ISLAMABAD - Turkish Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul stressed that Pakistan and Turkey should aim to increase annual trade volume up to $10 billion that was achievable with stronger efforts from both sides.

The bilateral trade between Turkey and Pakistan in terms of per capita was just around $2 which was quite negligible given the market size of 300 million people of both countries; the Ambassador said this while addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He was accompanied by Demir Ahmet Sahin, Commercial Counsellor of Turkey.

The Turkish Ambassador said that CPEC was a great project for Pakistan; however, the investors of Turkey were not fully aware information about business prospects in CPEC.

He urged that Pakistan Business Council, FPCCI and Chambers of Commerce should inform the Turkish investors about potential opportunities of JVs and investment in CPEC so that they could take benefit of such opportunities. He said the new government of Pakistan has priority focus on building low-cost houses in Pakistan and added that Turkey with good expertise in building such houses could help Pakistan in realizing this goal. He also hoped that the current leadership of Turkey and Pakistan would finalize free trade agreement that would give boost to bilateral trade between the two countries.

Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul said that Turkish companies have invested $2 billion in Pakistan and more could come if apprised of the potential business prospects. He assured that he would play role promote Pakistan's business interests in Turkey.

He appreciated ICCI for holding business opportunities conference in Turkey in the last week of June 2018 as added that he was receiving positive feedback from Turkish businessmen about this event.

Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, ICCI said that Pakistan and Turkey enjoyed historic cordial relations that should be transformed into growing trade and economic relations.

He said Pakistan and Turkey were doing trade in limited items and they should focus on diversification of trade to achieve better results. He said both countries should develop direct road and railway links that would help in improving trade volume.

He identified tourism, IT, food processing, agro-based industry, dairy development, furniture industry, hospitality, construction, resorts development as potential areas for JVs and investment for Turkish investors in Pakistan.

He assured that ICCI would work with Turkish Embassy for bringing private sectors of both countries even closer for trade promotion.