Thursday, 14 June 2012 10:49
LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) have decided to establish a mechanism for exchange of trade related information that is the biggest hurdle to enhanced bilateral trade.
According to the LCCI spokesman, the decision was made at meeting of 37-member LCCI delegation, led by LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, with their counterparts at Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday. Both the sides also agreed to utilize their influence in their respective countries to increase sector-specific trade and for initiating joint ventures.
The Vice President Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hasan Demir said that the relations between Pakistan and Turkey are much deeper that the existing economic ties. Undoubtedly, it is very difficult to survive in today's world because of increased global competition and calls for growing importance of cooperation between the nations. He said that it was a happy sign that in the last decade, developing countries are increasing their share in world trade. And the only reason is the high rate of urbanization, increasing population, growing consumer demand in these countries, and above all their respective economic dynamism.
He said trade among developing countries in the early 2000, was accounted for 25 percent of their total foreign trade and today this ratio is 60 percent. This change was more visible in Asian countries. "We are the leading actors of the economic development of our respective countries, so we are duty bound to make best use of this change. Of course, we have seen improvements in recent years. For example, only 175 million dollars in 2002, the two countries' trade volume exceeded U.S. $ 1 billion today" he added.
Hasan Demir hoped that Turkish Airlines will start direct flights to Lahore soon. He said that automotives, textiles, energy, petrochemicals and retail sector are the areas where both the sides can cooperate.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said the Lahore Chamber is making efforts to take bilateral trade to 1.5 billion dollar mark in a year or two and gradually accomplish the level of two billion dollar in coming four to five years. For that matter, bilateral arrangements and early implementation of regional trade agreements such as the ECO Trade Agreement have become the need of the hour. Moreover, the share of Pakistan's exports to Turkey is just three percent of our total exports whereas Pakistan's imports from Turkey account for only 0.4 percent of the total imports bill.
Turkey and Pakistan should identify areas of economic cooperation especially in Pakistan, there are a lot of investment opportunities for Turkish businessmen in various sectors like telecommunications, information technology, financial services, petrochemicals, livestock, dairy, consumer goods, food processing, pharmaceuticals, minerals, and particularly in energy sectors. As Pakistan is pursuing economic development through market liberalization therefore Turkish entrepreneurs are invited to establish a special economic zone for Turkey in Pakistan and enter into joint ventures with their counterparts, he said.
Both Turkey and Pakistan are well positioned to take advantage of each other's economic potential and the respective geo-strategic locations. Turkey can do value addition by importing raw material and semi-finished goods from Pakistan for onward sale to European countries.
The LCCI also signed a MoU with MUSIAD, an independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association, to establish cooperation in research, trade, industry, investment, agriculture and other fields.
The LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh inked the MoU on behalf of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry while Eyup Akbal, the Chairman of Foreign Organizational Development Commission inked the agreement for MUSIAD.