ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey Tuesday agreed to work towards a Free Trade Agreement to enhance bilateral trade to US 3 billion dollars in two years and paving the way to boost it to US 5-10 billion dollars in the next few years.
Addressing a joint press stake out here at the PM House at the conclusion of a series of meetings between Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu said both the sides have agreed to give a central thrust to bilateral trade and investment cooperation.
“We are embarking on new trade liberalization initiatives,” Prime Minister Sharif said in his remarks to the press as his Turkish counterpart agreed that both the countries have great potential in trade.
“What we need is more interaction, cooperation and a better atmosphere,” Turkish Prime Minister said in his remarks.
He said both the countries also needed a better and efficient transport network and desired greater frequency of flights of Pakistan International and Turkish Airlines between the two countries.
He also spoke of need of having more cooperation in railways, maritime and energy to promote trade.
Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan-Turkey cooperation on security, defence and counter-terrorism cooperation remains robust.
They vowed to continue to extend support to other in all areas and in keeping with their rich historical and cultural ties.
The Turkish Prime Minister announced an additional support of US 20 million dollars for internally displaced persons and the flood affected people.
The two leaders also discussed the situation in the region, particularly with reference to the transition in Afghanistan and had an exclusive meeting, besides the one with their aides before inking ten agreements and Memoranda of Understandings, along with a Joint Statement.
Prime Minister Sharif said the MoUs and agreements signed today would further enhance bilateral cooperation in diverse fields – including economic, social sectors, energy and trade.
“We have no doubt that Pakistan-Turkey relations would continue to grow from strength to strength – serving as a powerful factor for stability in the region and beyond,” he added.
He said Pakistan and Turkey were pivotal states, playing a vitally important role in their respective regions and crafting effective responses to challenges and opportunities.
The two leaders also headed the 4th session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) between the two countries.
Prime Minister Sharif said wide-ranging talks were held to reaffirm joint commitment to continue to transform special relationship into a strong strategic partnership.
He said HLSCC provides strategic focus and direction to their bilateral relationship — covering key areas like political cooperation, trade, finance and banking, energy, transport and communications, education, culture and tourism.
Prime Minister Sharif said he was gratified with the outcome of their extensive talks and said it would place their relationship on an even higher pedestal.
“As indispensable partners, Pakistan and Turkey would continue to work closely –making a substantial contribution to peace and development, at bilateral, regional and international levels.”
Turkish PM said the two countries have so far inked over 50 agreements and Memoranda of Understanding following the four High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) meetings.