ISTANBUL, 23 November 2011: Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim, Pakistani Senior Minister for Commerce while addressing the 2nd Bosporus Regional Cooperation Summit here today said the trust and good neighbourly relations are essential elements for promotion of regional trade. 

Speaking at a Round Table on the topic of “New Partnerships and Trust Focused Neigbourhood Policy,” the Commerce Minister said the newly concluded Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement opens new horizons for enhancing bilateral economic cooperation. He also referred to his recent visit to India and said the decision by Pakistan to grant MFN status India will further boost regional trade. Makhdoom Fahim said Pakistan has successfully negotiated several free trade and preferential trade agreements with many countries in the region and beyond which will help dividends for the people of the region. Highlighting the major successes of the present government in Pakistan, Mr. Fahim said exports of Pakistan has witnessed steady growth and exceeded US $ 24 billion last year despite global economic slow down and war on terror. Similar is the case with foreign exchange reserves that have crossed the US $ 17 billion mark.

Makhdoom Fahim informed the audience about the liberal investment regime in Pakistan. He said Pakistan has established Special Economic Zones and attractive incentives offered in these zones include: 10 years income tax holiday for zone developer, duty free import of plant and machinery, 5 years income tax holiday for investors, one window facilities and provision of utilities. Cheap and skilled labour, low cost of inputs and liberal investment policies are resulting in renewed interest in Pakistan, he added.  

The Minister identified power generation, infrastructure, agriculture and construction as priority areas for investment. Other speakers who addressed the round-table included H.E. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, the Secretary General, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation; H.E. Dr. Emir Mansur Burghei, Under Secretary, Foreign Affairs of Islamic Rep. of Iran; H.E. Kürşad Tüzmen, Former Minister of External Trade; and Halil Akıncı, Secretary General, Turkish Council. Organized by International Cooperation Platform, about 200 high-ranking businessmen and officials from 41 different countries are attending the event.