Honourable President of Turkey undertook an official visit of Pakistan on 13-14 February 2020 .During this visit the emphasis was placed on promoting bilateral trade and investment.
On February 14 2020 first ever Pakistan Turkey Business and Investment Forum was organized by Ministry of Commerce in partnership with the Turkish Ministry of Trade and DEIK the Foreign Economic Relation Board of Turkey.
While giving the presentation to the audience, Secretary Commerce Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera highlighted that Pakistan is a business-friendly country having many investment opportunities. Pakistan poses a huge human resource in which major chunk is of young people. Secretary Commerce highlighted the investment potential of Pakistan agriculture, dairy , services and Tourism and invited Turkish companies to invest . He pointed out the immense natural resources that Pakistan has and conveyed that the need is to create value added sector as has rightly been pointed out by PM Imran Khan “Pakistan to be next manufacturing hub”.
While giving the welcoming remarks, Mr. Anjum Nisar Chairman FPCCI said this Forum is organized to highlight and increase trade and cooperation between both countries. Pakistan’s manpower and Turkish skills would provide an ideal situation to cooperate in various fields.
Mr. Ahmet Cengiz Ozdemir , Chairman Turkey- Pakistan Business Council said China Pakistan Economic Corridor is an opportunity to increase cooperation between both countries.
During the Forum two Panel discussions were held in the first Panel Discussion on the “Investment Opportunities in Pakistan” Lt. General (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa said that Pakistan is rich in mineral resources with an array of minerals including the precious and industrial metals. He informed that we are also developing new mass transit systems under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Turkey has technological advantage in construction sector which can be utilized to invest in Pakistan. Mr. Umer Rasool, Secretary Board of Investment said that Board of Investment is here to facilitate businesses and make it an easy task for foreign companies.
Mr. Jamil Ahmad, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan also highlighted the friendly investment regime and compared it with the countries in the region. He futher conveyed the incentives Government of Pakistan is providing to the foreign investors.
Mr. Asim Ahmed, Member, Federal Board of Revenue highlighted that there are 1600 items in custom schedule for which custom duties have been reduced from 3 to 0 % that includes textile, fertilizer. There are 26 areas in which complete or partial exemption of duties that include home appliances and fertilizers. He informed that FBR has created One Window Operation for 48 national departments. Mr. Risha Mohyeddin, Global Treasurer, Habib Bank Limited said that State Bank of Pakistan has created very flexible regime to invite foreign investors. Once the investment is registered with State Bank of Pakistan, it can be withdrawn anytime. Foreign investors can invest in treasury bonds and corporate bonds.
The second Panel Discussion was on the “Turkish Companies’ Investment Experiences in Pakistan”. Mr. Umer Ahsen, CEO, Dawlance highlighted the opportunities available for the new investment in the Special Economic Zones and that Pakistan can learn from the Turkish experience of exporting to Europe in this regard. Mr. Cem Aker, International Projects Director, Dolsar Engineering, highlighted that we are registered with Federal Board of Revenue and regularly participate in tenders without any difficulty.
Dr. Mustafa Cetin Gumusoglu, Business Development and Overseas Director, SiyahKalem said that Pakistan should take initiatives to complete project on time as this is the key to successful completion of initiatives.
The President of Turkey H.E Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan also addressed the Forum. In his Welcoming address the Advisor to P.M on Commerce Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood highlighted the importance of Bilateral Trade and expressed that the quantum of trade has to match with the immense goodwill and cordial relations that exist at a political level between the two brotherly countries. He asked the business community to capitalize on this top level political goodwill and take up the challenge of enhancing bilateral trade to the next level. Ms. Ruhsar Pekcan, Minister of Trade of Turkey, reciprocated the warm sentiments and showed her complete agreement to the views expressed by the Advisor to PM on Commerce. She explained the importance of joint ventures and transfer of technology in the areas where Turkish companies may collaborate with their Pakistani counterparts. She stressed the need for mutually conducive investment climate. She appreciated the progress made in the Joint Working Group on Trade & Investment wherein the decision to complete a Joint Scoping Study highlighted the untapped potential to be completed by end of March 2020. The study would set out a roadmap for negotiations on Pakistan-Turkey Free Trade Agreement.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, in his address acknowledged the immense respect and popularity which the President of Turkey enjoys in Pakistan from all spectrum of socio-political segments of the society. He appreciated the large presence of Turkish business delegation and presence of major Turkish business groups in the Forum. He highlighted the potential of Pakistani tourism, construction, Information Technology and agriculture sectors besides various development initiatives whereby the Turkish business groups may find lucrative opportunities. The Prime Minister conveyed the strong resolve of the present government to be the most business and investment friendly in the history of Pakistan and mentioned that Pakistan has improved in just one year by more than 28 positions in the Ease of Doing Business Index by the World Bank. He invited the Turkish companies to take part in China Pakistan Economic Corridor infrastructure projects and populate the Special Economic Zones. The Turkish President H.E Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his address, warmly reciprocated the sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and conveyed his resolve to take the quantum of bilateral trade to US$ 5 billion in the coming year. He highlighted the presence of key Turkish companies in the energy, engineering, construction and electrical appliances sectors of Pakistan and conveyed that more Turkish investment is on the way in dairy, food processing, agriculture, hydro-electric and pharmaceutical sectors. Besides investment, the President also mentioned about the state of the art health facilities in Turkey and the growing health tourism which the people of Pakistan could also benefit. The President appreciated the development of Strategic Economic Framework between the two countries and hoped that it would pave way for further strengthening of bilateral trade and investment relations in the coming years.