ANKARA: Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on his first official two-day visit to Turkey, on Thursday said that it’s time for Islamabad and Ankara to take their bilateral trade to a higher level, citing Pakistan’s ideal geo-strategic location and its huge potential for investment in infrastructure and tourism.
Addressing a business forum of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in Ankara on Thursday night, he said his government will provide all possible assistance and support to the Turkish investors in Pakistan, Khan said that Pakistan is a virgin territory as a lot of trade areas have not been exploited yet, adding that huge reserves of oil, gas, copper, coal and other admirals are yet to be unexplored.
He said tremendous trade and economic activities will start due to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He said special economic zones are being established through this mega project.
Urging the Turkish investors to start working from now to benefit from the huge opportunities coming out of BRI, PM said it would connect those parts of the world which had been no or less connectivity, adding that the issue of huge distance impeding Pak-Turkish trade would also be resolved.
TOBB is the highest legal entity in Turkey representing the private sector with 365 member associations from local chambers of commerce and industry.
The prime minister said the government is focusing on good governance in the country and “we are ensuring the easy trade in Pakistan in foreign investors”.
He said that there is a huge opportunity in the field of tourism, adding that “half of the 20 highest peaks in the world are in Pakistan which reflects its potential for international mountaineers.”
He said Pakistan has 120 million youngsters in its population who can play a vital role in the economy.
The prime minister said 50 million affordable houses will be constructed within the next five years.
Prior to landing in Turkish capital, he visited Turkish city of Konya where he visited the tomb of renowned jurists and Islamic scholar Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi and laid a wreath at the grave.
Earlier, PM Khan was warmly received by Governor Konya Cüneyit Orhan Toprak and Pakistan Ambassador M. Syrus Sajjad Qazi at Airport.
The prime minister is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Minister for Foreign Affairs, Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Finance Asad Umar; Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfikar Bukhari.