Pakistan and Turkiye agree to increase bilateral trade to $5 billion

Pakistan and Turkiye have agreed to raise their annual bilateral trade target to $5 billion and enhance defense cooperation.

This announcement followed a meeting in Islamabad on May 20 between Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan as the two countries prepare for a high-level bilateral summit.

Fidan arrived in Islamabad on May 19 for a two-day visit to discuss bilateral relations and international developments.

During a press conference at the Foreign Office, Dar emphasized the mutual commitment to elevate trade from the current $1 billion to $5 billion within three years. He expressed confidence in the potential for enhanced economic collaboration between the two countries.

Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan reiterated the significance of strengthening trade relations, highlighting that while the current trade volume is $1 billion, reaching the $5 billion target is achievable with dedicated efforts and strategic initiatives.

The ministers reviewed the status of bilateral relations and laid the groundwork for the upcoming 7th session of the Pakistan-Turkiye High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC). Dar did not specify the date for the next HLSCC meeting, however, he assured it would occur “very soon.”

The HLSCC meetings are co-chaired by the leaders of both countries and serve as a platform for high-level dialogue and cooperation.

Dar also highlighted the historical defense collaboration between Pakistan and Turkiye, noting their mutual support on core issues. He praised Turkiye’s consistent support for the people of Kashmir and reiterated Pakistan’s support for the rights of Northern Cyprus.

Gaza situation discussed

The ministers also discussed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire. They stressed the urgent need for humanitarian aid to Gaza’s population and reaffirmed the necessity of establishing an independent Palestinian state for lasting peace in the Middle East.

Fidan said he exchanged ideas with Dar on efforts to end the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and said Turkiye and Pakistan have adopted a common stance against the crimes against humanity committed in Gaza by Israel and would continue cooperation on international platforms, from the United Nations to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“Israel crossed all red lines on humanity’s conscience and international laws,” Fidan said, adding “We will employ all diplomatic instruments and do everything we can.”

Condemning the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza that have killed over 35,000 people, mainly women and children, since last October 2023, Dar urged the international community to ensure an “immediate” ceasefire and urgent delivery of relief supplies to the besieged enclave.

Turkish FM meets PM Sharif

The Turkish Foreign Minister also met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Monday.

During the meeting, PM Sharif reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to expanding bilateral cooperation across various sectors, including trade, investment, technology, and defense.

He urged Turkish companies to enhance their investments in Pakistan and consider relocating their industrial units to the country. The Prime Minister extended an invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Pakistan and co-chair the 7th HLSCC meeting.

Sana Jamal
Storyteller. Avid Reader. Learner to the core.

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