Pakistan’s new shipping policy to the guests, which includes tax exemptions for the ships registered in Pakistan and preferential berthing rights. He also invited Turkish companies to establish their industries in Export Processing Zones being established in the port cities of Karachi and Gawadar. Pakistan has a huge potential for development of coastal cities and tourism industry and in the coming couple of years, some projects which have been in the planning will be launched that will altogether revolutionize the maritime sector of Pakistan.
Turkish minister was informed about the potential of Maritime EXPO being planned in Karachi later this year, he accepted the invitation to attend and agreed to invite the Turkish Companies to participate as well.
Pakistani side in cognizance of the issues faced by our seafarers requested the Turkish side to facilitate them and ease their VISA restrictions. Their employment on Turkish ships was also discussed as Pakistani seafarers have been lauded worldwide for their professionalism.