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Economic cooperation between Pakistan, Turkey to touch new heights

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June 01, 2022: Economics and diplomatic experts on Wednesday said that economic and bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey would touch a new height after the historic visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

Muhammad Naeem, Professor Economics Department, University of Swabi told APP that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visit to Turkey would further deepen the bilateral and economic relations besides increasing bilateral trade.

He said there was about $ 1.1billion bilateral trade between the two countries, which is low compared to its potential and expressed the hope that it would enhance to over five billion under the leadership of Prime Minister of Pakistan and Turkish President.

Dr Naeem said there was a vast scope of expanding multi-dimensional cooperation between the two countries especially in defence, social and economic sectors, foreign policy and public welfare.

He said Turkish companies should be persuaded to invest in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) established under CPEC especially in oil, petroleum and energy sectors.

Besides Pakistan Turkey free trade agreement (FTA) initiative, he said the resumption of Pakistan Iran Turkey cargo train service help facilitate the movement of trade goods between these neighbours.

Manzoorul Haq, former Ambassador of Pakistan told APP that historic relations between the two-brotherly countries was based on mutual respect, strong bonds and was deep-rooted. Turkey has helped Pakistan in developing robust institutions like Karachi Shipyard, which has been transformed into a profit-earning organization.

Manzoo who served as Pakistan ambassador at Egypt and Saudia Arabia said the strategic cooperation between Islamabad-Ankara in all fields including shipbuilding, engineering, petroleum, solid waste management, social service, energy and transport would be enhanced.

He said Pakistan and Turkey's relations had significantly improved under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Pakistan is very close to the heart of the Turkish President, who became the only foreign head of state to have addressed our parliament for fourth time, which emphasized the history of enduring bilateral relationship and love for Pakistan.”

During President Erdogan visit to Pakistan in February 2021, he said the two countries had signed a strategic economic framework agreement covering a broad spectrum of cooperation in science and technology, defense, tourism, education and health.

“There is a commonality of views among leadership of both countries on all regional and international issues and Turkey's support for the Kashmir issue was commendable. He suggested an exchange of people to people contact and cultural visits besides increasing students visas to bring people of both countries further closer.

Dr Khursheed Ahmad, Professor International Relations Department, University of Peshawar said Turkey had always supported Pakistan in disasters whether it was 2005 devastating earthquake or 2010 flood.

“Turkey was the first country whose medical teams reached to quake hit Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakthunkhwa in 2005 and has provided prompt medical assistance to the quake victims.”

He said both states were founded by great political leaders, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, who advocated for constitutionalism, people political empowerment, constitutional rights and democracy for good governance etc.

He said the successful completion of ongoing projects with Turkey such as Trans-Afghan Railway project, CASA-1000, and Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan gas pipeline could significantly help improve Pakistan connectivity with Western Asia, Gulf and Europe.

The importance of Pakistan has been enhanced following CPEC and focus should be made to persuade and include Turkish companies in CPEC projects, especially those having experience in energy, communication and transit infrastructure for speedy growth and development of the country.


Posted on: 2022-06-01T14:35:48+05:00