BOI chairman, Turkish delegation discuss bilateral trade, investment opportunities

Islamabad – A Turkish delegation led by Chairman Turkey-Pakistan Business Council Atilla D. Yerlikaya Tuesday met Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Naeem Y. Zamindar and discussed matters of mutual interest for both the nations.

The delegation discussed the possibilities of enhancing the cooperation in the areas of bilateral trade, investment and business development relations between the two countries.

Naeem Y. Zamindar, mentioned that the government was encouraging the investors to invest in Pakistan especially in the nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) identified in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Pakistan was open for all companies around the world to set up industries in these zones to transfer technology and start manufacturing in Pakistan.

For Pakistan, the development in trade and industry was the main gain from CPEC as a driving force for economic growth and taking the fruits of CPEC to the lesser developed regions of Pakistan.

Industrial cooperation is the component of CPEC in which the sustainability of whole CPEC project is dependent. The role of private sector is very crucial and important in this phase of CPEC.

To upscale the investment and spur industrialization through creating new industry clusters, SEZ law has been formalized to meet the global challenges of competitiveness, he added.

SEZ framework facilitates creation of industrial clusters with liberal incentives, infrastructure and investor facilitation services to enhance productivity and reduce cost of doing business.

The Chairman BOI, further added that Pakistan offers exemption from custom duties and taxes for all plants and machinery imported into Pakistan as well as an income tax holiday for 10 years for the SEZs.

He invited the Turkish investors to invest in all sectors of Pakistan specifically in agriculture machinery pharmaceutical, mining, and to further boost the investment and trade relations between the two brotherly countries.

Pakistan due to its strategic location, cheap labour and cheap raw material outclasses other countries. He further added that Pakistan needed a shift from resource-based and low technology exports to the adoption and development of medium and high technology productions, and technological sophistication. Almost 80 per cent of Pakistan’s exports are resource-based items, he added.

The delegation briefed the Chairman BOI that the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board extends cooperation to other countries through Business Councils working in 127 countries and that they would like to introduce the business community of Turkey to Pakistan and vice versa.

The current investment by Turkish companies such as $500 million by Coca-Cola ÇECEK since 2010, $300 million by Arcelik (Dawlance) were highlighted during the meeting.

During the meeting, Yerlikaya highlighted the importance of Free Trade Agreement between Turkey and Pakistan, which is expected to have a high impact on trade flows as well as bilateral investments.

Yerlikaya mentioned that a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement covering commodity and services trade as well as investments will definitely deepen bilateral economic cooperation. Mutually agreed exceptions for certain industries can be identified within the scope of a comprehensive agreement.

He further added that he strongly believed that both business communities have to contribute to these negotiations in order to define the right scope to reduce bilateral trade and investment barriers.

Having significant investments in Pakistan, senior Turkish business representatives from Anadolu Group, Zorlu Holding, Arcelik, Albayrak along with other representatives from Health, Construction and Services Industries, accompanying Yerlikaya, shared the profiles of their companies with the Chairman BOI and informed that they were planning to enhance their investment keeping in view the growth potential in the country.

Turkish-Pakistan Business Council operates under the umbrella of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), which is a private sector institution aiming to pave the way for the development of Turkey’s economic, commercial, industrial and financial relations with foreign countries and international business communities.

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