Pakistani Parliamentary Delegation Visits Istanbul Chamber of Industry
The Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) held a working dinner in honor of Khawaja Sohail Mansoor, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Defence Production of the National Assembly of Pakistan and the Parliamentary delegation that accompanied him in his visit to Turkey. The organization, which took part in ICI building in Tepebaşı, was hosted by Hasan Büyükdede, Vice President of ICI Assembly.
ICI Board Treasurer Sadık Ayhan Saruhan also attended the meeting, which discussed avenues to enhance economic relations and commercial activities between the two countries. The meeting’s attendees included Sohail Mahmood, Ambassador of Pakistan in Ankara; Yousaf Junaid, Consul General of Pakistan in Istanbul, and members of the Pakistan National Parliament, as well as Fikret Dalkıran, Head of the ICI’s Machinery Manufacturing Sector Committee, and İlhami Keleş, Secretary General of Istanbul Defence & Aerospace Cluster (SAHA).
Delivering the opening address of the meeting, Hasan Büyükdede, Vice President of ICI Assembly, began by expressing his delight in hosting the delegation. After highlighting the long-standing eagerness between the two countries to assist one another in times of need, and noting that Pakistan was the first country to come to mind as the “Sister Nation” of Turkey, Büyükdede drew attention to the need to enhance mutual business opportunities.
Büyükdede also mentioned the “Pakistan Country Day and Investment Opportunities” event on December 15, 2016, which was organized by ICI in collaboration with the Consul General of Pakistan in Istanbul, and noted that the meeting enabled Turkish firms working in the Pakistani market to share their valuable experience and suggestions. Büyükdede continued as follows:
“Unfortunately, the current trade volume between our countries is significantly below its potential. The trade volume, which stood around $600 million in 2016, is poised to experience a rapid growth soon with the upcoming finalization of the Free Trade Agreement. I also believe that bilateral visits, such as the one carried out by your esteemed delegation today, are set to provide a significant boost to our economic relations.”
Taking the stage after Büyükdede, Khawaja Sohail Mansoor, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Defence Production of the National Assembly of Pakistan began his speech by thanking ICI for the warm welcome. Expressing his desire to see the trade between Turkey and Pakistan to grow in both quantity and quality, Mansoor added: “We wish to carry out transfers from Turkey in a variety of fields, such as industry, defense, and technology. In addition, it is our hope to see the ‘Free Trade Agreement’ between Turkey and Pakistan to enter into effect as soon as possible.”
Commenting on the recent developments in Turkey, Mansoor stressed that Pakistan was the strongest supporter of Turkey in the aftermath of July 15, and expressed his hope that the results from the referendum in Turkey would be auspicious for the country. Lastly, he conveyed Pakistani PM Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s regards to the attendees, and finished his speech by stating his wish to host an ICI delegation in Pakistan in the earliest.
The meeting concluded with a series of presentations and introduction films about Turkey’s potential in defense and aviation, with the parties reaching a consensus to increase the frequency of delegation visits, and work towards accelerating the finalization of the “Free Trade Agreement” between the countries.