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March 19, 2016

Pakistan, Turkey to sign FTA next week


March 19, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey will sign a free trade agreement framework on Tuesday to tap the massive potential of bolstering trade between the two countries, Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Sadik Babur Girgin said on Friday.

Turkish Economy Minister will visit Islamabad to sign the agreement between the two countries, which have very close cooperation in diverse fields, including defence and fighting war against terrorism and extremism.

The current trade between the two countries stands at $600 million, but after signing the agreement it has the potential to touch $2 billion mark, he said.

The current balance of trade is in favour of Pakistan, Girgin told APP in an exclusive interview.

The framework agreement will result into free trade agreement, which was expected to be signed before the end of the current year said the diplomatic sources in the embassy.

It was in February last year when the 4th meeting of Turkey-Pakistan High Level Cooperation Council was held in Islamabad under the chairmanships of Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which had decided to begin negotiations of a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement between the two countries, sources said.

Pakistan and Turkey had been negotiating the FTA for quite some time and the first round of talks between their officials was held in Ankara in October last year to discuss the details of the agreement.

Pakistan mainly imports telecommunication equipment, TV, cameras, radar apparatus, textile and machinery, while Turkey’s imports from Pakistan included textile yarn, cotton, woven fabrics, apparel and clothing accessories, plastics and organic chemicals.

During a recent visit by a Turkish business delegation to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry its members had strongly voiced for signing an FTA between the two countries.  The members of the delegation expressed the hope that such an accord could spur joint ventures, besides increasing trade, as it would help lower the current high Customs duties between the two sides.

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