ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Turkish Ambassador in Islamabad Babur Girgin Thursday said conducive economic environment in Pakistan has an immense potential for Turkish investment and could boost bilateral trade to US$2 billion.
“There is an increasing interest by Turkish businessmen to invest in Pakistan, which will pave way for more bilateral investments,” Girgin said in an interview here with APP.
Babur Girgin, who has been serving as Turkish ambassador in Islamabad since October 2013, said Turkish businessmen had been already investing in energy, transport and municipal services of Pakistan.
He mentioned that protocol was being worked out on the Free Trade Agreement Framework, signed between Pakistan and Turkey this March.
He said the objective was to attain a threefold increase in the existing bilateral trade of US$600 million.
In an interview during his visit to the APP headquarters, Girgin said the two governments had always prioritized the economic relationship and were facilitating their business communities for bilateral investment.
Girgin mentioned the visit of Turkish delegation to Pakistan next month for holding discussions on land transport, in view of Pakistan being a signatory of the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods (TIR Convention).
He termed the upcoming land transport project “a new bridge of cargo transportation” between the two countries, which he said would also prove beneficial for the regional states.
The Turkish ambassador lauded Pakistan’s “sincere efforts” in fighting terrorism and ensuring peace in the region.
On Pakistan-Turkey collaboration, he mentioned the launch of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey Trilateral Process on counter-terrorism in 2007 and holding of several Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process meetings.
“The military and security forces of Pakistan and Turkey are also closely cooperating on exchange of expertise, best practices, know-how and lessons-learnt,” he said.
He rejected the impression of Western media that terrorism had recently surfaced in Turkey. Instead, he said, Turkey had been suffering the brunt of terrorism for last three decades and had lost 40,000 of its people.
The envoy stressed a joint strategy and an effective platform at international level to fight the impact of Daesh.
Babur Girgin said Turkey was the sixth most attractive tourist destination in the world with 35 million tourists bringing in US $35 billion. He emphasized on enhancing cultural and tourist exchanges between Pakistan and Turkey.
He mentioned the already in place mechanism called ‘High-level Strategic Cooperation Council’ and working groups on tourism and culture, which he said were promoting the high-level and people-to-people contacts.
The ambassador said having strong historic ties, Pakistan was like a second home for Turkish people and expressed confidence that the two sides would carry forward the legacy of their forefathers of deepening the bond.