ANKARA, 15 October 2015:  Pakistan and Turkey have commenced negotiations on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The inaugural session of FTA negotiations has concluded in Ankara.

The decision to have a Pakistan-Turkey Free Trade Agreement was taken by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Prime Minister Ahmet Davotuglu during the 4th session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSC) in Islamabad in February 2015. The decision envisaged an FTA covering trade in goods, services and investments.

The Pakistan delegation was led by Ms. Robina Athar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, and included Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood and Consul General in Istanbul Dr. Yusuf Junaid. The Turkish side was led by Acting Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy Mr. Husnu Dilemre and included senior officials from relevant Turkish departments.

During the talks, the two sides reiterated their commitment to have a comprehensive FTA and conclude the negotiations on a fast- track basis. At the conclusion of the session, the two sides signed the Terms of Reference (TORs) for FTA negotiations.

The next round of the negotiations would be held in Islamabad in December 2015.