• Monday, May 27, 2024

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‘Difficult but not impossible’: Pakistan seeks $5 billion bilateral trade with Turkey

Shehbaz Sharif promises all facilities to Turkish investors

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif (Photo by Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

PAKISTAN prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has invited Turkish businesses to invest in his country, saying Islamabad “sincerely” seeks to strengthen bilateral ties with Ankara.

Promising that his government would provide “all facilities” to investors, he said alternative energy, automobile industry and agriculture sectors of Pakistan offered ample business opportunities.

Sharif told the Turkey-Pakistan Business Council in Ankara on Wednesday (1) that the two countries, which “supported each other through thick and thin”, should explore opportunities in the textile industry where a joint strategy would further boost the sector.

Islamabad and Ankara should achieve an ambitious bilateral trade target of $5 billion which was “difficult but not impossible”, Shehbaz, who came to power amid rising inflation and depleting forex reserves in his country, said.

“Your active participation in investments in Pakistan is highly appreciated. And above all your participation in humanitarian projects in Pakistan is very well-known. Today, we are here to seriously engage ourselves with you because you are very serious-minded business people, and your achievements are outstanding and a shining example for all of us,” he said.

“We genuinely and sincerely want to work with the Turkey Business fraternity to transform our brotherhood into promoting our bilateral trade, investment and culture,” the south Asian country’s information and broadcasting minister Marriyum Aurangzeb quoted the prime minister as saying.

Sharif’s invitation to Turkish investors comes as Pakistan is buckling under crippling debt and a falling currency.

Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had visited its weather ally China recently as Islamabad sought to address its economic headwinds, complicated by the rising fuel costs and a delayed IFM help.

The downturn was used to oust former prime minister Imran Khan from office, but the new government is now facing the gruelling task of bolstering the economy.

Its currency has been nosediving against the dollar and breached the Rs 200 mark, before rebounding to 197.72 on Wednesday (1).

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