Turkey and Pakistan are enjoying deep-rooted and time-tested relation of brotherhood. The excellent bilateral relations are already being transformed into a vibrant economic partnership as both countries want to build strong and mutually advantageous relations.
Turkish companies’ investments in Pakistan currently stand at US$ 900 million. There were various areas for Turkish investors – to explore in the vibrant and potential sectors of tourism, information technology, food processing, agro-based products, dairy development, hotel industry and resorts development. Both countries agreed to enhance bilateral trade to US $3 billion within the next two years besides signing 11 agreements and MoUs for cooperation in various fields.
While having a look on trade statistics, Pakistan and Turkey bilateral trade volume is just US$ 599.7 million comprising of Pakistan’ export to Turkey $310.5 million and imports from Turkey US$ 289 million in 2015. With the implementation of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) both countries will come closer to each other and will open a new horizon in economic and commercial ties.
Turkey-Pakistan Business Council and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey are closely cooperating with the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry to provide platforms for increasing interaction among the business communities.
Turkish and Pakistani business communities are also cooperating at the regional and trilateral level in the organizations and mechanisms such as the Federation of D-8 Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Chambers of Commerce (ECO CCI) and Istanbul Forum for Economic Cooperation between Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Turkish textile companies with their developed technical capabilities and investment capacity were also encouraged to explore this sector for joint ventures. Infrastructure is another area where Turkish companies have extensive international experience. Turkish contractors have undertaken 8,693 projects in 107 countries with a total value of US$ 322.6 billion. At present 42 Turkish companies are included among the ‘Top 250 International Contractors List’ with an annual turnover of US$ 19.3 billion in 2015.
With this figure Turkey ranked second in the world after the People’s Republic of China. On the other hand Turkey is among the world’s top 12 producers of building materials such as cement, glass, steel and ceramic tiles. Despite the effects of global crisis in the international markets that have been felt in 2008 and aftermath, Turkish international contracting services fared quite well in this period. As an economic expert, it is suggested that Pakistan should make use of expertise of Turkey in various sectors particularly in development of infrastructure, construction, energy and information technology.
Role of TOBB chairman Rifat Hisarcýklýoðlu the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), the country’s leading business organization and of Chairman of Tumsiad Yaþar Doðanrole for opening Tumsaid Pakistan branch for Turkish businessmen at Pakistan aim to increase trade between Pakistan and turkey up to 2 billion USD signing of free trade agreement with Pakistan which is the world’s 6th most populous country with 190 million citizens attracts attention of businessman by opening a new branch is appreciated, TOBB and Tümsiad will try to seize an opportunity at Pakistan which is the market already suitable for Turkish businessmen whose willing to be effective in sectors such as construction, energy, infrastructure, communications, automotive industry, plastics, iron and steel, food, paper, glass, cosmetics.
The free trade agreement which is signed between Turkey and Pakistan for increasing the volume of current trade, has converted this market to be attractive for Turkish businessmen. Pakistan is the world’s fourth largest producer of milk, fourth largest holder of livestock, fifth largest producer of wheat, among top rice producers and of course in mango production as well, which are potential business windows for foreign investor.
Pakistan and Turkey have been indispensable partners working assiduously to promote peace and prosperity for their people and the region. People-to-people connections were also of great importance for fostering connectivity and integration between Turkey and Pakistan.The writer is a prominent social activist and an economic expert on Pakistan Turkey relations.