Development of interstate cooperation in its main directions has been discussed at the talks held at the request by the Head of the State by Turkmenistan Government delegation led by Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov in Tokyo.
On October 22, members of Turkmenistan delegation were received by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe. Having confirmed high interest of his country in further improvement of beneficial partnership with Turkmenistan, the Head of Japanese Government expressed the gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for his personal contribution to development of traditionally friendly Turkmen – Japanese relations.
Shinzo Abe noted that he recalls with special warmth about his official visit to Ashgabat in October 2015, hospitality and cordial welcome rendered to him and his spouse. He had bright impression of the visit to Ahalteke Equestrian Complex where he was able to see with his own eyes that sensitive love and care that Turkmens have for legendary ahalteke horses, which are the pride and national heritage of Turkmen nation. National tea ceremony has also raised great interest.
During the meeting, the sides had interesting exchange of the opinions on different directions of interstate cooperation including in political, diplomatic, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. In particular, opportunities of intensification of productive partnership by the realization of new joint projects with Japanese companies in petrochemical industry, electrical energy, transport sphere, modernization of railway network in Turkmenistan and other fields where consolidation of joint interests seems to be more efficient, have been discussed.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed the gratitude to President of Turkmensitan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for support of Japan’s candidacy as a member of the UN Security Council in 2023 – 2024 as well as the support of Osaka as a place of EXPO 2025.
In addition, members of Turkmenistan delegation had number of meetings with leaders of profile ministries and departments of Japan, having reviewed the main spheres of bilateral partnership, joint work for realization of existing agreements in details.
Thus, various aspects of cooperation in transport sphere were discussed during the talks with the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Keiichi Ishii. Shipbuilding, automobile and railway transport have been outlined as priority aspects.
Issues of regional and international politics presenting mutual interest have been included to the agenda of the meeting with Foreign Minister of Japan Taro Kono. It was mentioned that while demonstrating similarity and proximity of the positions in global range of problems, our country actively cooperates both in bilateral and multilateral formats under competent international organizations and structures including the UN standing for the consolidation of the efforts for development of balanced solutions of topical issues of the present, which are the priority of the policy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov relating at first to the provision of peace, security and stability in regional and global scale, regulation of the situation in Afghanistan and other.
Opportunities of joint work in telecommunication were reviewed at the meeting with Ministers of Interior and Communications of Japan Masatoshi Ishida. In particular, Japanese side expressed special interest and willingness to support the construction of subsea fibre optic cable between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
At the same time, number of proposals on the partnership with Japanese Nippon Electronic Company in space sphere, specifically the use of the Earth remote sensing technologies from Turkmenistan national artificial satellite as well as on cooperation with National Institute of Communication Technologies under the Ministry of Interior and Communications of Japan has been given.
Partnership in economic sphere was discussed during the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finances Taro Aso. During the meeting, presence of the most favourable conditions for steadfast intensification of cooperation, optimum realization of its versatile potential, stimulation of investment activity, productive contacts between business structures has been stated. Special attention has been paid to financing of the projects in Turkmenistan with participation of Japanese companies.
In this regard, significant role of Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, which made number of credit agreements with the State Ban for Foreign Economic Activity of Turkmenistan, has been mentioned. The sides has also spoken for fast completion of work on Draft Intergovernmental Agreement on Investments and development of the Programme of investment cooperation of two countries.
Vice-premier of Japan made special mention of the importance of official visit of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Japan in 2013 as important event in the history of interstate relations, which received new string impulse owing to mutual goodwill of the sides.
Wide circle of subjects of development of full-scale trade and economic partnership, which is built on the principles of long-term benefit, has been discussed during the meeting of Turkmen delegation with representatives of big corporations and companies of Japan. Business of friendly country re-confirmed their intent to intensify beneficial cooperation with Turkmenistan, having expressed the willingness to take active part in large-scale projects in different spheres in our country.
Number of bilateral documents related to realization of joint projects including construction of the facilities for production of ammonia and carbamide, processing of gas and production of gasoline, phosphate fertilizers production facility, as well as on cooperation with Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, supply of earth moving equipment from Komatsu and Toyota vehicles has been signed by the outcomes of business forum.
On October 23, Turkmenistan Government delegation had number of meetings including with President of Japanese International Cooperation Agency Shinichi Kitaoka. The sides noted positive experience of cooperation between the Government of Turkmenistan and the JICA gained for more than 20 years. High efficiency of projects for improvement of qualification of Turkmen specialists in different spheres has been highlighted. In addition, the Agency arranged joint work of scientists of two countries in seismology. Necessity of further expansion of bilateral relations in educational sphere has been mentioned in the aspect of future partnership.
The Head of the JICA expressed the interest in cooperation in social sphere projects. from this point of view, Turkmen side proposed to consider the participation in the project of modernization of the railroads in Turkmenistan as socially important and aimed at provision of high quality services to the population of the country, which is also one of the priorities of the policy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
On the same day, members of Turkmen delegation met with Chairman of the Chamber of Representatives Tadomori Oshima. The speaker of Japanese Parliament has noted high level of relations between two countries especially actively developing parliamentarian relations and efficiency of economic cooperation, having highlighted billion US dollars joint projects implemented by Japanese companies with Turkmen partners.
In this context, Tadomori Oshima gave full support to further development of relations with Turkmenistan including in large-scale economic projects, which are to be implemented in near future.
Chairman of Turkmen – Japanese Friendship Group of the Mejlis, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted the importance of inter-parliamentary contacts and highlighted that their development opens new opportunities for improvement of traditionally friendly relations between Turkmenistan and Japan.
Chairmen of Parliament Friendship Groups S. Berdimuhamedov (Turkmenistan) and T. Endo (Japan) have signed the Memorandum on Cooperation in the building of Japanese Parliament.
The delegation of our country has also met with President of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organization Committee Yoshirō Mori who noted positive role of Turkmenistan in Central Asia.
As is known, the development of sports of high achievements and mass physical training movement is one of the priorities of the policy of Turkmen leader. Fulfilling the assignments of Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, members of our delegation discussed the cooperation of sport sphere, in particular in organization of international continental and world competitions.
Topical objectives of cooperation have been reviewed at the meeting with members of Japanese – Turkmen Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation.
Co-chairman of the Committee Yoichi Kobayashi expressed the gratitude to Turkmen side foe efficient partnership with Japanese colleagues in gas sphere, chemical industry and other strategic and important fields where large-scale joint projects take place.
Representative of Japanese business circles participating in the meeting made number of certain proposals aimed at intensification of trade and economic relations between two countries, on which President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe orient their Governments.
Series of the talks of Turkmen delegation in Tokyo also included the meeting with the Head of Japanese Bank for International Cooperation Tadashi Maeda. Aiming at further development of cooperation, the sides discussed the opportunity of expansion of the activity of this large financial institute of Japan in Turkmenistan. Special attention has been paid to new forms of the partnership of the JBIC with the Government and banking structures of our country.
Another meeting was held at the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) Agency of Japan, which provides insurance coverage of financing of joint economic projects of Turkmenistan and Japan. In this context, members of the delegation of our country and Masafumi Nakada discussed new opportunities of cooperation including the activity of NEXI for attraction of different financial institutes to the financing of projects in Turkmenistan. The sides reached an agreement on relevant consultations in near future.
Meeting with Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Hiroshige Sekō has also taken place. Positive practice in realization of the agreements reached at the meetings of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe has been discussed and consolidation of bilateral economic cooperation and giving of new quality with the focus on investment and technological components to such cooperation have been reviewed.
The sides have outlined the list of priority joint projects, which are planned to be reviewed in 2018 – 2020. Memorandum on Cooperation in infrastructural sphere between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan has been signed by the outcomes of the meeting.
Comprehensive strengthening of versatile relations with Japan is important component in the context of development of the dialog between Turkmenistan and Asian Pacific region. Regular meetings on high, intergovernmental and inter-departmental levels, each of which turns into trustful and substantive exchange of views on all spectrum of relations, are the evidence of commitment of two friendly countries to comprehensive expansion of fruitful and multidimensional cooperation.
Joint Statement of Turkmenistan and Japan on New Partnership signed during official visit of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Japan in 2013 become some kind of the roadmap in this sphere. This comprehensive document sets out the main directions of interstate cooperation in political, economic, scientific, technical and humanitarian spheres.
Number of agreements and contracts has been signed by the State Concerns Türkmengaz, Türkmenhimiýa and Türkmennebit with Japanese companies Sojitz, Chiyoda, Nippon, ITOCHU, JGC, Kawasaki, TOYO, Mitsui, Tsukishima, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo as well as between the State Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Turkmenistan and Japanese Bank for International Cooperation. Total amount of the projects planned for realization exceeds 10 billion UD dollars.
Mutual interest in further development of beneficial partnership has been confirmed during the meeting of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe at the III UN World Conference on Mitigation of Risk of Natural Disasters in Sendai in 2015.
It is worth mentioning that international range of issues composes significant part of political and diplomatic agenda of Tokyo and Ashgabat. This is related to cooperation under the UN and other competent international organizations. Turkmenistan and Japan have similar visions on the subjects of coordination of efforts for provision of universal peace, stability and security, creation of zone free from nuclear weapons in Central Asia, support of economic restoration of Afghanistan by promotion of regional projects in energy, transport and ecological spheres, realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, etc.
Japan has supported the initiatives of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which resulted in adoption of relevant Resolution of the UN General Assembly on Stable and Reliable Transit of Energy Carriers and its Role in Provision of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation, on Role of Transport and Transit Corridors in International Cooperation for Sustainable Development, on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan.
Rich practice of joint work on topical subjects of modern world development and in search for the ways of beneficial partnership in different spheres has been acquired under Central Asia + Japan dialog, which was chaired by Turkmenistan in 2015 – 2016.
Tendency to rapprochement of two states has strengthened new important agreements reached in 2015 during official visit of Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe to our country. Turkmen – Japanese business forum with the participation of Leader of the Nations Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and high-rank guest as well as heads of ministries and departments, members of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, government delegation and representatives of Japanese business circles was held during the visit.
Bilateral documents aimed at realization of joint projects including in construction of modern gas processing and chemical complexes, gas turbine power station in Lebap velayat to total amount of more than 18 billion dollars have been signed by the outcomes of high-level talks and business forum.
Special place in this significant package is occupied by the Framework Agreement between the State Concern Türkmengaz and consortium of Itochu Corporation, JGC Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, Chiyoda Corporation, Sojitz Corporation (Japan), Çalik and Rönesans (Turkey) on construction of facilities under development of Galkynysh gas deposit.
As is known, this largest in the world gas deposit will be resource base for Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India transnational gas pipeline. Asian Development Bank with Japan as one of the main shareholders provides active support to this project by granting beneficial credits.
Big Japanese companies, which are old business partners of our country, work successfully in our country these days. World known Japanese brands and production of Japanese manufacturers have important position in Turkmen market. Many years productive cooperation with such companies as Komatsu and Itochu Corporation, at first in delivery of high productive motor transport, road construction and earth moving equipment, which is involved practically in all big construction sites of the country, as well as in fuel and energy sector, transport sphere, water management and agriculture, can be brought as good example.
Chemical industry, which development is paid with great attention of Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, is perspective sphere of beneficial partnership. For example, complex of facilities for production of ammonia and carbamide has been put into operation in Mary in October 2014. Japanese Kawasaki Plant Systems Ltd and Sojitz Corporation provided project design, supply of equipment and technical consultation for the project. Power capacity of the complex is 400,000 tons of ammonia and 640,000 tons of carbamide per year.
Current year of 2018, which is held under slogan “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road”, had many remarkable events. Garabogazkarbamid plant with annual gas processing of 1 billion cubic meters of gas and production of 1 million 155 thousand tons of carbamide fertilizers has been put into operation in the west of the country. This big investment project was completed by the consortium of Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan) and Gap Inşaat (Turkey). The cost of the contract signed with the State Concern Тürkmenhimiýa is more than 1 billion 570 million US dollars. Japanese Bank for International Cooperation and its partners took part in the project.
Opening ceremony of polymeric plant was held with the participation of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Kiyanly less than a week ago. Largest in the region petrochemical complex has been built by the order of the State Concern by Korean LG International Corporation and Hyundai Engineering Co Ltd, Turkish Çalik Holding, which are old partners of our country in realization of big infrastructural projects, as well as Japanese TOYO Engineering Corporation, for which polymeric plant in Kiyanly became the first big construction in Turkmenistan.
This project of total cost more than 3 billion 400 million US dollars received the award of TXF organization (UK) as one of the best 2014 ten project of Europe and Asia, which was financed by export credit agencies, total amount of credit agreements signed by the State Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Turkmenistan with Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). Korean Export and Import Bank and the Syndicate of financial institutes of Japan, Germany, France, Korea, China, Italy, Austria and Switzerland participating in financing of this project exceeds 2.5 billion US dollars.
At present, plant for production of gasoline form natural gas, which construction is carried out under personal patronage of Leader of the Nation Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, is rapidly built in Ahal velayat with the participation of Japanese company Kawasaki and Turkish Rönesans Holding. The facility equipped with latest technologies will process 1 billion 782 million cubic meters of gas and produce 600,000 tons of A92 gasoline meeting highest ecological standards Euro 5 per year. Total cost of the project is 1 billion 700 million US dollars. It is carried out by the investments from Japanese side and the funds of the State Concern Türkmengaz.
Another Credit Agreement between the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs, Japanese Bank for International Cooperation and other financial institutes has been signed to the amount of more than 13 billions Japanese yens and 152 million US dollars in July 2018. These funds were provided for construction of gas turbine power station in Lebap Velayat. Relative contract has been signed between the State Power Energy Corporation Türkmenenergo and Japanese Sumitomo Corporation. 432 MWt power station will be equipped by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.
Official representatives of JBIC note that realization of these projects will serve to further dynamic development of Turkmenistan economy by the diversification of fuel and energy complex, construction of new modern production facilities, which make production with high demand in the world markets. At the same time, the JBIC intends to create new business opportunities for Japanese companies in oil and gas sector of Turkmenistan supporting the improvement of international competiveness of Japanese industry.
It is also necessary to mention that having taken the course to modernization and diversification of national economy, Turkmenistan is interested in advanced practice gained by Japan in scientific and educational sphere and high technologies. Having focused on development of the contacts in this important sphere, both countries outlined priority subjects of application of efforts and interests.
Joint activity for introduction of latest technologies and advanced scientific and technical achievements occupies special place in this list. Modern TechnoPark – big complex including number of scientific and research facilities, created by the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Ashgabat gives excellent opportunity for this.
Fruitful relations have been established in training of personnel including by the work of Japanese specialists in Turkmen universities, organization of work practice and exchange of experience for personnel in different spheres. For example, the Agreement on Scientific exchange and cooperation between the Tsukuba University and D. Azadi Turkmen National Institute of World Languages has been signed in 2013 and the Agreement on Academic exchange and cooperation between International University of Humanitarian Studies and Development of Turkmenistan and Tokyo University of Foreign Languages in 2015. Cooperation between the Tsukuba University and Oguzkhan Engineering and Technology University, which was opened 2 years ago, is actively improved.
It is worth mentioning that great attention is paid to study of Japanese language, which teaching is arranged not only in language universities but also in high educational institutes of technical, economic and other orientation as well as in some secondary schools, under friendly dialog with Japan.
For several years, Turkmen youth actively participates in Japanese Programme of Strengthening of friendly relations for students – the “MIRAI”, which unites students from all over the world and gives them opportunity to exchange the practice in various applied types of scientific studies.
At the same time, the contacts in cultural and art spheres are activated every year, which is indicated by regular cultural events like exhibitions, Days of Japan, movie demonstrations, cultural exchanges and meetings of the delegations, which serves for improvement of relations between representatives of cultural intelligentsia and make favourable effect on the process of further rapprochement and enrichment of nations of two countries.
Tourism, which development is supported by many factors including increased interest of tourist from all over the world as well as unique natural, historical and cultural monuments in Turkmenistan, is another perspective sphere of cooperation.
Therefore, goodwill and mutual interest supported by specific proposals on comprehensive intensification of constructive dialog from Japanese business and political circles serve as a platform for further activation of productive relations, diversification of versatile cooperation between Turkmenistan and Japan.
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