KARACHI: Consul General of Turkey in Karachi Murat M. Onart has stressed the need for further strengthening of trade relations between Pakistan and Turkey as the existing trade volume between the two countries does not depict the true trade potential.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Turkish CG said that Pakistan and Turkey have been enjoying strong political, economic and cultural relationships. Both countries have been supporting each other in difficult times and Turkey was the only country to announce one-day mourning over Peshawar School incident which clearly highlights the close and solid ties between the two countries, he added.
Commercial Attaché of Turkish Consulate in Karachi, Murat Mustu, Country Manager Turkish Airlines, Fatih Atacan TEMEL, Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI, Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairman BMG, Anjum Nisar, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi, Vice President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan and KCCI Managing Committee members were present at the meeting.
Responding to a suggestion regarding formation of a committee to improve trade, Murat Onart said that an informal committee can certainly be formed to seek ways and means of how to enhance the existing trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey.
Commercial Attaché of Turkish Consulate in Karachi, Murat Mustu said that a delegation from Turkish Jewelry Association was keen to participate in KCCI’s My Karachi-Oasis of Harmony Exhibition to showcase and sell the finest Turkish jewelry. However, in order to make it more attractive for Turkish businessmen, he asked the Karachi Chamber to convince the concerned authority in Pakistan to give special discounts on duties to Turkish exhibitors who are intending to participate in this event.
Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Businessmen Group and Former President KCCI, Siraj Kassam Teli pointed out that political, cultural and trade relations between Pakistan and Turkey have improved significantly during the past 5 to 7 years as the people of both countries have lots of respect and closeness for each other.
He said that many airlines avoid flying to Pakistan due to security or any other concern but it was heartening to note that Turkish Airlines continues to expand its operations in Pakistan.
Siraj Teli was of the view that Turkish Airlines has been providing quality services and the business community was fully satisfied with its facilities. However, he advised the Airline to compare its services, including tariffs and baggage facilities, with its peer airlines operating in this region and accordingly offer travelling facilities with a view to attract maximum number of Pakistani passengers.
BMG Chairman further mentioned that Karachi Chamber only represents the genuine business community of Karachi and they have been vocally raising voice from KCCI’s platform. “Whatever we say, is heard by the decision makers”, Siraj Teli said, adding that Karachi Chamber has always emphasized the need to make collective efforts but unfortunately, many businessmen and industrialists pursue individualistic approach, which was not productive at all.
Stressing the need to create linkages between the right people from both countries, Siraj Teli noted that many Business Councils and Forums have been established in both countries but they all were futile as business was not coming out. Such Forums and Business Councils never pave way for enhanced trade and there was a need to segregate these paper-based forums/ business councils.
“We must identify potential sectors and create strong linkages between the right people, businessmen and registered trade associations”, he added.
Vice Chairman BMG, Anjum Nisar, on the occasion, suggested to form a committee comprising KCCI representatives and staff of Turkish Consulate in order to take the existing trade between the two countries to the next level.
He was of the view that joint ventures in the energy, education, textile, marble and agriculture sectors along with technology transfer would not only help in creating job opportunities but can also bring quantum leap in the trade relations between the two countries. KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra said that Turkish Consulate in Karachi and Karachi Chamber have always had a very meaningful relationship based on longstanding and deep rooted bilateral trade.
In order to further amplify trade between the two countries, Iftikhar Vohra underscored the need to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan, exchange more trade delegations, individual visits of businessmen and officials, holding of single country exhibitions to each other’s country, combined with joint ventures and better travelling facilities, which would lead to rapid expansion in bilateral trade.
He also invited Turkish companies to participate in Karachi Chamber’s forthcoming Mega Event, 12th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony which is scheduled to be staged at the Karachi Expo Center on April 10th, 11th & 12th, 2015. He was confident that three-day long event likely to be attended by around 1 million visitors this year, will provide an excellent opportunity to Turkish businessmen and investors to showcase their products and create strong linkages with the business community of Karachi by holding B2B meetings in a cordial atmosphere.