Turkish floating power plant arriving soon
The first Turkish floating power plant will soon arrive at Port Qasim to provide 200 megawatts of electricity while Turkey is also looking at the possibility of investing in hydropower generation projects in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa province.
Turkish Ambassador Babur Hizlan stated this during his maiden visit to the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Thursday to discuss the matters of mutual interest with the members of the trade body.
The envoy was responding to the remarks of SCCI President Riaz Arshad, who sought help from the Turkish government in the development of hydel power sector and organising the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Referring to the spectre of terrorism, the Turkish ambassador said his country and Pakistan were facing similar problems. ?Peshawar has been chosen as target by the terrorists, but the army and the government are doing good job to fight them back,? he said.
Babur Hizlan termed the volume of trade between the two countries unsatisfactory. He said the volume of trade between Turkey and Pakistan was $782 million, which increased just by five per cent over the last two years. He said that they were now taking steps to increase mutual trade. He said the Turkish president and prime minister had visited Pakistan with large business delegations and $600 million worth contracts had been finalized.
The Turkish envoy said concrete results of these visits would become visible in the current year. ?We will enhance interaction between the business communities of the two countries and increase the level of awareness among the people,? he added.
The Turkish ambassador said his country was also trying to increase the means of transportation with Pakistan and agreement was being worked out to allow trucks ply between the two brotherly Muslim countries.
Another project of initiating cargo train from Islamabad to Istanbul through Iran is about to take off, he said, adding that it would reach Turkey in 11 days. He said the project would require a capital of $20 million in the three countries.
Similarly, Babur Hizlan said, Turkey wanted increased air transportation and there should be regular flights seven days a week for the shipment of fresh goods. He said Turkey was increasing investment in Pakistan"s energy sector and the ship with power plant would soon arrive at Port Qasim, Karachi, to provide 200MW electricity.
The ambassador also hinted at investing in the hydel projects in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa and said that they had meetings with officials of the Provincial Relief, Rehabilitation and Settlement Authority (PaRRSA) and minister for Social Welfare and Women Development Sitara Ayaz to identify areas for cooperation. ?We are also investing in water projects and cold storage facilities in Pakistan,? he said.
Asked why Pakistan and Turkey did not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), he said being part of the European Union, Turkey had some legal hitches in having such agreement while they had a ?readymade? agreement under the Economic Cooperation Organisation arrangement to carry out the trade. He said the ECO member countries had already exchanged lists of goods for mutual trade.
When told that local businessmen were facing difficulty in getting Turkish visa, Babur Hizlan said that they were in contact with the Foreign Office to find out better ways for visa issuance. SCCI Vice-president Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Adeel Rauf and Maqsood Anwar also spoke on the occasion.