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Pak-Turkey Free Trade Agreement to boost economic ties between the two countries



ANKARA: Ahmed Changez Ozdemir, Chairperson of the Turkish-Pakistan Business Council (DEIK), said that in addition to the SEF, an action plan and provisions for improving trade and investment relations have been set up to boost and motivate bilateral trade. 

The two countries have been embroiled in deep socio-economic ties for the past few years and their bilateral trade volume has increased from 600 600 million to over 800 800 million in the last five years. In 2020, the trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan was 9 889 million, which Ozdemir believes does not reflect the real economic potential of the two countries.

He said that the business community has been demanding the signing of a free trade agreement for a long time, which would benefit bilateral trade and investment relations and pave the way for a strong economic movement.

In addition to the deep historical ties with Turkey, Ozdemer, referring to Pakistan's young population and its location in Asia, said that Pakistan offers significant opportunities in many industries, including infrastructure and energy. "All these factors make Pakistan an important market for Turkish businessmen."

Ozdemir emphasized the growing potential of the agricultural sector, saying that the market for agricultural commodities was .1 22.1 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach 35 35 billion by 2023. "Turkey accounts for only 0.8 per cent of Pakistan's total imports. This is very low, especially given the deep ties between the two countries. 10.5 per cent of Pakistan's total imports come from the food sector. He stressed that there could be opportunities for Turkish businessmen, especially in the food and beverage industry and related technologies.

"Machinery is very important in Pakistan's imports and I think the role of Turkish companies in Pakistan's machinery imports could be better," he said. I believe that our companies can export more and more agricultural machinery to Pakistan, especially in terms of increasing agricultural production. ”

Ozdemer also referred to the potential of the construction industry in Pakistan, which will grow from 26 26.7 billion in 2018 to about ً 35 billion by 2023. He also specifically mentioned the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a set of infrastructure projects in Pakistan. Ozdemir stressed that "Turkish companies need to participate in infrastructure, dams, roads and other construction projects under the C-Pack."

Talking about the impact of C-Pack in the infrastructure sector and the opportunities available to Turkish businesses, he said that there are also opportunities for foreign enterprises in Pakistan, especially in the construction of roads and railway infrastructure, modern warehouses, In the areas of solid waste disposal projects, transportation technology and infrastructure planning and preparation. "So far, Turkish construction companies have participated in 68 projects worth 3.4 billion in Pakistan. In this sector, the housing sector in Pakistan accounts for 51.3% of the industry."

Ozdemer stressed that Pakistan is the fifth largest country in the world in terms of population and the country needs about 700,000 new housing units annually.

He also pointed to co-operation in the defense sector, saying "one of the key areas of economic co-operation between the two countries is the defense industry. Yes, we have seen that we can get a good market in this sector in Pakistan. ”

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