ISLAMABAD - A Turkish business delegation visited the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and exchanged views with Pakistani counterparts for further improving bilateral trade and economic relations.

The delegation was representing chemicals, steel, furniture, ceramics and other sectors and was led by Turgay Yel, Inegol Deputy Mayor of Busra province of Turkey,

Inegol said that they had realised that Pakistan offered great potential for Turkish investors and businessmen. He said around 500 Turkish businessmen had already visited Pakistan in recent days and more would come to Pakistan to explore business and investment opportunities.

He said Turkey and Pakistan enjoyed historic cordial relations and these good relations should be transformed into strong business partnerships between the two countries. He stressed that business communities of both countries have to make serious efforts to take bilateral trade to higher levels which would benefit both nations. He also invited ICCI delegation to visit Turkey as exchange of trade delegations was the best way to explore business matchmakings and further improve two-way trade between the two brotherly countries. He also thanked ICCI for giving Turkish delegation warm welcome and extending great hospitality.

In his welcome address, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that potential of economic cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey has not been fully tapped as yet despite similar economic structures and efforts of entrepreneurs of both countries.

 He said bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey had exceeded US$1 billion in 2011, but it has come down to around US$600 million in 2015 which was not a healthy sign for both countries.

He stressed that both countries should focus on diversification of trade as the current volume of trade was confined to limited range of items. He said Turkey has imposed additional safeguard duties on some Pakistani products including fabrics, hand knotted carpets and others which should be revised downward to improve bilateral trade. He said Turkish investors should explore investment opportunities in various sectors of Pakistan's economy including energy, tourism, information technology, food processing, agro-based products, dairy development, furniture, hotel industry, resorts developments and others. He assured that ICCI would facilitate Turkish investors in enhancing investment in Pakistan.