LAHORE: Turkish businessmen are ready to initiate joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts as they are convinced that ample opportunities lie in a number of sectors including Construction and Energy.
This was stated by Mr Metin Gundogdu, head of seven-member strong Turkish business delegation, while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday.
LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari, Vice President Kashif Anwar, former Senior Vice President Yaqoob Tahir Izhar, Executive Committee Members Talha Tayyab Butt and Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam also spoke on the occasion.
The Head of the Turkish delegation said that Turkey for being second fastest growing economy of the world after China and first in the European Union has a lot to offer to their Pakistani counterparts and they should avail the available opportunities.
The head of the delegation called for exchange of business delegations so that both the sides could have firsthand knowledge of the available opportunities in Pakistan and Turkey. He said that both the countries have marvellous untapped business potential that needs to be realized by maximizing the involvement of private sectors of the two countries. He hoped that the economic relation between the two countries would strengthen further to create a win-win situation for Pakistan and Turkey.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said the time has come that the businessmen of both the countries should enhance their bilateral relations which will be beneficial for the people of both the countries. He said, “We can strengthen our economy by adopting the development and progress of Turkey as model.”
He commended the efforts made by Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif whose vision has contributed to a great deal in accelerating the two way interaction among the business community of Turkey and Pakistan.
He said that textiles sector has traditionally been the biggest sector of the economy. Studies and surveys confirm that its contribution in total exports are almost 60% and it engages almost 38% of manufacturing labour force to acquire more than 46% share in overall manufacturing.
The LCCI President said that in the context of having won the GSP plus status, the need of technology improvement and capacity building in textile sector of Pakistan is necessary. We have been offered a golden chance to further increase the textiles exports by USD 2 billion.
It does attract foreign investment and no other country can become better partner with Pakistan than Turkey. So any initiative from Turkish business community related to Textiles is always welcome.
Engineer Sohail Lashari said that Turkey is well positioned to take advantage of Pakistan’s economic potential and its geo-strategic location. “Let us make trade and investment, the central pillar of this cooperation.”
He said that with regard to solid waste management, it is proposed that waste-to-energy solutions are gaining a lot of success in modern world.
He said that Pakistan is facing severe crisis in energy sector and it is the best way that we go far all possible options of alternative energy.
He emphasized that some kind of understanding should be developed between the private sector representatives of both the countries that will certainly provide basis to convert that into business deals.
He said that these practical steps will surely go a long way in enhancing the current level of two-way trade between Pakistan and Turkey which is constantly dipping since 2011.
He stressed the need to identify the reasons as to why our total trade that once touched the level of USD 916 million in 2011 has come down to USD 557.5 million in 2013.
He said that some analysts presume that the trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan can be increased as high as US$ 2 billion with some joint efforts made by public and private sectors of both the countries.
It will remain a presumption unless some positive and practical steps are taken.
He also called for B2B meetings on regular basis in order to strengthen our business ties.
He apprised the Turkish delegates that LCCI has achieved a unique milestone by establishing a Mediation Centre in collaboration with International Finance Corporation.
He said that we have more than 40 accredited mediators who can provide mediation services in order to settle any trade dispute. I think this centre will serve as a confidence booster for Turkish business community to positively consider Pakistan for trade expansion.
The LCCI President said that time has come for making social, cultural and economic alliances to overcome the challenges. In his address, the LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar hoped that the Turkish delegation visit would pave way for enhanced volume of bilateral trade between the two countries.