ISTANBUL: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday stressed upon the Turkish companies to invest in Pakistan, as the infinite potential between the two brotherly countries should also be reflected in the bilateral trade and business.
Addressing a Turkiye-Pakistan Business Council meeting organized by Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye (DEIK), the prime minister said his government would no longer tolerate any snags and impediments in the way of investment from the foreign investors including the Turkish brothers
He reassured that his government would fully provide hassle and red tape free environment to Turkish investors.
He informed that during his meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it was conveyed that more Turkish companies were eager to come to Pakistan.
The prime minister said that it was regrettable that in the past regime, the Turkish companies that had invested in Pakistan were not given their due payments. Similar, was the case with the Turkish airlines operating in Pakistan.
The prime minister said such a lethargy and red tape were not acceptable to his government and the people of Pakistan as they had benefited from the Turkish investment and support.
“I want to convey this message to all, through you that we are brothers and family and will not tolerate such snags and impediments which hurt our ties,” he said, and reassured that his government would remove all the issues and address their genuine issues.
He said to further promote their bilateral trade and business relations, work on ‘Trade and Goods Agreement’ between the two brotherly countries would be expedited.
He said that they had singed a MOU to enhance the bilateral trade volume upto $5 billion in the next three years.
Turkiye’s annual trade stood around $250 billion dollars and the trade between Pakistan and Turkiye was hovering around one and half billion dollars which had been peanuts while considering the immense potential, he added.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Information Maryam Aurangzeb and Special Assistants to the Prime Minister Syed Tariq Fatemi and Syed Fahad Hussain.
From the Turkish side, Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Mus and President of DEIK Nail Olpak, along with leading business delegations from Türkiye participated in the meeting.
The prime minister stressed that such a scenario did not reflect their exemplary brotherly ties and stressed upon fully exploring the indefinite potential on both sides.
He said they should make efforts and endeavor to double this trade volume in the next three years with strong commitment and sincerity of purpose as ‘only hard work and untiring efforts will be keys to a wonderful success story’.
The prime minister said their friendship and brotherhood had been known to all and sundry, as the world knew them ‘like brothers and a family’.
“Though the people of the two countries speak different languages, but they understand each other as and their hearts beat together,” he said, adding that historical relations and fraternal ties were not properly reflected in the volume of bilateral trade and business.
The prime minister opined that in every country, the trade, investment and business activities were governed by the financial rules and regulations.
He said that in this regard, the two brotherly countries had threshed out their problems to great extent.
The prime minister said that he firmly believed that it was not too late to mend and stressed that they should move forward with joint efforts and cooperation.
“Let’s start today and look forward and learn from the past and move with speed, so that we can compensate for the past losses and make dividends.
There is immense potential on both sides, let’s synergize and move speedily to show to the world that we as brothers have the will, commitment and sincerity of purpose to convert our words into action,” he added.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif mentioned that certain Turkish companies faced red tape in Pakistan.
There might be lack of understanding of the wider pictures, sometime bureaucracy created problems, he said, adding that they needed to cut down the red tape with sharp scissors and to simplify the system.
He said the governments might come and go, but the trade and business ties between the brotherly countries should not be impacted.
The prime minister said that China was a sincere and time-tested friend of Pakistan that had invested about 33 billion dollars in the flagship China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during 2014 to 2018 before the completion of Nawaz Sharif’s government and subsequently, it was slowed down.
The prime minister also noted that the world had been passing through difficult challenges, like the Russia-Ukraine conflict which saw spiraling of commodities and petroleum prices with the supply of gas becoming scant.
The countries like Pakistan were suffering due to such scenario; wheat and fertilizers were hugely required by Pakistan to meet its domestic requirements.
The prime minister also lauded President Erdogan for making diplomatic efforts and rescuing the world by streamlining the supply of wheat from Ukraine.
He also mentioned the incredible efforts of United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in this regard as well.