ANKARA - The third round of Pakistan-Turkey free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations was held on Thursday at the Ministry of Economy, Ankara. Robina Athar, Additional Secretary (Trade Diplomacy), Ministry of Commerce, led the Pakistan delegation comprising officials of Ministry of Commerce, Board of Investment and Federal Board of Revenue.

The Turkish side was led by Husnu Dilemre, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Economy, and government of Turkey officials. The Consul General of Pakistan in Istanbul Dr Yusuf Junaid and Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood were also present.

The two sides discussed draft texts for agreements on trade in goods, services and investments. During the negotiations, matters pertaining to tariffs, customs facilitation, safeguard measures, rules of origin, tariff reduction modality, bilateral investment mechanisms, and services were discussed extensively. Both sides expressed satisfaction at the progress made in the negotiations so far.

Building upon excellent political relations and vision of the political leadership of the two countries to forge a strong economic partnership, both sides agreed to continue to pursue FTA negotiations on a fast-track basis.

The decision to initiate negotiations for a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) covering trade in goods, services and investments was taken at the 4th Session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in Islamabad in February 2015, co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and Turkey. After holding the inaugural session of FTA negotiations in Ankara in October 2015, the two sides signed the “Framework Agreement” for the FTA in Islamabad in March 2016. Both sides have decided to hold the next round of FTA talks in Islamabad in August 2016.

MEETING OF JOINT COMMISSION ON ROAD TRANSPORTATION HELD

Staff Reporter from Islamabad: Pakistan and Turkey have reiterated their commitment to achieve the target of bilateral trade of more than 5 billion dollars in near future.

The second meeting of Pakistan-Turkey Joint Commission on Road Transportation was held here from July 26-27 under the framework of bilateral road transport agreement between Pakistan and Turkey signed on 15th June, 2003. The Turkish delegation headed by Mrs Nurhan Tufekcioglu, Deputy Director General, General Directorate for Road Transport Regulation, Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, met with the senior officers of the Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said a press release issued here Thursday.

It said both sides discussed various issues of mutual interest for strengthening the bilateral relations in the fields of roads & road transport. It was realized that existing brotherly ties would be strengthened further through operationalizing the already signed bilateral road transport agreement, which is aimed at facilitating the movement of cargo and passengers between the two countries.

Both the governments discussed matters related to visa facilitation for the drivers/crew, technical mechanism for movement of road transport between the two countries, insurance of goods, vehicles and drivers/crew and knowledge-sharing in the fields of roads & road transportation as well as further enhancing the collaboration between the private sectors of both sides.

DNA