Pakistan-Turkey free trade deal talks make progress

Following end of third round in Ankara, fourth round will be held in Islamabad in August.

ANKARA (AA) - The third round of the Pakistan-Turkey free trade agreement negotiations has been concluded in Ankara, with both sides expressing satisfaction with the progress made, a Pakistani embassy statement said Thursday.

The negotiations were held between July 25 and July 27.

Draft texts for agreements on trade in goods, services and investment were discussed during the third round, according to the statement.

The meeting also discussed tariffs, customs facilitation, safeguard measures, rules of origin, tariff reduction modality, bilateral investment mechanisms and services in detail.

"Both sides expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the negotiations," the statement said.

Robina Athar from Pakistani Ministry of Commerce led the Pakistani delegation, which included representatives from Pakistani Ministry of Commerce, Board of Investment and Federal Board of Revenue.The Turkish side was led by Husnu Dilemre, deputy undersecretary of Turkey's Economy Ministry. The Consul General of Pakistan in Istanbul Dr. Yusuf Junaid and Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood participated in the event.

The fourth round is expected to be held in the Pakistani capital Islamabad in August.

Negotiations over the deal were launched by former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the latter’s visit to Turkey in October 2015.

Former Turkish Economy Minister Mustafa Elitas and Pakistani Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan had inked the Free Trade Agreement framework in Islamabad in March 2016.

Last year, bilateral trade between the two countries was around $600 million, including $289 million in imports from Turkey.

Turkey mainly exports telecommunication equipment, televisions, textiles and machinery, while imports from Pakistan include textile yarn, cotton fabrics, plastics and organic chemicals.



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