(Karachi) The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) and Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchange of Turkey (TOBB) has urged upon the Governments to foster the process of signing equitable and balanced Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to unleash enormous potential available markets.

This was transpired in a joint meeting of the Board of Directors of Pak-Turkey Chamber of Commerce organized via zoom link, which was co-chaired by Mr. Amjad Rafi from Pakistan and Dr. Omar Bolt from Turkish side in presence of Ambassadors of Pakistan to Turkey Syrus Sajjad Qazi and Ambassador of Turkey to Pakistan Mustafa Yardakul who acknowledge the efforts of FPCCI and TOBB towards promotion of bilateral economic cooperation.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Dr. Omer Bolat, Co-Chairman TPC Forum (Turkish chapter) said that the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey is very low and and mutual efforts and initiatives of both Chambers will help us achieve our goal. Mr. Amjad Rafi, Co-Chairman TPC Forum (Pakistan Chapter) emphasized on the need of early implementation of FTA for enhancement of bilateral trade as decided in the recent visit of the Head of the States of both the countries.He however was of the opinion that being competitors in textile and denim fabric, Turkey should consider concession to Pakistani products at far with these availed by EU, so that Pakistani products could made vide and help balance trade gap.

He also highlighted that there was enormous opportunities for collaboration in various sectors including tourism, education, construction, infrastructure development, health, entertainment etc. He further said that Pakistan’s exports to Turkey is hampered by the imposition of countervailing duties by Turkey and the recent enhancement of custom duties on various items including textile resulting in further reduction of Pakistan’s exports. He also emphasized on the need of transfer of technology in various sectors and joint ventures under CPEC. He also informed the Turkish businessmen about the low housing scheme introduced by Pakistani PM which open vistas for the construction industry. He also suggested for operational ITI known as Gul Train.

The ambassador of both the countries made comprehensive presentations on economic issues and assured their full support to the BoDs of the forum to enhance the bilateral trade to US$ 5 billion as desired by the heads of the states. They further said that both the countries passing through Covid-19 pandemic which has badly hurt the trade of economy of both the countries reducing their economic activities. They advised to intensify interaction between the business communities of both of countries.

The Board of Directors also exchanged views on various specific sectors including power, solar energy, marble, textile, tourism, education, surgical instruments, construction etc and also discussed the need of organizing business road shows, forums, and trade fairs to explore new avenues of business and investment in both countries.

Sheikh Sultan Rehman, Vice President- FPCCI spoke about collaboration in education and SMEs sector, seeking the support of TOBB in both sectors. Naseer Hayatt Magoo Sr. Vice Chairman of TPCCIF also spoke about the exploration of new sectors and areas for joint ventures and non-traditional items.