MULTAN: The business community of southern Punjab has urged the Turkish government to remove or reduce tariffs on Pakistan’s high-potential export products in order to facilitate economic ties between the two countries.
They have asked the government and opposition leaders to raise the tariff issue on arrival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Pakistan on a two-day visit next week. He will address lawmakers in a special joint sitting of parliament on November 17.
Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi said in a statement Turkey’s free trade partners, Egypt and Jordan, were enjoying significantly lower tariffs compared to the duties being imposed on Pakistani goods.
On the other hand, the tariffs on Turkish export products, though at high levels, were in line with the tariffs on exports of Pakistan’s free trade partners including China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
Roomi asked Turkey to avoid discrimination in tariffs and facilitate Pakistan, which was its longstanding friend.
Pakistan has the potential to step up exports to Turkey up to $5 billion including shipments valuing $329 million of instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical and veterinary sciences.
“Had the two countries signed a free trade agreement eliminating all tariffs in 2015, Turkey’s exports would have risen by 32% while Pakistan’s exports would have gone up by 22%,” Roomi remarked.
Turkey has the potential to export $12.8 billion worth of goods to Pakistan including shipments of motor cars and other vehicles valuing $346 million.
“Turkey’s export potential is about 2.5 times larger than Pakistan’s export potential,” he noted and suggested that negotiations needed to focus on tariff elimination from high-potential export goods.
Courtesy : Express Tribune