ISTANBUL: The multifaceted relations between Pakistan and Turkey are burgeoning in defense field as the latter has agreed to modernize its F-16 fleet which will cost Islamabad US dollar 75 million, said a senior official of Turkey-Asia Pacific Councils of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) on Saturday.
Both countries have struck a deal in an aviation project under which Istanbul will modernize Pakistan’s air fighter planes and some of them have already been flown to Turkey, said Volkan YUZER Regional Coordinator while giving briefing to a group of visiting journalists, hailing from Asia-Pacific countries.
He said Turkey was manufacturing engines of the F-16 jets, besides making some of their spare-parts as well.
Questioned on the great business opportunities in Pakistan, he said, at least 100 Turkish companies were already doing successful business in Pakistan. These companies have invested US dollar 2.7 billion on various projects in Pakistan until 2014.
More Turkish investment, he said, was expected in energy, infrastructure and beverages projects. He disclosed that Turkish Coca Cola Company was expected to bring in US dollar 250 million investments in Pakistan in next 3 years.
Fielding another question, he said, there was a great potential for investment in Pakistan’s dairy industry as it was one of leading milk producing countries in the world.
Fontera Company which was a big name in this industry, he said, was interested to make investment in the dairy industry but he did not divulge more details.
Replying to a question on signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by September this year, he said both sides were working out details of the agreement.
When asked how would it impact trade between the two countries which now hovered around US dollar 600 million, he said, it was expected to increase to US dollar 1 billion besides seeing a surge in Turkish investment in Pakistan.
YUZER said a business delegation, comprising entrepreneurs of many Turkish companies, was expected to visit Pakistan either in August or September this year.
During its visit to Karachi and Lahore, Turkish businessmen would meet their Pakistani counterparts to explore possibilities of bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey.
He said there were 130 Business Councils in Istanbul which were working specifically to promote Turkey foreign economic relations with different countries of the world including Pakistan.
These councils were set up in 1986 to transform a massive potential of Turkish economy and its strategic location to become a global player in the field. This was a new concept of business diplomacy to ensure Istanbul’s place in a reshaped world of commerce.
The foreign investment in Turkey has been increasing in the past many years because this was $ 15 billion in 1993-2002 while it rose to $114 billion in 2014-2015 as a result of different steps taken by the Turkish government to promote its economic relations with countries in various regions, he said. NNI