Turkiye eyes $5b trade in next two years
KARACHI: Ambassador of Turkiye to Pakistan Dr Mehmet Pacaci has said that Pakistan and Turkiye can easily push bilateral trade to $5 billion in the next one to two years.
However, in the long term, the bilateral trade could reach $20-25 billion, he anticipated.
“We should make full use of mutually shared multilateral platforms like the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO). We will focus on offering two more visa categories including tourist visa and business tourism visa,” he said while visiting the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) head office on Tuesday with a team of senior Turkish diplomats.
The ambassador said that people-to-people linkages were very important in the peculiar case of Turkiye and Pakistan, adding that the South Asian country with close to 250 million population was very important for Turkiye economically.
“We should capitalise on opportunities made available by Pakistan’s inclusion into the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) convention pertaining to land-based cargo and Trade in Goods Agreement (TGA) signed between the two countries,” said FPCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh.
Industrialists and IT experts, while talking to The Express Tribune, said that there was over $5 million trade deficit with Turkiye and if Pakistan intended to bridge the gap forthwith, it would have to export IT services as it was the shortest possible way.
They said that IT services comprised programming, designing, software development, robotic machine learning and other such services. They added that the IT industry could gain good business in Turkiye immediately in comparison with other industries which could take a longer time to leave their impact on Turkiye markets.
At present, Pakistan’s exports include textile, leather, sports goods, surgical instruments, agricultural products, rice and the like. Moreover, Pakistan imports processed food, engineering goods, home appliances, confectionery, beverages, toys, defence products and others.
FPCCI Senior Vice President Muhammad Suleman Chawla stressed that Pakistan should aggressively explore new avenues for exports as the current bilateral trade of $1.3 billion was way below the true potential.
Expansion of economic relations must incorporate industrial collaborations and transfer of technology, he said.
FPCCI’s Pakistan-Turkiye Joint Business Council Chairman Amjad Rafi maintained that both countries should put in place a practical and efficient currency swap agreement to overcome the lack of commercial banking channels and other issues with corresponding banks.
He also said that land-based cargo under TIR reaches Istanbul in less than two weeks, which is around 30% of the time required for sea-based cargo. The cost of goods transportation could also be more than halved through that manner, he added.