KARACHI: Commercial Attaché of the Republic of Turkey Eyyup Yildirim has said that several Turkish companies have invested around US$2 billion in numerous sectors of Pakistan’s economy but this was not enough as there was a room for more Turkish investment through joint ventures, particularly in the maritime, hospitality and other potential sectors.

“Dawlance, which was acquired by a Turkish company Arcelik, has alone made an investment of more than US$500 million while several other Turkish companies have also invested here and recently another Turkish Company has opened up its textile accessories unit in one of the Special Economic Zones in Pakistan where many benefits and incentives including tax holidays and all the required infrastructure are being provided”, he said.

“We need to further increase Turkish investment so I always encourage Turkish private sector to undertake joint investments in Pakistan,” Turkish Commercial Attaché added while speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

He further stated that Turkey and Pakistan have been enjoying good brotherly relations and close collaboration as whenever either Turkey or Pakistan was in need, the other country immediately comes forward for help. “The Trade volume has once again touched US$1.1 billion last year which was a repetition of 2012 when trade volume was seen at this level. As both countries have competitive advantage, they can exchange potential products which are of high quality and competitive price. “We need to exchange list of all such potential products which can be imported from Turkey and exported from Pakistan. With the help of this list, Turkey will be able to import products from Pakistan instead of other countries.”

Upon finalization of trade agreement between the two countries which will be ratified within a month by the Turkish National Assembly, the trade volume could go all the way up to a whopping US$15 billion, he opined, adding that around 400 products having good trade potential have been identified in this Trade Agreement.

President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, while welcoming the Turkish Commercial Attaché, stated that Pakistan’s exports to Turkey remained at $354.70 million in FY22 as compared to $268.43 million in FY21, reflecting a growth of 32.13 percent while the imports from Turkey remained at $943.57 million in FY22 compared to $866.62 million in FY21, indicating a growth of 8.87 percent.

Stressing the need to finalize Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Turkey which would substantially improve trade volume, he said that sizeable tariff concessions should be given to Pakistan’s value-added products. “Until this agreement is finalized, Turkey must allow unilateral market access to Pakistan under the GSP Plus program to deepen bilateral economic relations,” he added and further suggested the need to review protective textile duty structure of Turkey, which restricts Pakistan’s textiles exports.

Tariq Yousuf said that there was a huge potential for joint ventures and investment in the areas of Islamic Finance, Halal food, energy, low-cost housing, infrastructure development, telecommunications, and education.

He noted that although 17 Turkish firms were operating in Pakistan but Turkey’s net Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan was still not in line with the potential which needs to be enhanced to a reasonable level.

“Turkish companies can explore Joint Ventures and investments in SEZs under the CPEC, which can further strengthen our economic relations.”

There is a need to establish institutional linkages between Pakistani and Turkish universities to cement relations in the field of education, which would help in improving the quality of education and research of Pakistani universities, he added.

Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President Mohammad Haris Agar, Chairman Diplomatic Missions & Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Ziaul Arfeen and KCCI Managing Committee members were present on the occasion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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