ISLAMABAD: Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul, Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan has said that on invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Erdogan is likely to visit Pakistan in the second half of 2019.
Ambassador Yurdakul in a background discussion with Jang Group on Thursday shared that the visit is likely to be after the Municipal elections in Turkey scheduled for end March and subject to schedule of both leaders. He stated that the Leadership Summit between Prime Minister of Pakistan and President of Turkey will also be held during the visit of President Erdogan to Pakistan.
Ambassador Yurdakul said that the Strategic Economic Framework at government to government level between Pakistan and Turkey will be completed before President Erdogan visit and is likely to be signed during the visit. He said the new strategic economic framework will cover many sectors for trade and investment growth. The Ambassador stated that trade in local currency is one of preferred instruments for Turkey adding that he would like it to be one of agenda points in the new economic framework agreement.
Ambassador Yurdakul said that during the recent visit of Pakistan Prime Minister to Turkey, directions have been given to concerned authorities to finalise the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between both countries within 2019. He said with new Economic Framework Agreement and FTA will increase trade activities and take it towards USD 2 billion trade level between both the countries. He said that present USD 500 million trade volume did not reflect the close relations between both countries and the opportunities therein. He said Turkey was already a major investor in Pakistan with over US dollars one billion investment and Turkish companies are keen to invest more.
He said there were large opportunities for Pakistani investors in Turkey and he keeps the local chambers aware. In a light vein, he said he was happy to see a Pakistani restaurant in Ankara during his recent visit.
Ambassador Yurdakul said that President Erdogan shared with Prime Minister Imran Khan the experience and success of Turkish Housing projects during the last 15-20 years adding that Turkish authorities in Housing Sector are keen to help the new Pakistan government’s housing project.
Yurdakul stated that the Tripartite Pakistan Afghanistan and Turkey summit is also proposed in second quarter of 2019. He said Turkey wants that peace should be settled in Afghanistan which shall improve the peace and security situation in Pakistan. He said that forums of D-8 and ECO should be further used to improve regional coordination and business relations between Pakistan, Iran and Turkey. He expressed the hope that the Rail Link between these brotherly countries should start soon to further improve connectivity and trade relations.
He said that Turkey has shared very good and cordial relations with Iran since the 17th century and would like to see relations between Iran, Turkey and Pakistan further improve.