LAHORE Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Thursday said that people in his country were fully aware of the energy crisis in Pakistan and Turkey would provide all possible help to overcome the power shortage. Addressing the Pak-Turkey CEO forum organised by Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) at a local hotel here, Abdullah Gul said Turkey had vast experience in the construction sector with worlds second largest fleet of 250 construction companies after China, building dams and other mega projects. Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion. Gul observed that people of Pakistan had proved their talent in the business sector all over the world which needed to be utilised to expand mutual trade between the two brotherly countries. The Turkish President said there was a huge scope of investment and trade between Pakistan and Turkey. The trade volume between the two countries can be enhanced to billions of dollars, he added. He said both countries were inter-linked with time-tested and all-weather friendship. He said a rail link would be developed between Pakistan and Turkey via Iran to minimise the travel time and boost trade. Gul praised the historic importance of Lahore and the warm welcome and hospitality, he received in the City. He also lauded the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Dr Muhammad Iqbal and their role in the creation of Pakistan. Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said relations between Turkey and Pakistan are based on common religion, culture and civilisation and the people of both the countries are bonded together in deep-rooted ties of selfless love, brotherhood and sincerity. He said Pak-Turk friendship was a spirit, which words could not encompass. However, he said, there was a need for translating these brotherly and fraternal relations into trade and economic cooperation. Turk President Abdullah Gul especially participated in Pak-Turk CEO Forum while Interior Minister Rehman Malik, provincial ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan and Malik Ahmad Ali Aulakh, members national and provincial assemblies, president Lahore Chamber of Commerce and prominent traders and businessmen of both the countries were also present on the occasion. The CM while welcoming the distinguished guests said the visit of the Turkish President and his delegation to Lahore was an extraordinary and memorable event, adding that the bilateral relations went beyond the geographical limits, which had stood the test of time. He said the government and people of Turkey had always supported Pakistan in the hour of need and Turkey made the largest financial contribution for the relief of the earthquake victims in Pakistan. He said Turkey was among the first few countries, which recognised Pakistan after its creation in 1947 and the people of the two countries had a unanimous stance on a number of international issues. Referring to his recent visit to Turkey, the chief minister said he personally experienced love and affection of the Turkish people for their Pakistani brethren and the hospitality shown to the visiting delegation from Pakistan was memorable. He said the rapid progress made by Turkey in economic sector was enviable and there was a need for Pakistan to benefit from this potential through increasing trade relations with Turkey. He said it was a matter of satisfaction that a large trade delegation was also accompanying the Turk president, which would result in providing a strong economic base for bilateral relations. He said Punjab government was setting up a special industrial zone for Turk investors in Faisalabad and 225 acres of land had already been allocated for this purpose, which would be given free of cost. He accepted the fact that the recent incidents of terrorism had adversely affected industrial and economic activities; however, he said a favourable atmosphere for investment still existed in Punjab, adding that Pakistan was not the only country facing terrorism. He said Turkey had also encountered this problem for a number of years but it succeeded in countering the challenge with courage and determination. He said Pakistan would also be able to overcome the menace in near future. Shahbaz appreciated that the mayor of Istanbul would help in solid waste management in Lahore. He said the arrival of Turk businessmen under the leadership of President Abdullah Gul to Lahore would help in strengthening the existing friendly ties. He also thanked the delegation for visiting the cultural hub of the country and said their arrival had added colour and fragrance to the spring while the memories of this visit would always remain fresh in the minds of the people of Lahore. Earlier, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board Pir Saad Ahsanuddin, in his welcoming address, identified the investment opportunities in Punjab. An agreement was also signed on this occasion regarding Punjab-Turk Economic Zone.