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PESHAWAR: Ambassador of the Republic of Turkiye to Pakistan, Dr Mehmat Pacaci called for joint initiatives to further enhance bilateral trade and economic relations with Pakistan.

Speaking to members during his visit to Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday, Dr Mehmat Pacaci said huge potentials exist to enhance bilateral trade between Turkiye and Pakistan and called for exploring and exploiting all new avenues of investments at the optimal level.

However, he said the bilateral trade and economic relations weren't to the level which needed to be.

The diplomat said that Turkiye and Pakistan have enjoyed a strong trade, economic, diplomatic and common cultural relations.

Dr Mehmat Pacaci mentioned that the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was signed recently between Turkiye and Pakistan, which is a step forward to further improve the mutual trade and economic relations between the two countries.

But, the envoy said the step was insufficient for promotion of bilateral trade and stressed the need to sign a free trade agreement between the two countries.

Dr Mehmat Pacaci expressed hope that if Turkiye and Pakistan can manage to sign the FTA then the bilateral trade and economic relations would further improve.

The diplomat while mentioning about exchanges of students’ delegations, investments in fruits, honey, tourism, black and other potential sectors said that a strong coordination and cooperation was dire need of hour between Turkiye and Pakistan so that the both countries would take mutual benefits by making investments in the afore-stated important sectors.

Talking about the problems to the business community in gaining visas for Turkiye, Dr Mehmat Pacaci said that a proper mechanism was being adopted for issuance of tourism and business visas.

He, however, assured that business visas will be issued on a fast-track basis on recommendation letter of the SCCI.

Earlier, the chamber’s acting president Ijaz Khan Afridi in his opening remarks suggested signing of a free trade agreement to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Turkiye.

Afridi viewed vast investment opportunities exist in various potential sectors that can further improve mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Islamic Republic Turkiye.

He emphasized the need of launching joint ventures and taking mutual benefits from each other's experiences, exchange of business delegations and exploring new avenues of investment in the both countries.

Ijaz Afridi also called for removal of irritants and hurdles in issuance of business visas to Turkiye. He also called upon Islamabad and Istanbul to take pragmatic steps for enhancing bilateral trade volume, especially for signing a free trade agreement.

The acting president highlighted the prospects of Pak-Turkiye bilateral trade relations and pointed out potential sectors wherein huge opportunities were available to make investment and to enhance the mutual trade volume between Pakistan and Turkiye.

Welcoming the signing of PTA between Pakistan and Turkiye, he also emphasized the need for signing of Free Trade Agreement between the two countries so that it can help to achieve the desirable bilateral trade promotion target of $5billion and onward $15billion. Ijaz Afridi also emphasized the need for taking joint initiatives for promoting barter trade between Pakistan and Turkiye.

On the occasion, the SCCI acting president Ijaz Afridi congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdogan on being re-elected as President of Turkiye for the third time.

The SCCI’s former presidents, members, traders, importers and exporters and others were present in the meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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