February 7, 2019: The authorities concerned are in process of building consensus with Turkish counterparts and other stakeholders to have a meaningful Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and increase economic integration. The other objective is to corroborate with close political and cultural relations that both countries enjoy.
Sources at Commerce Division while listing steps taken by present government so far to improve trade relations with Turkey and increase exports on Thursday said first ever Single Country Exhibition planned to be held soon by Turkish Pakistan Tourism Council along with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Lahore Chamber and other relevant Trade Associations.
The sources said Pakistan's exports to Turkey grew at good pace and crossed US $ 850 million in 2011. However, it started to decline after imposition of additional duties by Turkey in August 2011 and amounted to $323 million in 2017.
Pakistan has engaged Turkey for a preferential market access arrangement to increase bilateral trade and both countries announced to initiate talks on Pak-Turkey Free Trade Agreement in High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) meeting in Islamabad.
The FTA will also help address market access issues due to imposition of additional duties by Turkey. So far seven rounds of negotiations have been held.
Moreover, the sources said Prime Minister of Pakistan led a high level delegation to Turkey last month with aim to give a much-needed boost to existing economic relations between the two countries. The visit had a strong economic component.
The Prime Minister held meetings with Union of Chamber and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Turkey Pakistan Business Council and various Turkish business groups representing sectors such as construction, food, dairy, feed production, electronics and mobile manufacture, waste management, furniture, engine and disposable hygienic items.
The Turkish side showed keen interest in investing in Pakistan and both countries expressed their resolve to further strengthen the existing economic, trade and commercial relations.
The sources said over 25 leading business groups from Turkey participated in “Pakistan-Turkey Business Opportunities Forum” organized by Turkish Pakistan Business Council during visit of the President of Pakistan to Istanbul, Turkey in October 2018.
The other step included facilitating and ensuring visit of leading Turkish textile importers/buyers for forthcoming TEXPO 2019 in April in Lahore for souring from Pakistan and possible Joint Ventures in textiles manufacturing, machinery and related chemicals used in production.
The number of trade fairs for Pakistan's participation in Turkey have increased from 2 to 5, focusing on leather garments, surgical instruments, auto-parts, sports goods and processed food items.
The other important initiative included Export Enhancement Plan on developing Turkish market for non-traditional products, i.e. auto-parts, fans, chemicals etc. from Pakistan, besides, strengthening our position in traditional export products, i.e. textiles, leather, surgical instruments, sports goods etc.