Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received an enthusiastic welcome on his fourth visit to Pakistan. It is hoped the visit will strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries and help boost bilateral trade.
In addition to a high-level diplomatic delegation, the President was accompanied by more than 60 Turkish businessmen and investors.
The current trade volume between the two countries is $900 million. Turkey and Pakistan are engaged in the Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) which aims to boost the bilateral trade volume. Last year, Ankara presented its proposals on the SEF to Islamabad with an aim to increase bilateral trade by five times it’s the existing level.
The SEF includes some 71 actionable items – including free trade agreement, technology transfer, capacity building and defense cooperation.
Pakistan is seeking Turkey's cooperation in several sectors, notably mining and technology transfer as key areas.
Farooq Afzal, a Karachi-based businessman, said he saw "huge opportunities" for Turkish investors in Pakistan's tourism and construction sectors.
"Pakistan has a tremendous treasure of natural beauty to show the world. But we terribly lack in terms of infrastructure, whereas Turkish companies embody a huge experience in this field," Afzal commented.
President Erdogan received a standing ovation when he addressed the parliament and the visit received widespread coverage in the Pakistani media. Prime Minister Imran Khan met the Turkish President at the airport and accompanied him in his car.
There was live transmission of his record fourth address to Pakistan’s parliament, where his commitment of support for Kashmiris and pledge to boost economic and defense cooperation were much appreciated.