Turkish minister for enhancing Pak- Turkey trade to $1 billion

ISLAMABAD:Turkish minister for environment and urbanization Idris Gulluce Monday vowed to taking Pakistan-Turkey bilateral trade to $1 billion and called for transforming their robust relations into economic  partnership.

He was speaking at a reception hosted in Ankara by Pakistani ambassador to  Turkey Sohail Mahmood to celebrate Pakistan Day.Idris Gulluce is also  co-chair of Pakistan-Turkey Joint Economic Commission, was the chief guest, said a message received from Ankara here Tuesday.

“We aim to achieve bilateral trade of US$ 1 billion this year. We are pleased to note that Pakistan will be represented at the highest level at the centenary commemorations of ?anakkale battle this year,” he  said.

Idris Gulluce in his speech said that the people of Turkey and Pakistan are brothers. He said Turkey is grateful to the people of Pakistan for standing by in difficult times during the Turkish War of Independence.

He said the Turkish nation will never forget this support. Gulluce added that Pakistan has a special place in the hearts of Turks.

He said the excellent bilateral relations are being transformed into a vibrant economic partnership.

Ambassador Sohail Mahmood in his speech thanked the dignitaries for attending the national day celebrations, noting that celebrating Pakistan Day in Turkey is like celebrating it in Pakistan as Turkey is truly our second home. Referring to the recent visit of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Pakistan, the ambassador said the visit made significant contribution to our joint efforts to transform our cordial relationship into a comprehensive partnership.

He added that both countries have decided to commence negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Both countries are also taking steps to further promote investments, increase defence collaboration, and intensify cultural collaboration and people-to-people exchanges, he added.

A Pakistan Food Festival also commenced with the National Day reception.

Guests were served Pakistani cuisine prepared by executive chefs invited specially from Pakistan’s leading hotel chain.

The Food Festival shall continue for a week.

The reception was attended by a large number of guests including Turkish political and military leadership, parliamentarians, senior officials,  diplomats and  Pakistani community.

Head of Turkey-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group Mr. Burhan Kayaturk, and Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff General Yasar Gler, were among the high level guests attending it.