Pakistan and Turkey have signed the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) aimed at boosting trade in goods between the two countries.

Turkish Trade Minister Dr Mehmet Mus and Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar signed the accord. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was also present during the agreement signing ceremony held at PM’s Office in Islamabad.

Commonly known as Trade in Goods Pact, the PTA includes comprehensive provisions on bilateral safeguards, balance of payment exceptions, dispute settlement, and periodic review of the agreement.

Addressing the ceremony, PM Shehbaz Sharif termed the agreement “a great moment and a milestone” in the brotherly and historic relations between Pakistan and Turkey.

He recalled that following his official visit to Turkey in May, the untiring efforts of the ministries of both sides resulted in the signing of the agreement.

He said immense business opportunities existed between the two countries and expressed confidence that the accord would further explore the trade avenues in diverse sectors.

Speaking on the occasion, Turkish Trade Minister Dr Mehmet Mus said the occasion marked a significant milestone which would contribute in a long way to further strengthening and expansion of trade ties.

He said meeting expectations of all stakeholders was not easy, however added that dedication and step-by-step measures led to conclusion of the accord.

He thanked PM Shehbaz Sharif for his leadership to seal the agreement for the betterment of the two countries and enhancing linkages between their business communities.

The key highlights of the trade concessions offered by both sides under the Agreement are as follows: (i) Turkey had offered concessions to Pakistan on 261 Tariff Lines, which include key items of Pakistan’s export interest to Istanbul from both agriculture and the industrial sectors.