While on working visit to the United States of America, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took part in Turkmenistan – USA business forum.
The meeting of the Head of the State with representatives of business circles of two countries is very important for further development of trade and economic partnership, opening of new spheres of joint efforts. It is also remarkable that it is held in the year of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of Turkmenistan – USA Business Council, which was founded by the initiative of Turkmen leader, which was proposed in New York’s Rockefeller Centre to the top management of hundreds of American companies and concerns.
After 10 years, both sides, which have gained significant experience of cooperation in Turkmen market, have the opportunity to listen to new initiatives, certain priorities of development of Turkmenistan economy in near future, which is closely connected to the objectives of internal social policy and in the context of regional integration in Central Asia, from the first person of the country. The businessmen are also attracted with the favourable benefits provided by our country for foreign investors, which promoted the intent of the representatives of international business circles to participate in this meeting where big companies from other states like Canada and Great Britain wished to participae together with American businessmen.
Executive Director of Turkmenistan – USA Business Council Eric Stuart opened the forum, which was held in Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
Having expressed the gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for time spared for the meeting, Mr Stuart congratulated the Head of the State on his speech at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, which contained new proposals of Turkmenistan on solution of global issues of the present and international cooperation.
Noting existing interest of leading American companies to intensification of versatile partnership, Eric Stuart confirmed the intent of US business circles to expand its presence in Turkmen market and take most active part in realization of large-scale state programmes for the interest of people of the country and for the sake of entire Central Asian region, consolidation of peace and trust on the planet.
The floor was given to the President of Turkmenistan.
First, the Head of the State expressed the gratitude to American partners for the initiative to organize this meeting that present good opportunity to share the views of capabilities and perspectives of Turkmen – American cooperation in economic sphere.
Greeting top managers and representatives of American companies, who cooperates with our country for many years, as well as the businessmen, who express the interest in joint work with Turkmen partners, Turkmen leader said that such representative composition of the forum is seen as the intent of American business community to expand beneficial contacts with Turkmenistan.
Having noted that current meeting of Turkmenistan – USA Business Council is held in the year of the 10th anniversary of establishment of this structure, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that a lot of work has been done for this period. The Business Council became important working instrument of bilateral partnership, efficient ground for establishment, development and improvement of relations between economic entities of our countries.
The structure gained deserving authority among the businessmen of two countries. Government authorities of Turkmenistan and USA follow its opinions and recommendations. Taking the opportunity, the Head of the State congratulated all members of the Council on its anniversary, having wished successful work and assured that Turkmenistan would render comprehensive support to its activity.
After, the President outlined key directions of large-scale reforms in Turkmenistan, especially on reformation of the economy, which provides stable high rates of development to the country.
The speech of Turkmen leader was accompanied by the demonstration of video giving visual image of the dynamics of growth of the main branches of national economy of our country, its economic capabilities and big important regional projects that have been and continue to be implemented.
Rich natural resources, favourable geographic location as well as steadfast ‘open door’ foreign policy stipulate the presence of serious perspectives for beneficial investments in Turkmenistan, the Head of the State said.
One of the main goals of this policy to add new stimulus and impulse to intensification of national economy with long-term efficiency. In this aspect, the attraction of foreign investments to the country is top priority.
Turkmenistan is very attractive in this aspect today. The study of the market made by independent experts showed that progressive reforms created the ground for rapid and qualitative social and economic growth of the country.
Noting that Turkmenistan has the most optimal and harmonic conditions for expansion of international economic partnership in different spheres, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted oil and gas sector, energy, transport and communication, agriculture, textile industry and sphere of high technologies among them.
The state provides significant support to the investors in the form of tax, custom, visa, insurance and other benefits. The share of investments in production of the Gross Domestic Product grows, number of investment projects and joint ventures increases and volumes of foreign trades expands in the result, the Leader of the Nation continued.
Despite negative tendencies in the world market, the dynamics of Turkmen economy shows positive direction. For example, macroeconomic indicators for nine months of the year confirmed stable development of all branches. In general, the growth rate of the GDP is expected on 6.2 percent level this year. Positive dynamics is observed in foreign trade as well. High growth rates of the investment development from all sources of financing were noted.
Legal framework of Turkmenistan, which was brought in accordance with the standards of international law, plays big role in attraction of foreign investors, the Head of the State highlighted. Progressive laws in tax, investment, entrepreneurship spheres have been adopted in the country. According to these laws, foreign partners working in Turkmenistan have certain benefits and preferences, which creates favourable conditions for long-term investments and expansion of partnership.
Actual measures have been taken for improvement of stability of financial system of Turkmenistan, first, by the unification of foreign currency exchange rate and strengthening of national currency.
Attractiveness of Turkmen market is largely due to social and political stability, availability of powerful resource base and modern legal system, which guarantees the reliability of the investments. This is proven by published reports of the experts of International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.
These big international institutes forecast further steadfast growth of Turkmen economy, improvement of investment rating of the country.
Speaking that diversification of the economy is the main objective of the reforms, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that growth of production volumes in goods manufacturing spheres is the decisive factor of the growth in this sphere. Stable growth of volumes of foreign investments, the most part of which is sent to industrial sector, is exemplary in this regard.
In his speech, the Head of the State called United States of America as one of the most important trade and economic partners of Turkmenistan. Bilateral cooperation in this sphere develops gradually, the growth of trade turnover grows. It increased by 27 percent only for the first half of 2018.
Investment activity develops rapidly. As for today, 156 projects with the participation of American companies to total amount of more than two and half billion US dollars.
Big American companies successfully work on Turkmen market in such important segments as transport, fuel and energy complex, construction of power stations, telecommunications, software, food industry and other for many years. We welcome such cooperation and will encourage and support it, Turkmen leader said.
At the same time, it is obvious that mutual potential can be used in larger scale by diversification of Turkmen economy, wide introduction of high technology production, implementation of big national, the President of Turkmenistan stated.
We see big perspectives in attraction of American investments and technologies to scientific based and innovative productions, like electronics, computer and logistic service, education sphere and improvement of qualification of personnel in Turkmenistan, the President said.
The Head of the State invited American partners to study the opportunity of their participation in the projects of construction of modern infrastructure in Turkmenistan.
Cooperation in the context of creation of interregional transport and transit corridors in East – West and South – North directions with entry to Asian, European and Middle East markets was highlighted as strategic direction in this sphere.
The Head of the State also emphasized active development of maritime transportation, construction of Turkmenbashy International Seaport has been accomplished in the country. These days, this is powerful, multiprofile terminal with advanced equipment. It creates the most favourable conditions for entry to trade and material markets of near and Middle East and the states of Indian Ocean basin allowing considerably saving the distance and time of big cargo traffic. Turkmenbashy is one of the largest hub of continental significance.
Use of logistic capabilities of this maritime hub can be attractive for American business circles, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said, having suggested American partners to take closer look at this direction of cooperation.
The Head of the State named another big project that has strategic importance. This is construction of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India gas pipeline (TAPI), which was supported by international partners and big financial institutes. Undoubtedly, the project has huge perspectives opening new direction of energy routes. It will provide the fuel to such large and dynamically developing economies as Indian and Pakistani. In the future, it will give opportunity to entry other growing markets in Asian – Pacific region.
The President of Turkmenistan made special mention that TAPI project is entered the phase of practical realization and American partners are able to access the opportunity of their participation in the project.
Trade and investment activity in industry, agriculture, supply of aircrafts and equipment for national agricultural sector and water management were called as priority directions in development of relations with American business community.
Good opportunities for American participation is seen in development of service sphere, especially in tourism sector of Turkmenistan, to which we pay special attention, the Head of the State said.
The Head of the State also expressed the interest in cooperation in financial sphere, United States are largest financial centre of the world and we are interested in successful practice of establishment and operation of financial system of USA, banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges, the President noted.
Economic strategy of Turkmenistan envisages staged growth of the share of private sector in the volume of the gross domestic product.
The Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, which was founded in 2008, presents strong business association today. It carries out its activity in number of the main branches of national economy and actively participate in social and political life of Turkmenistan.
In this regard, activation business exchanges, participation of business circles and companies in exhibition and fairs in our countries, organization of visits for study the participation in various projects are very important, the Head of the State said.
Turkmenistan sees USA as one of priority partners, with which it plans to build the relations in long-term and strategic perspective, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said. We see real opportunities, which are opened today, and are ready for wide and interesting dialog in all directions. Such approach is caused by obvious understanding both in the views on priorities and perspectives of bilateral partnership as well as on the tendencies of global economic development, Turkmen leader highlighted.
I consider this meeting as another important step toward the expansion of firm and long trade and economic and investment relations of US business circles with our country, the Head of the State said. In this case, we rely on the activity of Turkmenistan – USA business council. Today, there are all prepositions for realization of it with the support and direct participation of serious and long-term plans of cooperation and start of big joint projects.
Having invited interested companies to wide comprehensive cooperation, which meet huge potential of both countries, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov wished productive work to all participants of the meeting.
Further in the work of the business forum, presentation of leading US companies took place. For example, John Deere presented new model range of agricultural equipment specially designed by the engineers taking into account soil and climate conditions of the regions in our country and according to the requirements set out after the test drive of John Deere harvesters and tractors in Turkmen fields.
Managers of Boeing introduced new modifications of aviation equipment, told about technical characteristics of economic passenger aircraft planned for serial production.
Oxbow, which is the leader in natural resource processing, has also presented the spectrum of services including in fuel and energy sphere and in training of qualified personnel.
Continuing the forum, representatives of CASE, Caterpillar, General Electric and other companies addressed the session and noted personal role of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in successful promotion of Turkmenistan along the way of technical modernization and wide cooperation, creation of conditions for fruitful work of foreign companies in the country.
They have also made some conceptual proposals about organization of new joint projects, specified their readiness to take part in implementation of profile programmes in Turkmenistan and paid attention to business proposals on creation and equipping of modern production facilities, development of transport and communication infrastructure, etc.
It was mentioned that objectives of diversification of the economy of the country, its change to innovative way are quite interesting for American business community, which sees it as a good foundation for intensification of investment relations.
It was also said that it is important to switch from simple goods supplies to more complicated cooperation including service provision and training of personnel, formation of production and logistic chains for advertisement of new products.
Summing up the outcomes of business forum, executive Director of Turkmenistan – USA Business Council Eric Stuart noted that weighted strategic line of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov aimed at further integration of Turkmen economy to the world system brings the result and opens new perspectives of cooperation and opportunity to realize bold ideas and initiatives.
The fact that despite the world financial crisis Turkmenistan achieves high indicators of economic growth, which is good guarantee for activation of investment activity and development of big joint projects, was highly appreciated.
The territory of Turkmenistan was important connecting link in development of commercial relations between the East and the West in the times of the Silk Road. Our country has the same function of transport intersection of transcontinental routes in new historical conditions. In this context, current forum will not only expand the opportunities for bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation but also will serve as a contribution to development of international cooperation in bigger intercontinental scale.
In general, the forum helped out to form up actual vision of the targets and vectors of long-term trade and economic partnership with Turkmenistan, Eric Stuart said, having again expressed the gratitude to Turkmen leader for participation in the meeting.
Indeed, it may become strong impulse in development of Turkmen – American business relations and starting point for filling of these relations with new content. Having studied economic plans of Turkmenistan, American businessmen saw real foundation in them, serious internal capabilities and political will for their implementation.
Top managers of American companies also had number of meetings with representatives of the ministries and departments of Turkmenistan including in fuel and energy sectors, agriculture and water management. Special attention at these meetings were paid to realization of high technology joint projects aimed at further expansion and intensification of beneficial Turkmen – American cooperation.
Therefore, trade and economic cooperation between Turkmenistan and USA enters new level in its development involving more and more companies and partners and continuing the dialog in traditional spheres and in new directions.
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