Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, speaking at the Turkish-Pakistan Trade and Investment Forum held in Istanbul, called for the signing of a preferential trade agreement so as to increase trade volume between the countries.
Caglayan underlined the strong bond between Turkey and Pakistan, saying "When I come across with a Pakistani, I hug him like a sibling."
He recalled the trade volume was around 175 million US dollar ten years ago, but reached to 1 billion US dollar last year.
Caglayan stated Wednesday although trading equilibrium is in favor of Pakistan, he is content with this picture. He voiced his hope for an increase in trade relations between the countries and mutual investments, and added "If the preferential trade agreement that ministers agreed on is signed, trade volume will increase." He also appealed to Turkish business people to invest in Pakistan.
The Chairman of the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON), an organizer of the forum, Rizanur Meral said Pakistan and Turkey had a rooted friendship and bond of brotherhood took an important step in political and economic areas although the country faced regional problems during the last 10 years.
He praised Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's leadership in economic reforms and his strong will in solving political and military problems and said "Those steps will bring Pakistan in a strong position in Southeast Asia. This makes us happy."
He stressed that the trade volume is below potential of the two countries and voiced hope for an increase in trade volume.
Meral said Turkish businessmen are ready to share their experiences in infrastructure, energy, construction and noted Turkish businessmen can invest in energy projects in Pakistan.
During the forum, Turkish Eximbank and Pakistani counterpart signed an investment and export financing agreement worth 300 million USD.