Commercial Attaché of Turkish Consulate in Karachi, Murat Mustu has said that negotiations for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Turkey are planned to be finalized by December 2016 which will be followed by signing of FTA between the two brotherly countries. Delivering a presentation “Recent Developments in Turkey & Turkey-Pakistan FTA Negotiations” during his visit to Karachi Chamber, Commercial Attaché added that both parties will meet in Istanbul by the end of October to review request lists. He was fairly optimistic that after the FTA comes into force, trade between Pakistan and Turkey will improve substantially and this agreement will prove very favorable for the two economies.
Vice Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, Senior Vice President KCCI Zia Ahmed Khan, Vice President KCCI Muhammad Naeem Sharif, Former President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Former Senior Vice Presidents KCCI Shamim Ahmed Firpo and Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi along with KCCI Managing Committee members attended the presentation.
Terming it a ‘New Generation FTA’, Murat Mustu said that Pakistan-Turkey FTA focuses on Liberalization in trade of good, services and investment. According to the presentation, Turkey has signed Free Trade Agreement with a total of 23 countries whereas FTA negotiations with 14 countries including Pakistan were also underway. Murat Mustu further mentioned that the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan will be holding public consultations meetings in Karachi and Lahore on October 4th and October 6threspectively to solicit suggestions and recommendations from stakeholders on Free Trade Agreement with Turkey.
Earlier, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, while welcoming Murat Mustu, appreciated the Turkish government for their support and cooperation being accorded to Karachi Chamber through the Turkish Embassy and its Consulate in Karachi. He said that Karachi, which contributes more than 65 percent revenue to the national exchequer, was an attractive place for Turkish investors, who can surely earn maximum profits by setting up their businesses or undertaking joint ventures here.
The Karachi Chamber was keen to strengthen trade ties and exploring new bilateral trade prospects with Turkey as Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with countries like Turkey would surely help in dealing with the economic crisis and ensure prosperity for both the countries. Commenting on Pakistan-Turkey economic relations, he said that both countries have significant trade volume where Pakistan exported commodities of worth $215 million while imported commodities of worth $249 million during 2015-16.
He was of the view that there was a huge potential to enhance bilateral trade relations between Turkey and Pakistan by exchanging several commodities of interest between each other. Turkey imports pearls & precious stones, pharmaceuticals, cotton, man-made filaments and cereals from other parts of the world. Pakistan can target Turkey as its potential export market for all these commodities, he suggested. Younus Bashir opined that both countries also have room for joint development and technology sharing. Pakistan and Turkey can further strengthen their cooperation in Defense sector by exchanging state of the art defense equipment among each other. He also stressed the need to ma efforts to enhance linkages between the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its counterpart chambers in Turkey in order to pave way for improved trade relations between the two countries.