The Turkish government has presented its proposals on the Strategic Economic Framework (SEF) to Pakistan as the decision to enter into a SEF was taken during the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Turkey in January this year.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, in a letter to Finance Minister Asad Umar, acknowledged the receipt of proposals from the Pakistan side and presented additional proposals from the Turkish side.
The proposals by the two countries cover trade, tourism, healthcare, hospitality industry, education, housing, agriculture, aviation, and banking.
Following the successful visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Turkey in January 2019, major progress was taking place in operationalizing the SEF between Pakistan and Turkey.
The purpose of SEF was to enhance the volume of bilateral trade five times, which currently stands at US$ 900 million.
Towards this goal, the two governments were negotiating a Free Trade Agreement to be signed in 2019.
Trade facilitation was to be enhanced through improving connectivity through rail, air, road and sea. Cooperation between Pakistan Railways and Turkish Railway Car Company (TUDEMSAS) and Turkish Locomotive and Engine Company (TULOMSAS) for rail vehicles production maintenance, repair and operation is also envisioned.
Turkey has expressed interest in developing a legal framework for tourism infrastructure planning, allocation of public properties to the investors, determination, and classification of qualities of hospitality facilities based on international standards.
Turkey intends to provide technical support in order to enhance promotion, marketing of tourism, advertising image of the country and production of promotional material. Seminars will be organized reciprocally.
Pakistan has recommended signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of investment focusing on auto industry, special economic zones, food processing, mining and minerals besides construction sector and tourism.
Pakistan looks up to Turkish cooperation in the development of tourist resorts. Similarly, both sides have expressed interest in strengthening cooperation in the field of educational services, inter-university exchange programs and the establishment of research centers.
The Pak-Turkey SEF will serve as the overarching strategic policy framework for investment and trade relations. A high-level Strategic Cooperation Council will provide overall guidance and vision.
There shall be a strategic Economic Group co-chaired by Vice President of Turkey and Finance Minister of Pakistan. There shall be seven joint working groups which will provide sector-specific inputs