The multifaceted ties between Pakistan and Turkey are burgeoning in the field of defence co-operation as the latter has agreed to modernise Pakistan’s F-16 fleet for US $75 million, said a senior official of Turkey-Asia Pacific Councils of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) on Saturday.
Turkey was manufacturing engines and some spare-parts for the F-16 jets and Pakistan has a deal on an aviation project under which Istanbul will modernise Pakistan’s fighter planes, with some fighters already flown to Turkey, said Volkan YUZER, Regional Co-ordinator while briefing a group of visiting journalists, hailing from Asia-Pacific countries.
Questioned on the great business opportunities in Pakistan, he said, at least 100 Turkish companies were already doing successful business in Pakistan.
These companies have invested US $2.7 billion on various projects in Pakistan since 2014. More Turkish investments, he said, were expected in energy, infrastructure and beverages projects.
He disclosed that Turkish Coca Cola Company was expected to bring in US $250 million investment to Pakistan in next 3-years.
Fielding another question, he said, there was great potential for investments in Pakistan’s dairy sector as it was one of the leading milk producing countries of the world.
Fontera Company which was a big name in this industry, he said, was interested in investing in the Pakistan dairy industry, but did not divulge more details.
Replying to a question on signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by September 2016, he said both sides were working out details of the agreement.
When asked how it would impact trade between the two countries which now hovered around US $600 million, he said, it was expected to increase to US $1 billion besides seeing a surge in Turkish investment in Pakistan.
YUZER said a business delegation, comprising entrepreneurs of many Turkish companies, was expected to visit Pakistan in August or September 2016.
During visits to Karachi and Lahore, Turkish businessmen would meet their Pakistani counterparts to explore possibilities of bilateral co-operation between Pakistan and Turkey.
He said there were 130 Business Councils in Istanbul which were working specifically to promote Turkey foreign economic relations with different countries of the world including Pakistan.
These councils were set up in 1986 to transform a massive potential of Turkish economy and its strategic location to become a global player in the field. This was a new concept of business diplomacy to ensure Istanbul’s place in a reshaped world of commerce.
The foreign investment in Turkey has been increasing in the past many years because this was $15 billion in 1993-2002 while it rose to $114 billion in 2014-2015 as a result of different steps taken by the Turkish government to promote its economic relations with countries in various regions, he said.