LAHORE: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey was ready to provide its economic development roadmap to Pakistan to put the country on the path to speedy development.
Prime ministers Erdogan and Nawaz Sharif vowed to further strengthen the bilateral, trade, cultural, political and economic relations between their countries. They stressed the need for both sides to work for joint ventures and investment in diversified sectors of economy, including energy, transport, communication, infrastructure, textile, automobile, agriculture, industry, food processing, dairy development, information technology, oil and gas, etc, in each other countries.
The two premiers expressed these views at a function organised by Pak-Turk Business Forum at a local hotel. Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Turkish Minister of Economy Zafer Caglayan and Turkish minister for transport were prominent among other ministers, parliamentarians, business tycoons from both Pakistan and Turkey.
Both the sides also inked three memorandums of understanding between Punjab Industrial Department and Turkey Cooperation Agency; Pakistan Railways and Turkish Logistics Organisation; Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and Turkish Standard Institution. In his address, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan thanked Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistani nation for according them a very warm welcome.
He said that he felt Lahore was his second home, adding that Pakistanis and Turkish people enjoy historic brotherly relations and “I am proud of this relationship”. He also paid rich tributes to present political and democratic government led by Nawaz Sharif, who heralded Pak-Turk relations into a new era. “We have made commitment to further enhance the bilateral trade and economic relations during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent visit to Istanbul and our current visit is also part of that,” he maintained.
Erdogan told the participants that he had brought along representatives of 39 Turkish companies as well as a huge trade delegation and they came to Pakistan to explore investment opportunities here. He said that the current trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey hovers around $83 million, which did not manifest the actual trade potential that existed between the two countries. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a few years ago, the global economic recession did not have any negative impact on Turkey that had a strong economic footing and is now one of the fast developing countries. A number of foreign companies were making billions of dollars of investment in Turkey, he added.
He asserted that Turkey was economically strong mainly because of its political stability, adding that it was the 6th major economy in the European Union and 16th at global level. He said that Turkey had put in order a legal framework and an accurate banking system for business that was why Turkish economy was growing at rapid pace. In this connection, he added, the Turkish private sector and entrepreneurs played an eminent role. Tayyip Erdogan also appreciated the Pakistan’s economic policies that restored the foreign investor’s confidence to invest in the country. “I have strong conviction that Pakistan will become a fast developing country,” said the Turkish premier.
He said that under the Preferential Trade Agreement, the holding of trade fairs, exchange of trade delegations, technical assistance and scholarship programmes should be fulfilled to enhance bilateral trade. The Turkish prime minister said that Turkey and Pakistan should walk shoulder to shoulder in every walk of life to get optimum benefit from each other’s potentials. He said that the Metro Bus project assisted by Turkey had transformed Lahore into a modern and developed city. He said that such projects should also be launched in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Earlier in his address, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif formally welcomed the distinguished members of Turkish delegation to historic and beautiful city of Lahore and said this visit would further promote economic ties between the two brotherly Islamic countries. He stated that ever since his address to Business Forum in Istanbul in September 2013, he had received a number of Turkish business delegations that were keen to show interest in Pakistan. “We can mutually work together for the economic growth of both the countries and let us ensure that this momentum in Pakistan-Turkey ties continue forever,” he observed.
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