Sector-based cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan on the increase 

A DEİK-organised Pakistan-Turkey Round Table Meeting was held on 17 November 2016 in the Pakistani capital Islamabad. The event was attended by the host side's President, Nawaz Sharif, by his counterpart, the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Economics Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Nihat Zeybekci, DEİK-President Ömer Cihad Vardan and about 50 businessmen from both Turkey and Pakistan. The participants represented the contracting, energy, white goods, aviation, food, textiles and banking industries. The main topic discussed at the event was the bilateral cooperation potential in particular in energy, defence, agriculture and infrastructure projects.

In his address President Erdoğan emphasised the bond of friendship between Turkey and Pakistan and expressed his expectation of deeper economic ties between the two countries. He praised the event as an opportunity to discover trade and investment potentials, and pointed out that the Turkish holdings currently invested in Pakistan are leading representatives of the Turkish food, construction and energy sector. 

The Pakistani President Nawaz Sharif responded to President Erdoğan's call with a promise of support for Turkish investors in his country. President Sharif drew the audience's attention to the attractive opportunities Pakistan offers Turkish investors, and underlined his expectation that these high-level contacts lead to more advanced trade and investment-based economic relations between the two countries.

DEİK President Ömer Cihad Vardan praised the general ease of doing business in Pakistan; Turkish companies and Turkish businessmen there faced no restrictions with respect to visas, work permits and similar issues, he said. President Vardan called upon the business community to use these advantages and stressed the point that the bilateral trade and investment relations should be addressed from a strategic perspective. He also said that a number of problems need to solved as soon as possible and urged both sides to finalise the Free Trade Agreement, which is currently being negotiated between Turkey and Pakistan, for the sake of the advancement of bilateral ties.