Pakistan’s premier woos Turkish investors

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday invited Turkish businesspeople to invest in to benefit from his government's "business-friendly" approach.

"Ours is one of most business-friendly governments [in the region]. I invite to invest in Pakistan. I can assure you that we will fully facilitate you," Khan said in his address at a meeting of the Pakistan- Business Forum in the capital Islamabad.

"My government will do everything to increase trade and investment between our two countries," he asserted.

Khan said Pakistan was keen to benefit from Turkey's expertise in different sectors, particularly tourism, construction, healthcare, and information technology.

"I have visited several tourist destinations in Turkey. The way Turkey has developed its tourism industry, especially in terms of infrastructure, is something Pakistan can learn a lot from," Khan said.

"Pakistan is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. It has immense untapped potential in terms of tourism, mainly because we lack the necessary infrastructure. Turkey, though, is very well-developed [in this aspect]."

Under his leadership, he said, Pakistan jumped 28 spots on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Index.

Khan thanked Erdogan for his personal interest in improving the two countries' trade ties and reiterated Pakistan's strong desire for greater business and investment relations with Turkey.

On a lighter note, he pointed out the rousing welcome given to the Turkish president at a joint parliament sitting earlier on Friday.

"He [Erdogan] can win the next elections in Pakistan," Khan said with a smile.

"I saw the treasury and opposition members thumping their desks together. That is very rare in Pakistan."

Abdul Razzak Dawood, Khan's commerce advisor, delivered the forum's opening remarks and spoke about an inclusive agreement between the two countries, focusing on trade and tourism.

"We earlier had meetings in Davos and have now reached an understanding. As a final follow-up, we have signed an understanding on the way forward," he said, referring to his meeting with Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum last month.

"Both sides will now conduct studies to ascertain their strengths. This process will be completed by March and we will move forward in April."

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