Pakistan, Turkey heading to free trade deal
ANKARAPakistan and Turkey have commenced negotiations on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA,) as the inaugural session of the talks has been concluded in the Turkish capital of Ankara.
The decision for a mutual FTA was made by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his Pakistani counterpart, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, during the fourth session of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSC) in Islamabad in February 2015. This envisaged an FTA covering trade in goods, services and investments.
The Pakistan delegation was led by Robina Athar, the additional secretary for the Ministry of Commerce, and included Pakistani Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood and Consul General in Istanbul Dr. Yusuf Junaid. The Turkish side was led by Economy Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Husnu Dilemre and included senior officials from other relevant Turkish departments.
During the talks, the two sides reiterated their commitment to have a comprehensive FTA and conclude the negotiations on a fast-track basis. At the conclusion of the session, the two sides signed the Terms of Reference (TORs) for the FTA negotiations.
The next round of talks will be held in Islamabad in December 2015.