ISLAMABAD: A Turkish government delegation led by Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan held on Friday the delegation-level talks with the Pakistani side led by Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi on the eve of Turkish President Recep Tayyab Erdogan’s visit to Islamabad.
The Pakistani delegation included Maritime Affairs Secretary Rizwan Ahmed, Additional Secretary Nadir Mumtaz Warraich and Joint Secretary Kamran Farooq Ansari.
The Turkish delegation showed a keen interest in CPEC projects and endorsed their support for the development of infrastructure in Pakistan.
During the meeting, Turhan emphasised on bilateral cooperation in the shipping sector through assistance in shipyard operations and exchange of technology and experience.
He said the Turkish companies would give Pakistani manpower the preferential opportunities, noting Pakistani seafarers had been lauded worldwide for their professionalism.
The Pakistani side requested the Turkish delegation to facilitate them and ease their visa restrictions.
The memorandum of understanding (MoUs), however, will need to be signed once the details are agreed upon.
Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi explained to the delegation the salient features of Pakistan’s new shipping policy, which includes tax exemptions for the ships registered in Pakistan and preferential berthing rights.
He also invited Turkish companies to establish their industries in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) being set up in the port cities of Karachi and Gwadar.
The minister highlighted the potential of Pakistan in terms of development of coastal cities and the tourism industry.
Zaidi invited the Turkish minister to attend the upcoming Maritime Expo in Karachi later this year, which the latter accepted. He also agreed to send the Turkish companies to participate in the exhibition.