ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 (APP):Turkish delegation led by Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan and Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi Friday held first delegation level discussion.

Speaking on the occasion, Cahit Turhan emphasized on bilateral cooperation in the shipping sector whereby Pakistan can be assisted in shipyard operations by exchanging technology and experience.

Pakistani manpower will be given preferential opportunities in Turkish companies. Once agreed upon the details and other necessary protocols, bilateral MOUs will be signed to ensure expeditious implementation.

The Turkish side also showed interest in CPEC and expressed their support for infrastructure development of Pakistan. Pakistan and Turkey have a long history of relations whereby both countries have stood by each other through thick and thin.

Ali Zaidi was accompanied by Secretary, Maritime Affairs Rizwan Ahmed, Additional Secretary Nadir Mumtaz Waraich and Joint Secretary Kamran Faroq Ansari in the meeting.

He disclosed the salient features of Pakistan’s new shipping policy to the guests, which includes tax exemptions for the ships registered in Pakistan and preferential berthing rights. He also invited Turkish companies to establish their industries in Export Processing Zones being established in the port cities of Karachi and Gawadar.

Pakistan has a huge potential for development of coastal cities and tourism industry. In the coming couple of years, some projects which have been in the planning will be launched that will altogether revolutionize the maritime sector of Pakistan.

The Turkish minister was invited for the Maritime EXPO being planned to be held in Karachi later this year over which he accepted the invitation and agreed to invite the Turkish Companies to participate in the event.

Pakistani side in cognizance of the issues faced by our seafarers requested the Turkish side to facilitate them and ease their VISA restrictions. Their employment on Turkish ships was also discussed as Pakistani seafarers have been lauded worldwide for their professionalism.