LAHORE: Turkey is a time-tested friend and can play an important role in economic turnaround of Pakistan. In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, who had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with his Turkish counterpart in the presence of Turkish Primer Ahmet Davutoglu and Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, said that visit of high-powered Turkish delegation was enough to prove that Turkey wants to strengthen its economic ties with Pakistan.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that ample opportunities exist in a number of sectors including construction and energy sectors of Pakistan and now it is duty of the policy makers to make this visit meaningful. The LCCI president said that Turkey for being second fastest growing economy of the world after China and first in the European Union has a lot to offer to their Pakistani counterparts and they should avail the opportunities.
He called for exchange of business delegations so that both the sides could have first-hand knowledge of the available opportunities in Pakistan and Turkey. He said that both the countries have marvelous untapped business potential that needs to be realized by maximizing the involvement of private sectors of the two countries. He hoped that the economic relation between the two countries would strengthen further to create a win-win situation for Pakistan and Turkey.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said the time has come that the businessmen of both countries should enhance their bilateral relations which will be beneficial for the people of both sides. He said, “We can strengthen our economy by adopting the development and progress of Turkey as model.”
He commended the efforts made by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and for accelerating two way interactions among the businessmen of Turkey and Pakistan. He said that textile sector has traditionally been the biggest sector of the Pakistan economy. Studies and surveys confirm that its contribution in total exports are almost 60% and it engages almost 38% of manufacturing labor force to acquire more than 46% share in overall manufacturing. The LCCI President said that in the context of having won the GSP plus status, the need of technology improvement and capacity building in textile sector of Pakistan is necessary. No other country can become better partner with Pakistan than Turkey therefore any initiative from Turkish business community would always be welcomed.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Turkey is well positioned to take advantage of Pakistan’s economic potential and its geo-strategic location. “Let us make trade and investment, the central pillar of this cooperation.”
He said that with regard to solid waste management, it is proposed that waste-to-energy solutions are gaining a lot of success in modern world. He said that Pakistan is facing severe crisis in energy sector and it is the best way that we go for all possible options of alternative energy.
He emphasized that some kind of understanding should be developed between the private sector representatives of both the countries that will certainly provide basis to convert that into business deals. He said that some analysts presume that the trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan can be increased as high as US$ 2 billion with some joint efforts made by public and private sectors of both the countries.