Turkey, Pakistan sign free trade agreement framework

Turkey, Pakistan sign free trade agreement framework

ISLAMABAD - Anadolu Agency
Turkey, Pakistan sign free trade agreement framework

AA photo

Turkey and Pakistan have paved the way for a new free trade deal, which has the potential to reduce barriers in bilateral trade and investment.

Turkish Economy Minister Mustafa Elitaş and Pakistani Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan inked the free trade agreement framework in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on March 22.        

The free trade agreement between the two countries was expected to be signed before the end of 2016.      
Elitaş discussed with Khan a number of ways to further enhance trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.        

Negotiations over the deal were launched by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the latter’s visit to Turkey in October 2015.      
Last year, bilateral trade was around $600 million, including $289 million in imports from Turkey.    
Turkey mainly exports telecommunication equipment, televisions, textiles and machinery, while imports from Pakistan include textile yarn, cotton fabrics, plastics and organic chemicals.        

Elitaş said the two nations can increase bilateral trade to $2 billion, if the governments and private sector “paddle faster.”        

“Technical teams from the countries will start negotiations on goods and services after signing the framework agreement,” Elitaş said.

“The Turkish contractor sector has undertaken 45 projects, mainly energy and infrastructure, worth $2.9 billion to date in Pakistan,” he said.