Pakistan, Turkey agree to swap currency

November 1st, 2011 - 12:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Nov 1 (IANS) President Asif Ali Zardari and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul have agreed to finalise the currency swap agreement between the two countries.

The two presidents held wide-ranging bilateral talks in Istanbul Monday, on the sidelines of the trilateral summit on Afghanistan.

The president’s spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said the currency swap agreement would enable traders and businessmen of the two countries to trade in their respective currencies without drawing from their dollar based foreign exchange reserves.

This will reduce the pressure on the foreign exchange reserves and give a quantum jump to the bilateral trade between the two countries, Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying.

Babar said Zardari has been looking at boosting Pakistan’s trade as a means to generate economic activity in the country for job creation to wean away the youth from falling prey to the temptations offered by militants.

As Pakistan’s efforts to seek increased market access to European and US markets are still underway, Zardari has turned to regional markets to boost Pakistan’s trade.

Similar currency swap agreements are also envisaged with some other countries in the region, Babar added.

The existing bilateral trade of $1 billion should be doubled to $2 billion dollars next year, Zardari said and added that there was need to remove trade barriers and ease visa restrictions.

The president also called for fast-tracking the conclusion of the Pakistan-Turkey Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

“We would like to see further joint ventures and investment in key sectors such as infrastructure, engineering, energy, agriculture, telecommunications and mining,” said Zardari.

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