ANKARA: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Wednesday renewed the pledge to boost the bilateral ties between the two countries to new heights.
The prime minister is on a three-day visit to Turkey — his first since assuming office in April — where he will meet several Turkish officials and members of the business community.
Addressing a joint press conference after holding a tete-e-tete, PM Shehbaz said that the relationship between the two countries was embedded deep into history and shaped by shared goals.
“These ties transcend time and have continued from generation to generation,” he added.
He said this year, the two countries were celebrating the 75th year anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.
Terming his meeting with President Erdogan very productive, the premier expressed the hope that under the dynamic leadership of the president, the bilateral ties would scale to new heights.
The Turkish president, in his remarks, said they had discussed the regional and international issues in detail.
The two sides have reaffirmed to enhance the scope of bilateral ties, he said, adding a high-level meeting would be held in Islamabad in September, which would further provide an opportunity to both countries to further foster their brotherly ties.
Earlier in the day, Minister of Trade Dr Mehmet Muş called on PM Shehbaz, during which the premier underscored the importance of deepening economic engagement and realising the true potential of business, trade and investment between Pakistan and Turkey.
He noted that his visit to Turkey included engagement with the Turkish business community in order to focus on strengthening trade and investment relations.
Underlining the need to increase bilateral trade, PM Shehbaz highlighted the importance of early finalisation of the trade in goods agreement, which would open up new opportunities to boost bilateral trade across various sectors to the benefit of both economies and countries.
It was agreed to constitute a Joint Task Force under the coordination of the Turkish Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Commerce Pakistan to develop a comprehensive road map covering the issues connected to bilateral trade, including logistics, banking, customs and agriculture.
PM Shehbaz also held a meeting with the Turkish-Pakistan Business Council (TPBC) under the auspices of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK).
The meeting was attended by leading businessmen and investors from Turkey and Pakistan.
The prime minister invited Turkish companies to invest in Pakistan’s agriculture, industrial and information technology sectors as well as connectivity projects in Pakistan assuring them of complete facilitation and a conducive business environment.
He also held separate meetings with select leading Turkish companies that had invested in Pakistan and invited them to benefit from an investment-friendly environment and consider expanding their operations.
In a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the premier lauded his personal contribution to advancing bilateral relations and for playing an important role in strengthening existing institutional mechanisms of cooperation between the two countries.
The preparations for the seventh session of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) were also reviewed.
PM Shehbaz said to increase bilateral trade volume to $5 billion over the next three years. He also thanked Çavuşoğlu for the country’s policy on Jammu and Kashmir.
He stressed the need to address the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and the release of Afghan assets to help stabilise the economy.
In an interaction organised by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), the prime minister lauded the phenomenal progress that Turkey had made under the visionary and dynamic leadership of President Erdoğan.
He emphasises his resolve to take the Pakistan-Turkey relationship to newer levels in all dimensions and deepen trade and economic engagement between both countries.
The PM also assured quick resolution of issues faced by Turkish companies in Pakistan and urged the business communities of the two countries to set a target of increasing trade to $5 billion over the next three years.