Pakistan, Iran and Turkiye Trade Routes can add value in connection with China’s BRI Project
Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul Road Transport Corridor, in conjunction with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project will prove to be a game changer in promoting regional trade among the four friendly nations of the region. This was stated by Moazzam Ghurki, President Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) during a think-tank meeting held today on Pak-Turkey-China Tripartite trade. Moazzam Ghurki, President PCJCCI acknowledged that Turkey, like China, had been an all-weather friend of Pakistan and the friendly relationship is now more integrated into international trade because of CPEC and BRI projects, which have created new opportunity for Turkey as well as Pakistan. Turkey’s exports to China will be able to route through Pakistan towards china, he said adding that Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul Road Transport Corridor Project was successfully carrying commercial cargo on Pakistani trucks to Turkey and vice-versa up to Chinese Markets.
Fang Yulong, Senior Vice President PCJCCI said that both countries share positive trade relations and the investments by Turkish companies in Pakistan have increased by over USD $1 billion. The two countries also signed a Strategic Economic Framework agreement that covers a broad spectrum of cooperation in science and technology, defense, tourism, education, and health. He said that PCJCCI would enhance Chinese investment in this sector to create a sustainable economic triangle amongst the three friendly states. Hamza Khalid, Vice President PCJCCI said that, despite of recent economic initiatives, Pakistan should take additional steps to reprioritize this essential aspect of the bilateral equation with Turkey.
Successful completion of ongoing projects with Turkey such as the Trans‐Afghan Railway project, CASA-1000, and Turkmenistan‐Afghanistan‐Pakistan‐India (TAPI) gas pipeline could significantly improve Pakistan’s connectivity with Western Asia and Europe, he said and urged to exploit such projects in conjunction with BRI project of China. Mr. Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI shared his views by saying that, Pakistan’s economic woes are no longer simply a domestic issue but a foreign policy challenge. Considering that Turkey is such a close ally, where President Erdogan has addressed the parliament four times, exploring an economic dimension within the bilateral relationship makes sense. It is yet to be seen if the administration of Pakistan can reprioritize international relations beyond the national security prism and without compromising Chinese Economic Development Program in the region.