Pakistan and Turkey enjoy 75 years of bilateral relations. Since both are Muslim countries they have converging interests. On many accounts, regardless of the internal situations of the countries, both have been witnessed supporting and praising each other on regional and international fronts. To further enhance the bilateral relations, PM Shehbaz Sharif has landed in Turkey for a three-day official visit. Chances are Pakistan-Turkey trade relations might move towards a new high.
Despite sharing amicable relations, the trade between the two countries remains nearly stagnant. From 1995 till 2020, Pakistan’s annual exports to Turkey have surged by only 4.01% i.e. from $148m to $394m. Iftikhar Ali Malik, President of Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry opined that if both the countries use their full potential then the bilateral trade that stands at $1.1 billion could swell up to $5 billion.
Furthermore, Saarc President also mentioned the declaration of economic framework that was agreed upon by Islamabad and Ankara, during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last visit to Pakistan. According to the declaration, the trade between the countries is expected to reach $5 billion.
Iftikhar Ali Malik while addressing a delegation of young women entrepreneurs, led by Rameen Kashif, said “Pakistani exporters must cash in on the sincere offers made for them in the Turkish market.”
Currently, PM Shehbaz Sharif along with a delegation of ministers is on a three day official visit to Turkey. The main objective is to discuss the Pakistan-Turkey trade relations.
The PM said “The current level of bilateral trade is still not a true reflection of the excellent state of our relationship. This is also an area where immense opportunities exist for both countries. During my visit here, I am meeting leading Turkish business companies to encourage them to utilise the immense opportunities existing in Pakistan in various fields, including energy, infrastructure, e-commerce, municipal agro-based industry and IT sectors, etc.”
Besides trade, many issues of common interest are going to be discussed. The PM and ministers are expected to meet with Turkey’s business community and investors. Moreover, the PM will attend the Pakistan-Turkey Business Council Forum arranged in tandem with Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board.
Since both countries enjoy good bilateral relations, it won’t be hard for them to converge on economic interests. Strengthening trade relations will further deepen Pak-Turkey ties, thus opening gates for future collaborations in different sectors.