Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkey cancels $5.7bn highway privatisation tender

ISTANBUL: Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Friday the government had cancelled a $5.7 billion tender for the privatisation of toll roads and bridges, after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan earlier said the result had not met expectations.



Turkey’s Koc Holding and Gozde Girisim and Malaysia’s UEM Group Berhad had won the tender in December.



The Istanbul stock exchange was closed when Simsek made the statement.


Copyright Reuters, 2013

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Turkey unveils plan for world’s biggest airport

Updated January 24, 2013 11:40:14

Turkey plans to build what it says will be the largest airport in the world, eventually able to handle 150 million passengers per year, in a project predicted to cost more than 7 billion euros ($8.84 billion).

Transport minister Binali Yildirim said the deadline for bids to build the airport, which will be Istanbul’s third and have a total of six runways, would be May 3.

The airport will add vital capacity in the region and enhance the role of Istanbul, the hub for flag carrier Turkish Airlines.

“At full capacity the new airport will be the largest in the world in terms of passengers,” Mr Yildirim told a news conference in Ankara.

Turkey’s economy, the fastest-growing in Europe, has advanced rapidly over the past decade under the leadership of prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and become a major trading partner with Europe and the Middle East.

The tender will be for a 25-year lease in a four-stage project, with annual capacity of 90 million passengers planned for the first stage, Mr Yildirim added.

“The final annual capacity of the airport will be 150 million. The first stage will be operational in 2017,” he said.

In comparison, London’s Heathrow airport, which has two runways, handled 69.4 million passengers in 2011.

Mr Erdogan said the tender would be launched this week, with the first stage of construction to be completed in three to four years.

Turkish airport operator and builder TAV and construction company Limak are among the companies that have expressed interest in bidding for the contract.

TAV also has the operating rights for Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, the country’s largest, until 2021.

It said the Turkish airports authority would compensate it for any losses if the third airport opened while it was still running Ataturk.

Reuters

Topics: air-transport, turkey

First posted January 24, 2013 01:15:01

Turkey unveils plan for world’s biggest airport


Turkey plans to build what it says will be the largest airport in the world, eventually able to handle 150 million passengers per year, in a project predicted to cost more than 7 billion euros ($8.84 billion).


Transport minister Binali Yildirim said the deadline for bids to build the airport, which will be Istanbul’s third and have a total of six runways, would be May 3.


The airport will add vital capacity in the region and enhance the role of Istanbul, the hub for flag carrier Turkish Airlines.


“At full capacity the new airport will be the largest in the world in terms of passengers,” Mr Yildirim told a news conference in Ankara.


Turkey’s economy, the fastest-growing in Europe, has advanced rapidly over the past decade under the leadership of prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and become a major trading partner with Europe and the Middle East.


The tender will be for a 25-year lease in a four-stage project, with annual capacity of 90 million passengers planned for the first stage, Mr Yildirim added.


“The final annual capacity of the airport will be 150 million. The first stage will be operational in 2017,” he said.


In comparison, London’s Heathrow airport, which has two runways, handled 69.4 million passengers in 2011.


Mr Erdogan said the tender would be launched this week, with the first stage of construction to be completed in three to four years.


Turkish airport operator and builder TAV and construction company Limak are among the companies that have expressed interest in bidding for the contract.


TAV also has the operating rights for Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, the country’s largest, until 2021.


It said the Turkish airports authority would compensate it for any losses if the third airport opened while it was still running Ataturk.


Reuters

Topics: air-transport, turkey

First posted January 24, 2013 01:15:01

Turkey expanding fleet

Istanbul: Turkish Airlines says it’s close to ordering 100 planes to provide short-haul links from Istanbul while scrapping plans to buy the biggest jumbo jets in favour of more modestly sized wide-body planes. A single-aisle deal may be sealed this year or early next, Chief Executive Officer Temel Kotil said on Wednesday in an interview, adding that “all possibilities” are being considered. Airbus and Boeing offer the A320 and 737, to be upgraded from 2015 and 2017, while Bombardier Inc is developing the C Series model.

Turkish Airlines aims to expand its fleet to 350 planes by 2020 from 201 as Europe’s fifth-biggest carrier builds Istanbul into a hub for inter-continental flights. The company has backed off from an order for the Airbus A380 superjumbo or Boeing 747-8 after deciding more regular flights with the suppliers’ 777 and A330 wide-bodies are a better strategic fit, Kotil said. “Our biggest problem is the capacity and the frequency,” the CEO said. “We want to go to higher frequencies. The 777 is big enough.” Possible plans include switching daily services to cities including Chicago and Hong Kong to double-daily, he said.

The company’s chairman, Hamdi Topcu, said in an interview on June 21 that it was poised to order at least 15 A380s or 747s with a list price of $4 billion (Dh14.6 billion) for delivery from 2014.

Topcu said on September 6 that a six-jet purchase remained possible. The state-backed carrier remains in talks about deepening cooperation with Deutsche Lufthansa, Kotil said in Hong Kong, while declining to provide detail on what is being considered. Turkish Air and Lufthansa, already partners in the Star Alliance and their SunExpress holiday-airline joint venture, are examining possibilities short of equity investments, Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said this month. Turkish Air expects to have about 80 long-haul aircraft by 2020, with the rest of the fleet being single-aisle, Kotil said. Some 15 777-300ERs were ordered last month, plus five options, which will “most likely” be exercised, according to the executive, together with 15 Airbus A330-300s. The carrier, which flies to more countries than any other, will receive 36 new narrow-bodies in the next two years and has orders for further 737s and A320s beyond that, though not yet for the re-engined Max and neo versions.

Article continues below

Peugeot 301 driven in Turkey

 Image Credit: Supplied picture”The four-speed auto gearbox proved surprisingly plucky around town and on the highways.”Image 1 of 3123

With its bustling bazaars, teeming streets and trendy hangouts, Antalya, the incredibly beautiful tourist hotspot on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, is a city bursting with life and colour. Seeing the buzz and generally upbeat mood around, it’s hard to imagine you’re in a country that’s part of a financially battered and bruised continent, let alone an ‘emerging’ part of it. No wonder then that it’s emerging markets like Turkey that major carmakers are going all out to woo with tailor-made offerings.


Just as Toyota and Honda enticed India with the Etios and the Brio, and GM and Hyundai courted Brazil with the Chevy Onix and the HB20 respectively, French majors are also striving to catch the fancy of the cash-rich middle class in these up-and-coming markets with made-to-measure models. With the Citroen C-Elysee and the Renault Symbol having already set the pace, Peugeot couldn’t be far behind, and it’s promptly come out with its symbol of “internationalisation” — the 301 saloon.


Long gone are the times when even the ugliest three-box sheet metal on wheels could be dumped on the Third World, which would happily gobble it up without as much as a raised eyebrow. The developing world is now demanding enough for these carmakers to spend considerable amounts of resources and time on making these cars look appealing. The 301 is a perfect example.


The 301’s styling draws heavily from the SR1 Concept shown at the 2010 Geneva show, and carries forward the new design language debuted with the larger 508 saloon. The front end features a chrome-outlined wide-mouth ‘floating grille’, with a smaller lower grille beneath it flanked by fog lamps. Although the car looks fairly plain and simple overall, the creases on the bonnet and along the beltline give it a sharper, more muscular appearance than what’s expected in this segment.

Article continues below


The biggest surprise is the interior, which is so well designed and put together that it looks like it belongs in a much pricier car. Everything from the buttons and knobs on the driver-oriented dashboard to the flat-bottom steering wheel and the brushed-aluminium-look accents on the door, around the gear shifter and around the AC vents add to the sense of quality inside. The other thing that strikes you is the space inside the cabin, which belies the car’s modest exterior dimensions.


Peugeot claims the rear legroom of 121mm is the best in class, while the 640-litre boot is nothing short of cavernous, especially for this class of vehicle. On the 280km test drive along the picturesque route that Peugeot picked for us, I got to drive both the 1.6-litre petrol and the 1.6-litre diesel engines, both mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The 115bhp petrol motor is super-smooth and peppy enough, but the diesel engine, which puts out only 92 horses, has loads more torque at 230Nm as opposed to the former’s 150Nm.


The ride is exceptionally smooth and compliant, with the 301’s suspension — the same pseudo-MacPherson front and with a deformable cross-member at the rear seen in the 208 and the RCZ — absorbing every bump and rut on the road and at the same time handling every tight corner thrown at it by the mountain roads from Antalya to Isparta with aplomb. However, the back-to-back drives in the two different cars also brought to the fore some issues with consistency in build and refinement of the car built at PSA Peugeot Citroën group’s Vigo, Spain plant.


Strangely enough, the diesel-powered car, which had the same suspension set-up and rode on a similar set of tyres, felt more wobbly around bends than the petrol. On the other hand, while the diesel car’s cabin let in minimal road and wind noise, a constant whistle seeped in through the door seals in the latter at speeds higher than 80kph. After the official test drive, I jumped into the automatic transmission version of the 1.6-litre petrol, which is the version likely to come this side. Contrary to what I had expected, the four-speed auto gearbox proved surprisingly plucky around town and on the highways.


To increase the appeal of the saloon, Peugeot has thrown in a smattering of features including Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, parking sensors and a wide range of safety features like an electronic stability programme, ABS, up to four airbags, emergency brake assistance, Isofix child seat mountings, etc. Peugeot will also offer the ‘S line’ personalisation options for the 301 in certain markets, which allows you to fit it with 16in alloy wheels with an ‘S line’ central cap, black front spoiler with red edges, special black and red floor mats, door sills with ‘S line’ logo, aluminium gear-lever knob and handbrake lever, among others.


Peugeot tells us it will be priced in the same range as the 208, which is around Dh60-65K here, and if they manage to keep it in that range, this should be one of the best value saloons to be available in the price bracket, as it offers class-leading space and ride comfort while displaying decent handling characteristics. Infused with enough life, colour and trendiness, it will be at ease in even the hippest of neighbourhoods, just as it was in Antalya.


Model: 301


Engine: 1.6-litre four-cyl petrol


Transmission: Four-speed auto, FWD


Max power: 115bhp @ 6,050rpm


Max torque: 150Nm @ 4,000rpm


Top speed: 188kph


0-100kph: 10.8sec


Price: TBA


Plus: Decent looks, peppy engine great ride quality


Minus: Inconsistencies in build quality

India, Turkey should start free trade agreement negotiations: Envoy

New Delhi: To further enhance bilateral trade, India and Turkey should start negotiations for signing a free trade agreement (FTA), the Turkish envoy here said.


“In 2011 we had traded around $7.3 billion [Dh26.8 billion], which heavily favoured India. I believe that the potential of trade is far more than this level and a FTA will help expand it enormously,” Turkish envoy to India Burak Akcapar said.


When asked by IANS about the Turkish position on a joint study group (JSG) conducted on furthering the bilateral trade between both the countries, Akcapar said that both sides should start negotiations soon based on its findings.


“The FTA will also help bring down high import duties and will also allow Indian companies to export to European Union countries via Turkey as we have a duty free agreement with EU and are customs integrated with them,” he said.

Article continues below


The JSG was formed to examine the feasibility of an FTA between the two countries and has submitted its report to the two governments, which are currently studying the findings.


Historic relations


According to the envoy, the excellent political and historic relations between both the countries also have the potential to attract Turkish investments into India in sectors like infrastructure development and tourism.


“Turkey has had good experience in developing infrastructure that can be replicated here. We have received positive response from both sides on the infrastructure sector. We may see some developments soon,” he said.


Currently, institutional arrangements consisting of a joint commission for economic and technical cooperation (JCETC), joint business council (JBC) exists between the two countries.


Turkey and India are also signatories to agreements like avoidance of double taxation (DTA), reciprocal protection and promotion of investments, maritime, agricultural and tourism cooperation.


According to data from the Consulate General of India in Istanbul, in 2011 both sides had a bilateral trade of $4.09 billion, out of which Indian exports accounted for $3.62 billion, while Turkish exports stood at $0.477 billion.


Goods traded


Till January-July, 2012, both sides had traded $3.9 billion, out of which India’s exports were $3.46 billion, while Turkish exports stood at $0.440 billion.


India’s exports to Turkey include petroleum products, vaccines, cotton yarn, organic dyes, denim, steel, granite, antibiotics, carpets, tobacco, cars, sesame seed, TV CRTs, mobile handsets, clothing and apparel, tractors and aluminium.


In turn Turkey’s exports to India include poppy seeds, auto components, marble, textile machinery, denim, carpets, cumin seeds, copper ores and concentrates, steel, gold, silver and jewellery.


More than 150 companies with Indian capital have registered businesses in Turkey in the form of joint ventures, trade and representative offices which include GMR Infrastructure, Tata Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, Reliance, Ispat and Aditya Birla Group.


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Pakistan, Turkey for early PTA


ANKARA: Pakistan and Turkey will expedite efforts for an early conclusion of a comprehensive preferential trade agreement to further boost commercial ties between the two countries, according to a statement on Friday.


Ali Babacan, Turkish deputy prime minister, in a meeting with Saleem H Mandviwala, chairman of the Board of Investment, assured his government’s full support to encourage Turkish companies investment in Pakistan, it said.


Both the leaders agreed that the existing goodwill between Turkey and Pakistan would help in further improving economic relations.


The two sides also discussed the Istanbul-Islamabad cargo goods train Gul Train, and were of the view that running such a train on a regular basis will make it a viable project, according to the statement.


They referred to high-level cooperation council, which is the highest level decision making forum between the two countries in the economic field.


It was noted that the council is a milestone in the history of Pakistan-Turkey relations and under this platform several agreements were signed in the economic and commercial field, it said. The Pakistani delegation also held extensive discussions with Turkey’s Deputy Minister for Economy Mustafa Sever who informed that currently Turkish companies have around $365 million investment portfolio in Pakistan.

BOI chairman’s visit to Turkey concludes

Istanb­ul, Islama­bad discus­s means to improv­e bilate­ral relati­ons. It was sought from both sides to make concerted efforts to meet the bilateral trade target of $2 billion by 2012. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

Board of Investment Chairman Saleem H Mandviwalla visited the Republic of Turkey as a special envoy of the president and the visit was primarily aimed to exchange the views on ways and means to improve the economic and commercial interaction between the two countries.

It was also stressed to remove any impediments in bilateral trade and investment with the Turkish leadership.

It was sought from both sides to make concerted efforts to meet the bilateral trade target of $2 billion by 2012.  Mandviwalla brought to the attention of Turkish President Gul; the negative impact of safeguard measures imposed by Turkey on Pakistan’s textile exports and underlined the need of urgently concluding a comprehensive preferential trade arrangement between both nations.

The Turkish leadership encouraged local businessmen to further expand their investment ventures in Pakistan, especially in energy and infrastructure sectors, Gul said.

In order to boost economic relations and people to people contact, the existing rail, road and air links shall be further improved.

Mandviwalla discussed these proposals in a meeting with Turkish Minister for Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yildirim.

It was agreed on the need on improving existing cargo train operations. Yildirim also suggested increasing the frequency of flights between the two countries. He said Pakistan was a brotherly country and there were many venues of collaboration in trade and investment.

Mandviwalla showed his optimism that the existing cargo train ‘Gul train’ running on a pilot-basis between Istanbul and Islamabad was a viable commercial venture. After increasing the frequency of this cargo train, both countries will commence passenger trains, Mandviwalla added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2012. 

View the original article here

UAE may join Turkey nuclear power plant project: Turkey nuclear plant project

Ankara: The UAE could join a project to build Turkey’s second nuclear power plant if South Korea is involved, Turkey’s energy minister said Thursday.

“Officials from the UAE said they could be a partner in the project if South Korea undertakes the building of the nuclear power plant,” in northern Turkey, Taner Yildiz was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency.

The government plans to build three nuclear power plants within five years in the hope of preventing a possible energy shortage and reducing dependence on foreign energy supplies.

Turkey struck a deal with Russia in 2010 to build the country’s first power plant at Akkuyu in the southern Mersin province.

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The government plans to build a second reactor in northern Turkey, near the Black Sea city of Sinop. But it has not yet announced a location for a third reactor.

Ankara is negotiating with a number of countries including South Korea, China and Japan for the second power plant.

Gas flow from Iran to Turkey will resume within a week

turkeyISTANBUL: Gas flow on a pipeline carrying Iranian natural gas to Turkey will resume within a week, following a blast in eastern Turkey on Monday, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday.


 


Yildiz also said that Turkey had avoided supply problems after daily supplies from Russia were increased. Gazprom said on Monday it had increased the daily supply to Turkey by 60 percent to 48 million cubic metres.


 


Copyright Reuters, 2012

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Fiscal Review 2012

  Economic Indicators Market at Close Annual2011/12 Foreign Debt$65.562bn Per Cap Income$1,372 GDP Growth3.7% Average CPI10.08% MonthlySeptember Trade Balance$-1.774 bln Exports$1.911 bln Imports$3.685 bln WeeklyOctober 08, 2012 Reserves$14.900 bln  Top Traded Advancers Decliners NO_IFRAMES  Currency Converter Amount:From:Albanian Lek (ALL)Algerian Dinar (DZD)Aluminium Oz. (XAL)Argentine Peso (ARS)Aruba Florin (AWG)Australia Dollar (AUD)Bahamian Dollar (BSD)Bahraini Dinar (BHD)Bangladesh Taka (BDT)Barbados Dollar (BBD)Belarus Ruble (BYR)Belize Dollar (BZD)Bermuda Dollar (BMD)Bhutan Ngultrum (BTN)Bolivian Bol. (BOB)Botswana Pula (BWP)Brazilian Real (BRL)British Pound (GBP)Brunei Dollar (BND)Bulgarian Lev (BGN)Burundi Franc (BIF)Cambodia Riel (KHR)Canadian Dollar (CAD)Cape Ver. Escudo (CVE)Cay. Is. Dollar (KYD)CFA Franc BCEAO (XOF)CFA Franc BEAC (XAF)Chilean Peso (CLP)Chinese Yuan (CNY)Colombian Peso (COP)Comoros Franc (KMF)Copper Pounds (XCP)Costa Rica Col. (CRC)Croatian Kuna (HRK)Cuban Peso (CUP)Cyprus Pound (CYP)Czech Koruna (CZK)Danish Krone (DKK)Dijibouti Franc (DJF)Dominican Peso (DOP)E. Carib. Dollar (XCD)Ecuador Sucre (ECS)Egyptian Pound (EGP)El Salv. Colon (SVC)Eritrea Nakfa (ERN)Estonian Kroon (EEK)Ethiopian Birr (ETB)Euro (EUR)Falk. Is. Pound (FKP)Fiji Dollar (FJD)Gambian Dalasi (GMD)Ghanian Cedi (GHC)Gibraltar Pound (GIP)Gold Ounces (XAU)Guat. Quetzal (GTQ)Guinea Franc (GNF)Guyana Dollar (GYD)Haiti Gourde (HTG)Honduras Lempira (HNL)Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)Hungarian Forint (HUF)Iceland Krona (ISK)Indian Rupee (INR)Indon. Rupiah (IDR)Iran Rial (IRR)Iraqi Dinar (IQD)Israeli Shekel (ILS)Jamaican Dollar (JMD)Japanese Yen (JPY)Jordanian Dinar (JOD)Kazak. Tenge (KZT)Kenya Shilling (KES)Korean Won (KRW)Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)Lao Kip (LAK)Latvian Lat (LVL)Lebanese Pound (LBP)Lesotho Loti (LSL)Liberian Dollar (LRD)Libyan Dinar (LYD)Lithuanian Lita (LTL)Macau Pataca (MOP)Macedonian Denar (MKD)Malawi Kwacha (MWK)Malays. 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Lilageni (SZL)Swedish Krona (SEK)Swiss Franc (CHF)Syrian Pound (SYP)Taiwan Dollar (TWD)Tanzan. Shilling (TZS)Thai Baht (THB)Tonga Paanga (TOP)Trin-Tob Dollar (TTD)Tunisian Dinar (TND)U.S. Dollar (USD)UAE Dirham (AED)Uganda Shilling (UGX)Ukraine Hryvnia (UAH)Uruguay New Peso (UYU)Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)Venez. Bolivar (VEB)Vietnam Dong (VND)Yemen Riyal (YER)Zambian Kwacha (ZMK)Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD)To:Albanian Lek (ALL)Algerian Dinar (DZD)Aluminium Oz. (XAL)Argentine Peso (ARS)Aruba Florin (AWG)Australia Dollar (AUD)Bahamian Dollar (BSD)Bahraini Dinar (BHD)Bangladesh Taka (BDT)Barbados Dollar (BBD)Belarus Ruble (BYR)Belize Dollar (BZD)Bermuda Dollar (BMD)Bhutan Ngultrum (BTN)Bolivian Bol. (BOB)Botswana Pula (BWP)Brazilian Real (BRL)British Pound (GBP)Brunei Dollar (BND)Bulgarian Lev (BGN)Burundi Franc (BIF)Cambodia Riel (KHR)Canadian Dollar (CAD)Cape Ver. Escudo (CVE)Cay. Is. 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‘Pakistani exports to Turkey will be even less than last year’

Pakist­an and Turkey might not be able to accomp­lish the bilate­ral trade target of $2 billio­n. The governments kept iterating that their aim was to take the bilateral trade to $2 billion mark. PHOTO: FILE

HYDERABAD: 

Pakistan and Turkey might not be able to accomplish the bilateral trade target of $2 billion by the end of this year, said Turkey’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Mustafa Babur Hizlan.

“Pakistani exports to Turkey will be even less than last year,” the Ambassador told reporters at Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz leader Raheela Magsi’s house Saturday. He painted a bleak picture because the governments have not signed a preferential trade agreement and the flow of Pakistani textile goods into Turkey has also been tightened.

During his visit to Pakistan in May 2012, the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyap Erdogan, said that he would support efforts to increase the volume of imports, exports and bilateral investments between the two countries. President Asif Ali Zardari went to Ankara last month and championed the preferential trade agreement. The governments kept iterating that their aim was to take the bilateral trade to $2 billion mark.

Without specifying the stumbling blocks, Ambassador Hilzan said that steps to achieve this goal had not been taken. He said that Turkey is implementing measures to stem the import of textiles from countries with which it does not have a free or preferential trade agreement. “Both countries have excellent relations at the government and administration levels but our trade relations less than what they ought to be,” he said.

But there is a silver lining. The Ambassador mentioned the recent implementation of the Currency Swap Agreement. Under this agreement, the State Bank of Pakistan and Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey will lend traders the Turkish lira and Pakistan rupee for transactions in a particular denomination. The traders will then repay the loan using earnings through foreign trade.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2012.

Currency swap arrangement with Turkey comes into force

Move to enhanc­e bilate­ral trade and allow easier settle­ments.  SBP will draw on the swap line with CBRT and provide Turkish lira to banks in Pakistan


KARACHI: A three-year bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement (CSA) between the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) has been implemented from Tuesday, amounting to $1 billion in equivalent local currencies.


The SBP has issued necessary instructions to banks for the implementation of the agreement, after due consultations with various stakeholders and completion of operational formalities with CBRT. Top officials of the SBP hope that this agreement, along with a similar agreement with China, will ease some pressure off the foreign reserves of Pakistan.


Under the arrangement, SBP will have the ability to draw on the swap line with CBRT and provide Turkish lira (TRY) to banks in Pakistan. Banks will then loan Turkish liras to importers and exporters who are involved in trade denominated in the currency. At maturity of these loans, the importer and/or exporter will repay the foreign currency it receives from its trading partner to the lending bank, which in turn will repay the sum to the respective central bank.


Faisal Shahji, head of research of Standard Capital Security, said this agreement will increase bilateral trade between Turkey and Pakistan.


“But one thing the SBP should consider is that the benefits of this agreement trickle down to all importers and exporters, and not just leading players,” Shahji said. “Since Pakistan exports many textile related products to Turkey, I fear that few leading exporters may benefit from the development, while smaller ones may not get as much help.”


This currency swap agreement and an expected agreement with China will help increase regional trade, he added. “The SBP should actively pursue similar agreements with Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, from where we import a large amount of crude and palm oil, to ease pressure from its foreign reserves,” he concluded.


Objectives and structure
of the CSA


The objective of the currency swap is to promote bilateral trade between the two countries in the respective local currencies and any ‘other’ purpose as mutually agreed between the two central banks. Since the CSA is a bilateral financial transaction, all terms and conditions apply equally to both countries and the pricing is based on standard market benchmarks which are widely acceptable in the respective domestic markets.


Implementation guidelines from the SBP


The CSA between the two central banks will be a positive signal to the market on the availability of the other country’s currency in the onshore market.


The arrangement will augment the pool of liquidity available to finance bilateral trade between the two countries, supplementing the already available sources of liquidity, a SBP release said on Tuesday.


In order to ensure transparency in the determination of the market interest rate, the SBP has decided to conduct competitive auctions of the Turkish Lira Loan Facility.


For instance, all commercial banks will be allowed to take FE-25 deposits and extend FE-25 loans in the Turkish Lira for financing of Imports/Exports in accordance with SBP’s prevailing instructions on FE-25 loans/deposits. Necessary instructions to this effect have been issued in FE Circular No 4, dated September 4, 2012.


Participation in the auctions will be dependent on the submission of documentary evidence of export or import bills denominated in the Turkish Lira. All scheduled banks will be eligible to participate in such auctions.


Published in The Express Tribune, September 5th, 2012.

Turkey asks Pakistan to go easy on rental power plant

Minist­er says judgme­nt given by apex court can’t be cancel­led. PRICE TAG: $565m is the total amount thegovernment will pay to rental power plants.

ISLAMABAD: 

The government has turned down a request by Turkey seeking relief for a Turkish Rental Power Plant, Karkey Karadeniz, whose accounts have been frozen following Supreme Court’s judgment that cancelled all rental power projects.

The visiting Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglyan made the request during a meeting with Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim on Monday, an official told The Express Tribune after the meeting.

He said Turkey sought a resolution of the dispute involving the Turkish firm. However, Fahim showed his government’s inability in settling the dispute while arguing that since the apex court had already given its judgment against all rental power plant projects, thus, the government cannot do much, he added.

In March this year the Supreme Court ordered wrapping up RPPs contracts and asked National Accountability Bureau to move against all those who have been involved in striking the deals that many believed became a multi-billion dollar scam.

The government signed a five-year contract with Karkey Karadeniz which had a 222 megawatts generation capacity. The government would pay $565 million on account of rent for producing electricity, according to audit report of the RPPs, carried out by Asian Development Bank on request of the government. The Karkey became controversial when reports appeared in the press that the government was paying millions of dollars to the plant despite the fact that its production was almost nil.

According to an official handout, the Turkish Minister for Economy Zafer Caglyan pointed key concerns of Turkey regarding high taxes, custom duties and matters relating to port and shipping. He also highlighted the investment interest of different Turkish companies for Pakistan and their related requirements.

Pakistan also stressed the need for early finalisation of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between both the countries.

The Turkish government was reluctant to offer preferential treatment on goods that has implications for its trade with European Union, minimising chances for early finalisation of the deal.

Agreements signed in energy and finance

Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Turkish Minister for Environment and Urbanisation Erdogan Bayraktar on Monday co-chaired the 14th Session of Pak-Turkey Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC). The JMC finalised Memorandum of Understandings in the fields of solid waste management, archives, investment, urbanisation, transport and communication and renewable energy.

These agreements would be signed today (Tuesday) in the high level Cooperation Council meeting, co-chaired by Prime Ministers of both the countries, according to a statement by the Commerce Ministry.

During the JMC meeting, it was informed that many Turkish banks were interested to open their branches in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and one Turkish bank will start operation in Pakistan very soon.

Turkey also showed interest to provide technical and financial assistance for establishment of small hydropower  plants in Punjab and construction of transmission lines. It will also help formulate regulatory framework and safety codes for coal-based power generation. A Turkish company will start business in petroleum sector. Both the countries have identified fourteen projects in power sector for joint cooperation.

Pakistan and Turkey stressed the need to enhance bilateral trade and investment while agreeing that the current volume was far below than the potential, both countries have.

Both the countries also decided to celebrate 2013-14 as Pak-Turkish Cultural Year.

Turkey also showed interest in vessel tracking system and ship repair and building in Pakistan. Moreover, it was agreed that the existing public sector railway programme between Turkey and Pakistan will be shifted to private sector for its reinitiating, said the commerce ministry.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.