In pursuance of the proactive approach of the Government of Punjab towards enhancing the bilateral commercial and business relations with Turkey particularly in the Education and Banking sectors, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) in collaboration with the Economic Research Foundation (ERF) of Turkey organised a symposium on “Improving Economic Relations between Pakistan & Turkey” on December 7, at Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore.
Prominent speakers in the seminar included Syed Turab Hussain (Acting Chair Department of Economics, LUMS), Prof. Dr. Metin Toprak (THK Üniversitesi Rektörü), Mr. Muhammad Haroon Shaukat (Head of Turkey Cell, PBIT) and Dr.Hafeez A.Pasha.
Speaking at the occasion Ms. Amena Cheema, Chief Executive Officer PBIT said that “if think tanks and professors from reputable English medium universities in Turkey collaborate with the academia and private sector in Pakistan and provide input, it could result in significant development in the sector of Socio Economic Research. She further added that “the government of Punjab has begun to establish a knowledge park in Lahore which aims to promote the adoption of modern technology, linking knowledge and application in order to provide a high quality of economic and social life.”
A significant number of guests from Turkey and high ups of Turkish companies already operating in Punjab participated in the symposium including Mr. Bunyamin Karaca Country Representative Albayrak, Prof. Dr. Toprak THK Üniversitesi Rektörü, Mr. Anees Iqbal president TUMSIAD Pakistan, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Mr. Sadiq Babar Girgin and Turkish Minister of Economy, Mr. Husnu Dilemre.
Turkish Minister of Economy, Mr. Husnu Dilemre said that “Pakistan’s economy is resilient despite challenges and the brotherly relations between Pakistan and Turkey are yet to be translated into strong economic ties.”
Event witnessed an overwhelming response from the local public and private sector also wherein a number of prominent members from the private sector as well as high level representatives from the Government of Punjab participated.
The seminar served as a very useful event in order to enhance bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey and remove existing impediments. The key recommendations included comprehensive free trade agreement between Pakistan and Turkey, grant of GSP Plus Status to Pakistan as done by European Union, private sector led initiatives to cement the economic and commercial relations between Pakistan and Turkey, removal of additional safeguard duties that have been imposed by Turkey on textiles and hand knotted carpet from Pakistan. This has seriously impaired the Pakistani exports to Turkey as after the U.S, Turkey was the second largest destination for exports of hand knotted carpets.
Economic Research Foundation (ERF) is a trade and investment promotion organization which holds syposiums in collaboration with organizations like Punjab Board of Investment and Trade(PBIT) with the aim to putting economic and financial problems of Turkey into discussions and seeking solutions to them.