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‘Pak and Turkey need to do more on trade’ Turkish envoy says

KARACHI: Consul General of Turkey Tolga Ucak has said that although Turkey and Pakistan have been enjoying excellent relations but the trade volume remains limited at around US$700 million so ‘we have to do more’.

Any initiative by Karachi Chamber to enhance its linkages with Istanbul Chamber of Commerce would certainly be fully facilitated and supported by the Turkish Consulate in Karachi as it would certainly prove beneficial for the business communities of the two countries, he added while exchanging views at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI).

President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Senior Vice President Khurram Shahzad, Vice President Asif Sheikh Javaid, Chairman KCCI’s Sub-Committee for Diplomatic Mission Embassies Liaison Shamoon Zaki and Managing Committee Members attended the meeting.

Terming Karachi as a ‘vibrant and active city’ where a lot of production was taking place and numerous services were being offered, Turkish CG advised the business community of Karachi to have more interaction with their counterparts in Turkey with a view to improve the existing trade volume, besides taking steps to promote tourism opportunities in both countries.

The envoy suggested that the Karachi Chamber should send a business delegation to Turkey to further explore trade and investment opportunities.

He said that Business-to-Business and People-to-People contacts have to be promoted between the two countries whereas exchange of students must also be encouraged.

To promote tourism opportunities in Pakistan, he advised Pakistani travel agents and tour operators to open their offices in Turkey so that Turkish tourists could be acquainted about huge tourism opportunities across Pakistan.

Earlier, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, in his welcome remarks, briefed the Turkish CG about KCCI which is the premier and largest trade body of the country with a strong membership base of more than 55,000 direct and indirect members while around 500,000 plus taxpayers also fall under KCCI’s ambit through its member firms.

He said that the Karachi Chamber, which remains actively engaged in raising voice for resolving the issues being faced by the business and industrial community, also acts as a bridge between, foreign missions, government, law enforcement agencies, SMEs, small traders & industrialists of Karachi.

He said that despite having good brotherly relations, it was a matter of concern that no Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), Free Trade Agreement (FTA) or any other agreement exist between Pakistan and Turkey.

Expressing concerns over limited trade volume between the two countries, Junaid Makda stressed the need for making collective efforts and exploring new avenues for trade enhancement. “To improve trade and investment ties, the Karachi Chamber is keen to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Istanbul Chamber which would help in bringing the business communities and create a win-win situation for both,” he added.

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