KARACHI: Consulate General of the Republic of Turkiye Cemal Sangu has advised the Karachi Chamber to look into the possibility of holding Single Country Exhibition in Istanbul which would certainly help in improving Pakistan’s exports to Turkiye by raising awareness about the high-quality products being manufactured in this country.

“After successfully organizing Pakistan’s Single Country Exhibition in Istanbul, a similar Turkiye Exhibition can also be staged in Karachi. Turkiye and Pakistan are important markets for each other, hence, we must work really hard and unite our energies for advancing the existing trade and investment relations”, he added while exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

Commercial Attaché Turkiye Eyup Yildirim, President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President Haris Agar, Former President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra and KCCI Managing Committee Members were also present on the occasion.

Turkish Consul General further stated that Turkiye gives special importance to Pakistan and both countries have been enjoying very strong cultural, religious and trade ties. “We are two countries but one nation as we both have same culture, religion and even the same language”, he added while quoting dozens of Urdu words which are also widely used in Turkish language with similar meaning.

He was of the view that although the two brotherly countries have excellent ties and have been supporting each other at many international forums but these ties and support to each other were not reflecting in terms of trade which remains low and does not suit the two countries. The business community of Karachi must make strenuous efforts to improve its exports to Turkiye by effectively promoting the high-quality goods being produced in Pakistan, he said, adding that Turkiye business community was largely unaware of the excellent products being produced in Pakistan.

Keeping in view the huge population of Pakistan and Turkiye, he was confident that the two countries can achieve many things together. Pakistan’s tourism sector offers a lot of opportunities but these opportunities also need to be effectively promoted so that tourists from Turkiye could take interest in this region.

Being the largest producer of motorbikes, Pakistan can export this product to Turkiye where the population was rapidly switching from vehicles to motorbikes for commuting purposes due to rising petroleum prices. “In this regard, Pakistani and Turkish companies can undertake joint venture in Pakistan for production for motorbikes and its tyres and these can be exported not only to Turkiye but also to many other countries”, he said, adding that Turkiye was not producing tyres for motorbikes which were being imported from Pakistan’s neighboring countries.

He also advised KCCI to send a trade delegation to Turkiye for exploring trade and investment opportunities which will be fully facilitated by the Turkish Consulate in Karachi. “Turkiye Consulate has been issuing long term multiple visits visas to businessmen who are interested in enhancing trade and investment ties with their Turkish counterparts.”

President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, while welcoming the Turkish CG, stated that Pakistan-Turkiye bilateral relationship were based on close friendship and brotherhood since 1954 when Pakistan formally established diplomatic relations by signing a treaty of friendship and cooperation. He also appreciated Turkiye’s played a critical role to help Pakistan in securing GSP-plus status by supporting Pakistan’s exclusion from FATF’s grey list.

He noted that despite huge trade potential between the two countries, Pakistan’s exports to Turkiye are stagnant and struggling. “During July-April of the current fiscal year, Pakistan’s exports to Turkiye are at $270 million compared to $268 million during the same corresponding period of last year.”

He said that both countries were desirous of having a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which, if materialized, could enhance bilateral trade volume beyond $5 billion and further integrate both economies. “Under FTA negotiations, sizeable tariff concessions should be given to Pakistan’s value-added export products. Until negotiations on FTA finalize, Turkiye must allow unilateral market access to Pakistan to deepen bilateral economic relations.”

He was of the view that there was a huge potential for joint ventures and investments in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the CPEC and other sectors such as Islamic Finance, halal food, low-cost housing, infrastructure development, telecommunications, and education. “Turkey’s auto industry is stepping up efforts to keep pace with the global shift toward electric vehicles. Under Pakistan’s Auto Policy 2021, Turkish auto brands can explore investment opportunities in Pakistan’s Auto Sector due to the big market size”, he added.

He stressed that both countries need to establish institutional linkages in universities to cement relations in the field of education and boost research & development. Pakistan also has immense untapped potential in tourism as millions of tourists visit Pakistan every year. “Both countries can exchange, promote and develop intercountry tourism through joint ventures.”