Pakistan, Turkey agree to consolidate relations through enhanced political, economic cooperation

Pakistan, Turkey agree to consolidate relations through enhanced political, economic cooperation
Pakistan, Turkey agree to consolidate relations through enhanced political, economic cooperation

ANKARA: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday signed a Joint Declaration on Turkey-Pakistan Joint Strategic Cooperation, underlining the desire to further consolidate relations between the two countries through intensified political and economic cooperation by taking concrete and tangible steps in all spheres.

The declaration said both sides had agreed that the High Level Cooperation Council shall be renamed as the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) to truly reflect the strategic nature of their relations. It said the HLSCC would continue to be the main political forum that guides bilateral relations in all fields.It said the enhancement of cooperation in the energy field was a priority. Opportunities in this sector would be meticulously explored and promoted with a view to further developing and expanding cooperation in all areas, including petroleum, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric, geothermal and renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power.

It said the encouragement of intensification of contacts between business communities of the two countries was an essential element of improving bilateral economic activities and the memoranda of understanding between Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and between Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry were welcome steps.The declaration said that the Security Cooperation Protocol signed between the competent authorities of the two countries would provide the basis for cooperation in such fields as counter-terrorism, crime scene investigation and forensics, MOBESE systems, as well as training and personnel exchanges.

Following is the text of Joint Declaration:-
JOINT DECLARATION ON TURKEY – PAKISTAN STRATEGIC COOPERATION
Taking root from the brotherly and historical relations between our nations;Recognizing with profound satisfaction the manner in which these relations have developed and matured over the years through genuine goodwill, respect, common interests and mutual cooperation;Proceeding from a desire to further consolidate relations between the two countries through intensified political and economic cooperation by taking concrete and tangible steps in all spheres;
Welcoming the successful democratic election held in Pakistan in May 2013;Emphasizing firm belief in democracy and expressing determination to cooperate in the fulfillment of democratic ideals to the benefit of the brotherly peoples of Turkey and Pakistan;Convinced that the further comprehensive development of bilateral ties would promote democracy, progress and prosperity in both states and the region as a whole;Endorsing the results of the meetings of the Joint Working Groups of the High Level Cooperation Council held in Ankara on 5, 11 and 16 September 2013;
We as the co-chairs of the Third Meeting of the High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) held in Ankara, on 17 September 2013 with the participation  of H.E. Bekir Bozdag, Deputy Prime Minister, H.E.  Erdogan Bayraktar, Minister of Environment and Urban Planning, H.E. Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Taner Yildiz,Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, H.E. Mustafa Sever, Deputy Minister of Economy,

  •  H.E. Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister of Finance, H.E. Khawaja Muhammad Asif, H.E. Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, H.E.  KhurramDastgir Khan, Minister of State for Commerce, H.E. Usman Ibrahim, Minister of State for Housing and Works, Mr. Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant  to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs.
  • Other prominent dignitaries and officials

Have decided as follows:

Political Cooperation

  • The High Level Cooperation Council shall be renamed as the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) to truly reflect the strategic nature of our relations.
  • The HLSCC shall continue to be the main political forum that guides bilateral relations in all fields.
  • Effective implementation and follow-up of the decisions taken at the HLSCC meetings shall be ensured.
  • Intensive exchanges at the leadership level, parliamentarians, businessmen as well as civil society and media representatives shall be furthered.
  • Close cooperation at regional and international fora, including mutual support to candidacies, shall be continued.
  •  The next annual consultations at the level of Foreign Ministers shall be held in Islamabad in the first quarter of 2014.

Energy Cooperation

  •  Enhancement of Cooperation in the energy field is a priority. Opportunities in this sector shall be meticulously explored and promoted with a view to further developing and expanding cooperation in all areas including petroleum, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric, geothermal and renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power.
  •  Cooperation in the field of coal mining and power generation shall be developed through the exchange of expertise, exchange of scientific and technical information, study visits and training. In this regard, Turkish Mineral Research and Exploration General Directorate (MTA) and Turkish Coal Enterprises (TKI) shall explore collaboration opportunities with their Pakistani counterparts.
  •  Cooperation in power generation shall be enhanced by encouraging private sector investment. To that end, private sector shall be provided the necessary reassurances, including a favorable and secure investment climate.
  • Private sector shall also be encouraged to invest in the development of hydrocarbons including oil and natural gas, as well as in the mining sector.
  • Cooperation in the field of hydrocarbon exploration and development shall be developed through the exchange of expertise, scientific and technical information, study visits and training. In this regard Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) and Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) shall explore joint ventures opportunities with Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).
  • Cooperation in the field of trade and supply of petroleum products shall be strengthened.

Trade Cooperation

  • The current trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan neither reflects the level of their excellent political relations nor the potential of their respective economies. Therefore, all necessary measures shall be taken with a view to increasing bilateral economic activities and trade, including;

ú         Strengthening of cooperation through existing mechanisms such as the Joint Economic Commission;

ú         Exploration of new venues of economic cooperation and development of appropriate measures for close commercial partnership;

ú         Diversification of trade;
ú         Facilitation of transportation of merchandise;
ú         Facilitation for increased involvement of private sector in trade and commercial cooperation.

  • Results of the 5th Round of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) negotiations held in Ankara on 10-11 September 2013 were welcomed and the competent Ministries of the two countries were directed to conclude their technical discussions expeditiously in order to finalize the PTA at the earliest.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Turkish Eximbank and its Pakistani counterpart will provide an important instrument in helping increase bilateral trade volume.
  • 15th Session of the Turkey-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission shall be held in the first half of 2014 in Ankara.
  • Encouragement of intensification of contacts between business communities of the two countries is an essential element of improving bilateral economic activities. The Memoranda of Understanding between Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and between Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry are welcome steps which will help invigorate contacts between business circles of the two countries.

Finance Cooperation

  • Cooperation in the field of central financial auditing through training and capacity building activities shall be explored.
  • The Memoranda of Understanding between the tax revenue agencies of the two countries, as well as between the Undersecretariat of Treasury of Turkey and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan shall constitute useful tools to advance inter-institutional cooperation.

Transportation Cooperation

  • Transport connectivity is the lynchpin of trade and commercial activities; overland, maritime and air connections shall be improved and diversified. To that end;
  • Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between Turkey and Pakistan on Civil Aviation will improve commercial activities by bringing business communities of the two countries closer through increased frequency of flights and destination points between important business centers of the two countries.
  • Railways are the backbone of the physical infrastructure for overland trade. The effective use of the Islamabad-Teheran-Istanbul Container Train (ECO Train) will substantially contribute to overcoming the lack of strong logistics connections between the two countries and help raising the level of trade.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding between TOBB and Pakistan Railways to facilitate scheduled services would serve this purpose.  In this regard, cooperation to improve the rollback and rolling stock capacity shall be developed.

Development Cooperation

  •  Cooperation shall be developed in the fields of municipal services, urban planning, low-cost public housing schemes and environment.
  • Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) shall provide necessary assistance to relevant Pakistani authorities in developing low-cost housing projects by providing technical expertise, experience sharing and exchange of experts, on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding signed today.
  • Friendship and Cooperation Protocol signed between the Greater Ankara Municipality and Capital Development Authority (CDA) of Islamabad shall be effectively followed-up and implemented.
  • Collaboration on rural development programmes to curb poverty, as well as, on agricultural infrastructure development, modern irrigation techniques and land improvement shall be explored.  Investment on agro-based industries shall be encouraged.

Security Cooperation

  •  Cooperation between the police agencies of the two countries shall continue to be expanded including the capacity building and police training activities.
  • Security Cooperation Protocole signed between the competent authorities of the two countries will provide the basis for cooperation in such fields as counter-terrorism, crime scene investigation and forensics, MOBESE systems, as well as training and personnel exchanges.
  • Finalization of the Agreement on the Transfer of Offenders is a welcome step in completing the basic framework for cooperation in the legal field.

Education, Culture and Science Cooperation

  • Cooperation in the fields of education and training shall be strengthened. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Education and the Memorandum of Understanding on Vocational Training between Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination of Pakistan shall serve as the basis of this cooperation.
  • Interaction between universities and academic institutions shall be promoted and in this regard, collaboration on higher education scholarships shall be continued.
  • Direct contacts between scientific research institutions shall be encouraged to enhance scientific and technological cooperation. Protocol on Cooperation in Science and Technology between the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) and Pakistan Science Cooperationis an important addition to the bilateral legal framework in this regard.
  •  The deep-rooted cultural relations between Turkey and Pakistan shall be fostered. To that end, the Agreement establishing Yunus Emre Cultural Centers in Karachi and Lahore and cultural centers to be established by Pakistan in Turkey will substantially contribute to the cultural relations of the two countries. The centers shall begin their activities as soon as possible.
  • The Cultural Exchange Program between the two countries is a practical instrument that shall cultivate cultural interaction on a people-to-people level. Its effective implementation shall give visible results in the form of increased cultural contacts between the brotherly people of Turkey and Pakistan.

Tourism Cooperation

  • The Tourism and Culture Joint Working Groups which were established at the first HLCC meeting held on 7 December 2010 in Ankara shall be merged into a single Joint Working Group titled “Tourism and Culture”.
  • Reciprocal participation of sector representatives in tourism fairs organized in both countries shall be encouraged.  Mutual visits and participation to international events by journalists, authors, scientists, artists, students and tourism sector representatives who help shape public opinion shall be encouraged.
  •  Cooperation in the field of tourism investment, expansion of investment opportunities within the framework of national legislations and implementation of expert exchange programmes shall be fostered.
  •  Cooperation among national tourism agencies, as well as private sector companies and professional tourism organizations shall be encouraged by both sides.

Follow-up

The six Joint Working Groups of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council shall continue their work to develop specific programmes and projects.The next meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council shall be held in Islamabad in 2014. The dates shall be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.Done in Ankara on 17 September 2013 in Turkish and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.