Pakistan, Turkey likely to sign currency swap agreement

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Pakistan and Turkey are expected to sign a currency swap agreement during the visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Istanbul, said Muhammad Haroon Shaukat, Pakistan’s ambassador to Turkey.
The agreement would allow two countries to move towards arrangements to do trade in local currencies which will ease pressure on the foreign exchange. The ambassador said that negotiations between Pakistan and Turkey were also progressing well for a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
The financial and business institutions of the two countries are promoting cooperation to facilitate the business community. The ambassador expressed satisfaction over growing trade between the two countries and said it had shown an increase of 50 percent last year reaching close to one billion dollars.
Pakistan is making sincere efforts to further facilitate business community of the two countries to increase the trade volume as both the countries are eyeing at reaching the target of two billion dollars bilateral trade by the next year. To a question, the ambassador acknowledged that Turkey has placed safeguard duties on three products but added that these were not Pakistan specific.
He pointed out that Turkey was facing trade deficit of 100 billion dollars a year and the safeguards are aimed at reducing the gap and providing protection to the domestic sector. Pakistan has asked the Turkish leadership to reduce duties of some of the products being imported from Pakistan to improve bilateral trade.
President Zardari will attend the sixth trilateral summit being hosted by Turkey for peace, security and development in Afghanistan. He will have two meetings with President Abdullah Gul during his visit besides interaction with local business community and media.

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