World Bulletin / News Desk
Ferhat Kavakli, Turkey’s commercial counsellor to Pakistan, told Anadolu Agency that the agreement is believed to be Pakistan's most comprehensive free trade deal to date.
"The fifth round of negotiations was held in December. We’re expecting to complete our work and hope to sign the FTA this year," Kavakli said.
"Pakistan has the world's sixth-largest population. There is a great consumption potential in the country, where imported goods dominate the markets as local industry is lacking," he said.
Kavakli stated that the Turkish-Pakistani trade volume could be boosted by strengthening transportation networks and cutting tariffs, adding:
"Turkish products already have a favorable image in Pakistan. Our goods will be preferred even more in Pakistani markets with the advantages we get by cutting customs duties."
He said many Turkish contractors already have operations especially in dam projects and other infrastructure projects.
“There is a clear need for investments in a wide range of sectors in Pakistan, but infrastructure and energy are prominent,” Kavakli said, adding:
“Opportunities in the automotive, civil aviation, education, healthcare, transportation, construction, durable goods, and food and beverage sectors should also be looked at.”
In Pakistan, Anadolu Group, a major Turkish beverages producer which boasts 25 plants in 10 countries, has six factories operating under the group company Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Ltd.
Last year, Turkish giant Koc Group, one of the world's top home appliances manufacturers through its company Arcelik, active in more than 130 countries, paid $250 million to acquire Pakistani leading home appliances brand Dawlance.
Another Turkish conglomerate, Zorlu Group, entered the Pakistani energy sector in 2006, and since 2013 Zorlu has been operating the country's first wind power plant. The group inked agreements with Pakistani authorities to construct a total of 300-megawatt solar power plants this January and February.