ANKARA, 19 October 2012: Both Pakistan and Turkey will expedite their efforts for an early conclusion of a comprehensive Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) that will further boost commercial relations between the two countries.

Minister of State/Chairman Board of Investment Mr. Saleem H. Mandviwalla to this effect held meetings with the Turkish leadership here in Ankara. He was accompanied by Secretary Commerce Mr. Munir Qureshi, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Mr. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat, and Consul General Istanbul Dr. Yusuf Junaid.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Ali Babacan (pronounced as Ali Babajan) in his meeting with the visiting dignitary assured his government’s full support in encouraging Turkish companies to invest in Pakistan. Both the leaders agreed that existing huge reservoir of emotions and goodwill between Turkey and Pakistan will certainly help in further improving economic relations.

They also discussed the Istanbul-Islamabad cargo goods train (Gul Train) and agreed that running such train on a regular basis will make it a viable project. They referred to High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) which is a highest level decision making forum between the two countries in the economic field. HLCC was indeed a milestone in the history Pakistan-Turkey relations and under this platform many agreements were signed in the economic and commercial field.

The Pakistani delegation also held extensive discussions with Turkey’s Deputy Minister for Economy Mr. Mustafa Sever and his team. Mr. Sever informed that currently Turkish companies have about US$365 million investment portfolio in Pakistan.  Both the dignitaries noted that although bilateral trade crossed the threshold of US$1 billion last year, but concerted efforts are required to keep this momentum. They agreed that the signing of proposed comprehensive PTA would address all issues including the textile sector.

Mr. Mandviwala said he is personally in touch with the Turkish companies who have investment projects in Pakistan or who are planning to come and invest in Pakistan. He informed that he will be meeting with many such investors in Istanbul. Mr. Mandviwala said Pakistan will encourage investment in steel sector and invited steel manufacturers to consider establishing world class steel plants in Pakistan