ISLAMABAD, (APP): RCCI President Raja Amir Iqbal has wooed Turkish businessmen to take advantage of the conducive investment and business environment in Pakistan.
He made a comprehensive presentation about business opportunities in the country at “Pakistan-Turkey Business Opportunities Conference” organized by the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (RCCI) in collaboration with All Industrialists & Businessmen Association of Turkey (TUMSIAD) in Istanbul.
Over 700 businessmen from Pakistan and representatives of over 150 Turkish companies attended the event, a message received here from Istanbul Saturday said.
Raja Amir Iqbal said Pakistan had over 185 billion tons of coal reserves which was equivalent to 618 billion barrels of crude oil reserves in terms of energy output, while the country had 31.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves.
He urged the businessmen of both countries to play their role to enhance bilateral trade, which was about $610 million in 2016.
Raja Amir Iqbal also briefed the Turkish businessmen about the multibillion-dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which would transform the entire region into a hub of economic activities.
Speaking at the conference, Charge d’ Affairs of Pakistan Syed Ali Asad Gilani said the multi-faceted relationship between Pakistan and Turkey was flourishing in diverse fields.
“The growing Turkish involvement in socio-economic development of Pakistan are clear manifestation of the desire of the leadership on both sides to transform this strong political and cultural relationship into a robust economic partnership,” he added.
Gilani highlighted that symbols of Turkish corporate footprint on Pakistan’s economic landscape were emerging fast. Metro buses, solid waste management, Turkish participation in the construction of different portions of Motorway, Arcelik’s investment of $ 258 million for acquisition of Dawlance, Zorlu’s undertaking of 300 MW of Solar power generation in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Energy Park, and Hayat Kimya’s plans to invest $ 50 million for setting up a baby diaper manufacturing facility in Pakistan were some of the examples of growing Turkish investment in Pakistan, he added.
The Charge d’ Affairs also lauded the RCCI for its initiative and hoped that the two-day event would provide an opportunity for business communities of the two brotherly countries to further closer.
Consul General of Pakistan Dr Yusuf Junaid apprised the participating business tycoons of the two countries about the deep historical and cultural roots of Pakistan-Turkey relations. He urged them to work hard for increasing bilateral trade to realise its true potential and showed his satisfaction at the bilateral investment.
Vice President of Turkey-Pakistan Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Mustafa Riza Arsan shared his experience about doing business and making investments in Pakistan.
“We found Pakistan as the most business friendly country where investments are safe and offer high return in the entire region,” Riza Arsan said.
Chairman of the Anatolian Tigers Businessmen Association (ASKON) Mustafa Koca, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said 15,000 companies of ASKON were ready to support Pakistani companies and institutions.
“Turkish businessmen are eager to share their experience, knowledge and capital with their Pakistani brothers,” he added.
The conference was followed by Business-to-Business (B2B) session. Turkish and Pakistani companies explored opportunities for joint ventures and trade in various sectors, including construction, textile, services, energy, tourism, etc. A number of orders were placed while the B2B forum proved a useful platform for establishing joint ventures and business collaboration in diverse sectors. Separately, the 30th RCCI International Achievement Awards ceremony was held where awards were presented to successful Pakistani companies and entrepreneurs for their outstanding performance.
Addressing the ceremony, chief guest Turkish Deputy Minister for Economy Fatih Metin said on the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey was negotiating a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Pakistan.
“Our target is to enhance bilateral trade to US$ 5 billion in a short term,” he added.
TUMSIAD Chairman Yasar Dogan, in his address, said his organization had established an office in Pakistan as it was keen to enhance collaboration in diverse sectors including textiles, transportation, housing, and tourism sectors.
The audience enjoyed vibrant cultural performance of Pakistani and Turkish artists which was followed by a musical night. It was for the first time that an event of this scale was organized by RCCI outside Pakistan.