Pakistan, Turkey sign Framework Agreement for establishing FTA

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Pakistan and Turkey Tuesday signed a Framework Agreement for establishing Free Trade Area (FTA) between the two countries to further boost bilateral trade and investment relations.

Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastgir Khan and Turkish Minister for Economy Mustafa Elitash signed the agreement at a ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion, Khurram Dastgir Khan said that the two countries had tremendous potential to improve economic relations and this agreement would go a long way towards achieving mutual prosperity for the people of the two countries.

He said this was the era of commercial relationships and particularly during the last decade, regional trade had increased across the globe due to liberalisation of trade policies.

He said Pakistan and Turkey were enjoying brotherly relations and this agreement would further strengthen the trade and investment relations.

The minister said the framework would cover not only the goods but also services and investment and would also go a long way to strengthening political relations between the two countries.

Talking about Pakistan’s rapidly improving economic situation, the minister said that after a difficult period of instability, now the country’s economy was moving on a positive trajectory.

He said last year Pakistan’s economic growth was recorded at 4.2 per cent which was the highest since 2007-08 and said that this growth would increase further after the conclusion of the current fiscal year.

“Various sectors including livestock, large scale manufacturing and services are also showing significant growth,” he added.

The minister said the low interest rate announced by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had also helped in promoting investment climate in the country.

The Turkish minister of economy said that the signing of the agreement would pave the way for establishing FTA between the two countries which would help mutual development.

“We are going to liberalise trade between the two countries by signing this agreement,” he added.

Mustafa said Turkey wanted to develop harmonising bilateral relations in the financial sector.

“We also want to increase Turkish investment in Pakistan which currently stands at $2.9 billion. After the signing of this agreement, Turkey hopes for a sharp increase in this investment,” he added.

He said that currently Turkish companies are carrying out 45 projects in Pakistan and hoped they would also take advantage of this framework.