ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif attended President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inauguration ceremony in Ankara on Saturday where he also held meetings with leading Turkish businessmen and encouraged them to enter strategic collaboration with Pakistan in different economic sectors.
The prime minister arrived in the Turkish capital earlier in the day on Erdogan’s invitation who was reelected as his country’s president on May 28.
The 69-year-old leader has already led Türkiye for 20 years and will continue to be at the helm as his country celebrates its centenary in October.
During his interaction with Erdogan, the prime minister said Türkiye had made impressive strides in all fields in the last twenty years, saying the country’s progress during the two decades was nothing short of a “remarkable achievement.”
“As the Turkish Republic commemorates its centenary this year, it is befitting that President Erdogan continue to lead the great nation on the path to progress and prosperity,” the PM Office quoted Sharif as saying in a statement after the meeting of the two leaders.
He invited Erdogan to visit Pakistan and co-chair the Seventh Meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), which provides strategic direction to the bilateral relations between the two countries, in Islamabad.
The prime minister later joined other world leaders at the banquet hosted by the Turkish president for visiting dignitaries.
INTERACTION WITH BUSINESS LEADERS
Sharif also met leading Turkish businessmen in Ankara and invited them to establish strategic collaboration with Pakistan in the fields of energy, agriculture, information technology and construction.
Last year, the two countries signed the Trade in Goods Agreement which became operational from May 1.
The agreement provides Pakistan preferential access to the Turkish market where it can sell leather, rice, dates, mangoes, sports good, seafood and several other items on concessional tariff rates.
Türkiye also enjoys the same privilege in the Pakistani market, though on a smaller number of items, including black tea, industrial raw materials and spare parts of machinery and electronic equipment.
“The Prime Minister outlined government’s vision to facilitate foreign direct investment and encouraged joint ventures,” said another statement released by his office in Islamabad after his meeting. “Their exchanges spanned around expanding trade and investment ties to maximize mutual gains from available opportunities in Pakistan and to enhance cooperation in key sectors of the economy through direct presence of Turkish enterprises and via joint ventures with Pakistani counterparts.”
Several Turkish companies briefed Sharif on their existing and future investment plans in Pakistan, thanking him for facilitating their operations in his country.
A considerable number of Turkish enterprises are already operating in the South Asian state in various sectors while contributing to its economic development.
The Pakistani government believes, however, there are still several opportunities for cooperation and collaboration in various economic sectors, including hydro and solar power, housing and construction, infrastructure development along with transport and tourism.