PM invites Turkish firms to expand investment, relocate industries to Pakistan

Mariana Baabar & our correspondents
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday invited Turkish companies to further expand their investment portfolio in Pakistan, also urging them to consider relocating their industrial units to the country.

The prime minister, talking to Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, who called on him here, said that the current level of bilateral trade was not commensurate with the existing potential. He emphasised undertaking concerted efforts to achieve the bilateral trade target of $5 billion in the next three years as already agreed by the leadership of the two brotherly countries.

While underscoring the special bonds of brotherhood between Pakistan and Turkiye, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over the positive momentum in the bilateral relationship. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm commitment to further expansion of bilateral cooperation, in all areas of mutual interest, including trade, investment, technology and defence.

Regional and global developments, particularly the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza were also discussed in the meeting. Prime Minister Shehbaz appreciated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s staunch advocacy for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and lasting peace in the Middle East. He stressed the urgency and importance of realising the two-state solution as the key to attaining durable peace in the Middle East.

The prime minister also reiterated his invitation to President Erdogan to undertake an early official visit to Pakistan to co-chair with him the 7th meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council. Both sides reaffirmed their strong and abiding support for each other on the core issues of national interest. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan paid a visit to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir, NI (M). During their meeting, matters of mutual interest came under discussion, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement said.

Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the deep-rooted relations between the two countries, founded on a historic, cultural, and religious bond. The visiting dignitary commended the Pakistan Army’s role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

In a related development, Senate Chairman Yousuf Raza Gillani said both Pakistan and Turkiye shared the same vision for regional development, peace and prosperity.

He expressed these views in a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan here at the Parliament House, who called on Gillani to exchange views on exploring ways for further boosting bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Discussions focused on strengthening mutual ties to diversify the linkages for the benefit of the two sides. International and regional issues of mutual interest also came under discussion.

Gillani emphasized the deep and enduring bond between Pakistan and Turkiye, describing Turkiye as a brotherly Muslim country. He highlighted the strong ties between the people of both nations, underpinned by common religious and cultural values. He expressed Pakistan’s appreciation for the leadership of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is highly revered in Pakistan for his active role in leading the Ummah on the international stage. He shared fond memories of his visit to Turkiye during his tenure as prime minister of Pakistan, highlighting the warm hospitality and strong bilateral relations between the two nations. He called for an increase in the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries, inviting Turkish businessmen to take advantage of business-friendly opportunities available in Pakistan.

Gilani extended his gratitude to Turkiye for its steadfast support for Pakistan at international forums, particularly on the issue of Indian illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said bombing innocent Palestinians in Gaza was a grave violation of human rights. He underscored the urgent need for joint efforts to establish lasting peace in the Middle East and Palestine.

The Turkish Foreign Minister reiterated Turkiye’s commitment to elevating bilateral relations to new heights. He expressed readiness to enhance parliamentary exchanges and strengthen people-to-people c contact between the two nations. Senator Irfan Siddiqui, Senator Sherry Rehman and Senate Secretary Hasnain Haider were present.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Turkiye after an extensive round of “fruitful” talks decided to take the volume of their bilateral trade to $5 billion and also took a principle decision to strengthen their relations not only in trade but also in defence, investment, banking, science and technology.

The visiting Foreign Minister of Turkiye Hakan Fidan called on Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at the Foreign Office today where after delegation-level talks, they addressed a joint media conference, highlighting a review of the state of bilateral cooperation and taking stock of preparations for the upcoming 7th session of High-Level Strategic Coordination Council (HLSCC) between Pakistan and Türkiye. They also reviewed progress on bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and international matters of mutual interest.

Dar pointed out that Pakistan and Turkiye are not two countries but one nation. He said the heart-to-heart relationship between the two peoples existed before the establishment of Pakistan. Ishaq Dar said the two countries are also planning to hold the next session of the Pakistan Turkiye High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council shortly. He said this council meeting will carry out a comprehensive review of our ongoing cooperation as well as a bilateral strategic economic framework.

The deputy prime minister said there is also a history of Pakistan-Turkiye collaboration on defence-related projects. “We are working on various joint ventures and continue to support each other to defend our territorial sovereignty and in the fight against terrorism. The two countries have always supported each other on core issues and assisted during natural calamities”, he added.

Expressing his gratitude to Turkiye for its firm and consistent support to the oppressed people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Ishaq Dar said Pakistan will continue to support the legitimate struggle of the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said Pakistan is its strategic partner and their cooperation supports regional peace and stability. He said this is an unshakeable friendship and brotherhood rooted in history. He said Turkiye stands by Pakistan in its fight against terrorism and paid tribute to all those Pakistanis who had lost their lives in their fight against terrorism.

The two foreign ministers also voiced serious concerns over the situation in Gaza. They emphasised for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the provision of humanitarian relief to the Palestinian people. They also said they were saddened and offered their condolences for the Iranians who had been killed in the recent helicopter crash taking the lives amongst others the Iranian President and the Foreign Minister.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office in a statement said that Ishaq Dar had arrived in Astana, Kazakhstan for the regular meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

“In Astana, a meeting has been arranged between the Deputy Prime Minister Dar with the Foreign Minister of Kyrgyz Republic, Jeenbek Kulubaev, this evening in order to discuss the latest situation in Bishkek with a view to ensure the well-being of Pakistani students”, said the Foreign Office.