LAHORE - Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Turkish Embassy Wednesday decided to establish a new mechanism to expedite trade between the two countries.

The decision was made at a meeting between the Turkish Ambassador S Babur Girgin and LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari here. LCCI VP Kashif Anwar also spoke on the occasion.

The Ambassador said the very objective of putting in place a new mechanism was to translate the potential between the two countries. He also urged Sohail Lashari to establish a Turkey desk at Lahore Chamber so that the trade related information could be passed onto the Pakistan’s business community. He also invited the LCCI President to sign MOU with Istanbul Chamber of commerce and Industry.

He said that a direct flight between Lahore and Istanbul would start in month’s time that would prove a giant leap towards enhancing bilateral trade relations. “Turkey believes in Pakistan as it is the country of future,” he observed.

The diplomat expressed the optimism that Pakistan energy crisis would soon be over as it has a lot of potential and its people were very hard working. The Turkish Ambassador hinted at more investment in transport sector in coming years.

While, the LCCI President said that Turkey was an inspiring example for the world as far as its economic progress was concerned, adding that Turkey had always helped Pakistani people generously in every hour of trial. “Although Pakistan and Turkey are two independent countries yet hearts of people of both the countries beat together. It will not be wrong that both nations are one body and two souls,” he remarked.

Metro bus project was a shining example of Pakistan-Turkey friendship, he said that this project had been completed in a short period with the cooperation of Turkey and about 175,000 people were travelling by metro buses every day. He said that he had no words to describe Pak-Turk friendship as both the countries have strong brotherly relations.

He said the modern cleanliness system launched with cooperation of Turkey in Lahore was continuing successfully and now its scope was being expanded to other big cities of Punjab.

Lashari said Punjab government was providing very conducive atmosphere to foreign investors and incentives were being provided to them on priority basis. He said that both the sides needed to make all out efforts to develop closer trade and investment ties between us practically involving all the concerned individuals. Although the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey had been gradually growing but it still leaves much to be desired.

In the same period of time, Pak exports to Turkey had shown considerable improvement, however, the current level of trade between Pakistan and Turkey had least relevance to the size of markets of the two countries. In terms of GDP, Turkey ranked at 17th place is way ahead of Pakistan which is at 47th place.

The LCCI is ready to play its due role in exploring the available opportunities, he assured.

Turkey imported semi finished goods from various countries in bulk for value addition and Pakistan could be the best case for that.

Pakistani businessmen were capable of exporting semi finished goods to Turkey from textiles to dairy products, from fresh fruits and vegetables to precious and semi precious gems and many more.

Pakistan s major exports to Turkey are cotton, plastics, cereals, beverages, spirits, articles of apparel, manmade staple fibres, articles of leather, raw hides and skins and etc. Whereas Pakistan’s major imports from Turkey are machinery, ships, organic chemicals, paper & paperboard, iron and steel, plastics products, tanning & dyeing extracts and etc.

Keeping in view the market potential of the two countries a lot of trade and investment could take place between two countries. The best possible way was to identify the areas where we can cooperate. Both the sides should also consider opportunities where joint ventures could be made, he concluded.