Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan “genuinely and seriously” wanted to boost bilateral, trade and cultural ties with Turkey as he made the case for the Turkish business community to invest in Pakistan.
“Suffice to say, we are here to convey this message to our Turkish brothers and sisters, President Tayyip Erdogan and his team, and to the Turkish business community that we genuinely and seriously want to work with you,” PM Shehbaz said while speaking at the Turkey-Pakistan Business Council in Ankara.
The premier is currently on a three-day official visit to Turkey.
He is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister for Investment Board Chaudhry Salik Hussain and special assistants to the prime minister Tariq Fatemi and Fahd Husain.
He stated that it was important to transform the brotherly relations between the two countries by promoting trade, investment and cultural relations. He went on to say that even though the countries don’t speak the same language, the nations hail from the same culture and have a shared history.
“We have been partners and have supported each other through thick and thin,” he said, adding that he had received “hundreds of businessmen” between 2008 and 2018.
“Your active participation in investments in Pakistan is highly appreciated. And above all your participation in humanitarian projects in Pakistan is very well-known.”
He added: “Today, we are here to seriously engage ourselves with you because you are very serious-minded business people, and your achievements are outstanding and a shining example for all of us.”
He called for the two countries to collaborate and cooperate in various sectors, including the automobile industry, agriculture, textile and alternative energy.
“I am here today with my great team to convey this message to you in no uncertain terms, absolutely loud and clear, that we will welcome you with both arms to come and invest in Pakistan, promote trade,” he said.
The premier said that Pakistan’s populace is primarily very young, pointing toward the “mass opportunities that remained undiscovered”.
“I have requested the trade minister, before we conclude this meeting, we must sign a letter of intent that through our untiring efforts we shall achieve bilateral trade of $5 billion in two years to come. [It is] difficult but not impossible,” he declared.
PM, Turkish FM discuss bilateral ties
Earlier today, a high-level Turkish delegation led by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on PM Shehbaz. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other members of Pakistani delegation were also present for the meeting.
Both sides discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties between Pakistan and Turkey, Radio Pakistan reported.
The meeting also discussed the promotion of cooperation in different sectors, particularly trade, investment, education, communication and culture.
PM Shehbaz said the historical and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Turkey were acquiring a new dimension, leading to progress for both nations. He said Pakistan and Turkey had similar views on international issues and the people of both the countries stood by each other in difficult times.
He said there was a strong relationship of mutual trust and respect between Pakistan and Turkey, which had turned into strong economic relations. The premier added that Turkey made rapid progress under the leadership of President Erdogan, terming it a role model for other nations.
Meanwhile, the Turkish foreign minister said the two countries had deep-rooted relations and expressed his government’s desire to strengthen ties in a multitude of areas.