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Turkey eager to touch $5b trade level with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Turkey wants to increase trade with Pakistan to at least $5 billion over next two to three years as both nations have significant potential to expand trade in many goods, said Ambassador Dr Mehmet Pacaci.

He was talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), led by its President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, which called on him at his office. Turkey Embassy Commercial Counsellor Nurettin Demir was also present.

While appreciating ICCI’s initiative to organise an international housing expo, in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Works, the envoy assured businessmen that Turkish companies running their business in Pakistan would participate in the exhibition, adding that companies and dignitaries from Turkey would also be encouraged to take part. Talking about trade through roads and railways, he asked Pakistan to upgrade its railway system to make it compatible with Turkish rail network in order to promote trade through railways.

Apart from that, he added, trade through road links could be cheaper due to low oil prices in Iran. Turkish ambassador proposed the constitution of a committee comprising all stakeholders from both sides to discuss options and modalities for trade promotion through railway and road links. “Turkey is manufacturing electric vehicles and it can cooperate with Pakistan in this sector,” he stressed. Speaking on the occasion, ICCI President Bakhtawari said that despite very cordial relations, Pakistan-Turkey trade stood below $1 billion, which was not encouraging and both countries should facilitate their private sectors to improve commerce.

“Cargo shipment takes more than 30 days between Pakistan and Turkey and there is a need to develop an efficient road and railway network to reduce transportation time,” he said. He sought embassy’s cooperation in inviting investors of low-cost housing from Turkey for participation in the Housing Expo, which would be organised in Islamabad in December