ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday Pakistan and Turkey had huge potential to collaborate in the field of alternative energy while addressing a ceremony in Istanbul to launch a warship for his country’s naval forces.
Sharif arrived in Turkey earlier in the day on a visit that he said would unpack the “untapped potential” of bilateral ties between the two countries.
Together with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he inaugurated one of the four MILGEM corvette ship for the Pakistan Navy at the Istanbul shipyard.
He applauded the defense cooperation between the two countries while urging to expand it further in other areas of strategic importance.
The prime minister specifically mentioned how a developing country like Pakistan had to pay high import bills for petroleum and energy products while emphasizing the significance of producing clean and renewable energy.
“We immediately want to shift to solar energy, towards wind power, towards hydel power generation,” Sharif told the participants of the ceremony. “Turkish investors have great potential to invest in these fields. I want to make use of this opportunity to propose to you that let’s join hands together and get rid of high carbon emissions, cut our import bills and let’s really promote investments in these fields.”
The prime minister praised the MILGEM project, which his country signed with a Turkish state-owned defense contractor in 2018, under which the Pakistan Navy would get four warships from Turkey.
“It is another great day in our historical relations and brotherhood to be here and witness the launching of second MILGEM corvette, Khyber, for Pakistan Navy,” he said.
Sharif noted the two countries had strong bilateral relations and had always helped each other.
“Pakistan and Turkey are deeply engaged in promoting our defense capabilities for peace and to ward off aggression,” he continued. “Let’s further enhance our production capacities. Let’s further cooperate in this field.”
Addressing the ceremony, President Erdogan also applauded the defense cooperation between the two countries while saying that four corvettes were produced under the MILGEM project: Two of them were developed in Turkey while two were built in Pakistan.
According to Pakistan’s APP news agency, he said that his government wanted Turkey to reach the top of the global defense industry, adding that his country would also launch homegrown drone and fighter jet in the coming year.