Pakistan, Turkey agree on early implementation of joint projects


Pakistan and Turkey Tuesday agreed on early implementation of the joint projects, encouraging private sector of the two countries and creating facilitative trade mechanisms and opportunities for the businessmen to fully utilise the true trade potential and further deepen bilateral commercial and investment ties.
President Asif Ali Zardari stressed the need of translating the excellent political relations between the two countries into a strong and long term economic bond to the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
President Zardari said this during his separate bilateral meetings with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the 7th Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan-Pakistan and Turkey, a statement from the President House said.
President Zardari held wide-ranging discussions with the Turkish leadership on bilateral, regional and international issues, peace process in Afghanistan and the situation in Middle East.
Discussing bilateral relations, Zardari stressed the need for early finalisation of Pakistan-Turkey Preferential Trade Agreement, which he said would help boost trade ties and achieving the mutually agreed trade target of $ 2 billion.
He termed the recent suggestion from the Turkish side to include mutual concessions within the ambit of the PTA as a positive step and expressed the hope that next round of PTA discussions would be held soon after the exchange of revised request list covering major textile products, being affected by the Turkish safeguard duties and extra tariffs.
The president invited Turkish investment and joint ventures in key sectors such as infrastructure, housing, engineering, energy, agriculture, telecommunications and mining and said that it was encouraging that private sectors of the two countries are collaborating in the energy, construction, food processing and rubber industries.
He also welcomed Turkish investment in hydro-power generation and alternative energy.
The president expressed the hope that Gul Train Project would revolutionise cargo and transit facilities between the two countries and urged for early finalisation of border crossing formalities, harmonising customs procedures and generating cargo by larger involvement of the private sector.
The president said that Pakistan was keenly interested in the project and thanked Turkish prime minister and President Gul for their personal interest in Gul Train Project.
The president thanked Turkish prime minister for his participation in the D-8 Summit held last month in Islamabad and expressed the confidence that summit, with its distinct trade promotion focus, would further energise economic and commercial ties within the D-8 family.
The summit, he said would go a long way in confronting common challenges faced by the D-8 community, especially achieving food security, mitigating the impact of natural disasters and countering all forms of extremism which undermine economic progress and negatively affect the livelihood of our peoples.
The president appreciated the Turkish leadership for hosting the trilateral Summit of Afghanistan-Pakistan and Turkey for the seventh time and said that Turkey was a trusted friend of both Afghanistan and Pakistan, adding that all the three countries shared the objective of peace and stability in Afghanistan and in the wider region.