Erdogan dynamic leadership to strengthen D-8 member states

Rehmat Mehsud

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has expressed optimism that under the dynamic leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the economic cooperation among D-8 member states will be further strengthened.

The prime minister delivered a speech at the D-8 Summit in Istanbul Congratulating Turkey on assumption of the D-8 Chair.

The D-8 Summit adopted the Istanbul Declaration 2017 and D-8 Istanbul Plan of Action to inject further dynamism and strengthen economic cooperation in the organization.

On the sidelines of 9th D-8 Summit held, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi extended invitation to Turkish entrepreneurs, business giants and mega companies to invest in diverse areas of economy in Pakistan especially hydel and coal power generation in energy, mining, banking and infrastructure development.

“Your groups can also explore the possibility of investing in food processing industry particularly in milk and fruit concentrate market. Export opportunities through Pakistan to our oil rich gulf neighborhood and Central Asian Republics are unlimited,” the prime minister remarked.

The prime minister expressed these views during a meeting with Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK) in Istanbul, Turkey on October, 20 this year. Top leadership of major Turkish companies including Albayrak, Zorlu, STFA, Arcelik, Siyah Kalem and Cagri Makina attended the meeting.

Mentioning the investment in Pakistan by some Turkish companies present in the meeting in the areas of infrastructure, transport, beverages and electronics, he said, Pakistan would welcome more companies to invest.

He said joint ventures in textiles were also viable options Pakistan had abundant cotton production coupled with a well-trained labour force.

“Pakistan is open for business. It values your investment and has an excellent record of profitability,” he noted.

Giving a picture of country’s economy, his country— a nation of 200 million people with a growth rate of 5 per cent and abundant skilled and semi-skilled young labor— is one of the most liberal economies of South Asia at the crossroads of Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and East Asia.

He made a mention of challenges his government inherited in 2013 like large fiscal deficit, rising debt burden, unfavorable balance of payments, low foreign exchange reserves, flight of capital, weakening exchange rate and perilously declining investor confidence.

He said that with prudent economic measures taken by the present government since 2013-14, the economy has witnessed a smooth upward trend in the growth rate and the real GDP growth which was above 4% in 2013-14 had increased to 5.28% in 2016-17, highest in ten years.

With agriculture meeting its growth target of 3.5% in 2016-17, he said, the services sector grew at 5.8% and revenue collections increased from 8.7% in FY 2013 to 10.7% of GDP in FY 2016.

He said Pakistan’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index has improved and the country has been recognized as one of the top ten performers globally in the area of business regulation.

Turkey, Pakistan, Iran Nigeria, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Egypt participated in the Summit. Azerbaijan and Guinea attended the meeting as observers.

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