KARACHI - Commercial Attaché of Turkish Consulate in Karachi, Murat Mustu has said that negotiations for free trade agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and Turkey are planned to be finalised by December 2016 which will be followed by signing of FTA between the two brotherly countries. 

Delivering a presentation “Recent Developments in Turkey & Turkey-Pakistan FTA Negotiations” during his visit to Karachi Chamber, Commercial Attaché added that both parties will meet in Istanbul by the end of October to review request lists. He was fairly optimistic that after the FTA comes into force, trade between Pakistan and Turkey will improve substantially and this agreement will prove very favorable for the two economies.

Terming it a ‘New Generation FTA’, Murat Mustu said that Pakistan-Turkey FTA focuses on Liberalization in trade of good, services and investment.

According to the presentation, Turkey has signed Free Trade Agreement with a total of 23 countries whereas FTA negotiations with 14 countries including Pakistan were also underway. Murat Mustu further mentioned that the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan will be holding public consultations meetings in Karachi and Lahore on Oct 4th and Oct 6th respectively to solicit suggestions and recommendations from stakeholders on Free Trade Agreement with Turkey.

Earlier, President KCCI Younus Muhammad Bashir, welcoming Murat Mustu, appreciated the Turkish government for their support and cooperation being accorded to Karachi Chamber through the Turkish Embassy and its Consulate in Karachi.

The Karachi Chamber was keen to strengthen trade ties and exploring new bilateral trade prospects with Turkey as Pakistan’s improved relations and enhanced trade with countries like Turkey would surely help in dealing with the economic crisis and ensure prosperity for both the countries.

Commenting on Pakistan-Turkey economic relations, he said that both countries have significant trade volume where Pakistan exported commodities of worth $215 million while imported commodities of worth $249 million during 2015-16. He was of the view that there was a huge potential to enhance bilateral trade relations between Turkey and Pakistan by exchanging several commodities of interest between each other.

Turkey imports pearls & precious stones, pharmaceuticals, cotton, man-made filaments and cereals from other parts of the world. Pakistan can target Turkey as its potential export market for all these commodities, he suggested.