ISLAMABAD    -    Pakistan and Turkiye have signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) on Friday, which would further enhance trade and investment between the two countries.  The PTA was signed by Pakistan’s Minister for Commerce and Investment Syed Naveed Qamar and Turkish Minister of Trade Mehmet Mus in a ceremony held in Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad. The trade agreement was the key agenda during the recent visit of Prime Minister   Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif to Turkiye in May 2022.  During the visit, the leadership of both countries expressed keen interest in expediting and concluding the negotiations by July 2022.  The PTA has been finalised after 14 rounds of bilateral negotiations. The agreement includes comprehensive provisions on bilateral safeguards, balance of payment exceptions, dispute settlement, and periodic review of the agreement. The component of tariff reduction modality was approved by the Tariff Policy Board. Rules of Origin incorporated in the agreement were similar to Pakistan already complying with EU’s Rules of Origin under GSP+ regime. The prime minister of Pakistan took personal interest in the matter, and on his directions, the trade agreement was concluded in a record time. The prime minister congratulated Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar on providing excellent leadership in concluding the agreement and lauded the efforts of   Ministry of Trade of Turkiye for working expeditiously   on its side on the directions of President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan.