President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who arrived on the state visit in the Republic of Singapore a day before, had talks with President of Singapore Halimah Yakob and Prime Minister of the country Lee Hsien Loong.
This visit, to which both sides pay special attention, is to write new important article to the chronicle of interstate dialog, to make solid foundation for development of constructive cooperation in broad range of directions.
In the morning, the President of Turkmenistan has met with representatives of business circles of Singapore in Shangri-La Hotel. Heads of some ministries, big companies and financial structures like Pacific International Lines Pre. Ltd., The Development Bank of Singapore Ltd., Indorama Corporation, DP Architects, Fortrec Chemicals and Petroleum Pte. Ltd., The Association of Banks in Singapore, PSA International, Surbana Jurong, Entrepreneurship Development Agency and other organizations took part in the business meeting, which was held in the format of working breakfast.
It was highlighted that Turkmenistan raises big interest of business circles of the world, especially due to significant government support of the partnership development with foreign investors and businessmen, who try to expand their presence in perspective Turkmen market and to take part in implementation of new joint projects.
Greeting the participants, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that he is glad to have an opportunity to discuss perspectives of cooperation with representatives of Singapore business community who expressed the interest in joint work with Turkmen partners.
We have heart a lot about Singapore economic miracle, which turned Singapore into one of developed countries in the world in a short period, the President said, having highlighted that establishment and development of beneficial relations in trade and economy is among the main goals of current state visit.
Large-scale changes in Turkmenistan, especially for reformation of the economy, provided our country with stable high development rates – on the level of 6 – 7 percent in average. This factor as well as rich natural resources, beneficial geographic location and steadfast open door policy provide serious future for beneficial investments.
Giving new stimuli and dynamics to the development of national economy taking into account long-term perspective is one of the main objectives of this policy. Therefore, priority attention is paid to attraction of foreign investments to the country.
Turkmenistan has favourable conditions for expansion of international economic partnership in different spheres. It includes oil and gas sector, power energy, transport and communication, agricultural complex, textile industry , development of scientifically based and innovative production facilities, construction of modern infrastructure, opening of facilities in such spheres as electronics, computer and logistic services.
At the same time, the state provide significant support to the investors in the form of tax, customs, visa, insurance and other benefits. In the result, share of investments to production of the GDP is growing steadily, number of investment projects and volumes of foreign trade are increased.
Having rich hydrocarbon resources, our country has huge potential for increment of export of natural gas to the world markets including to Russia, China and Iran. Giant Galkynysh deposit, which reserves are estimated in 26 trillion cubic meters, is one of examples.
The project of construction of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India (TAPI) gas line, which realization is carried out by specially established consortium, has big geographic political and economic significance. The consortium includes representatives of all countries participating in this major project.
Big work is carried out for diversification of oil and gas industry. As an example, the President of Turkmenistan called super modern petrochemical complexes for production of polypropylene and polyethylene in Kiyanly, carbamide in Garabogaz as well as synthetic gasoline from natural gas in Ahal Velayat, which were recently put into operation.
We are ready to expand the partnership in oil and gas sphere with leading world companies, which have latest developments in exploration, production and processing of hydrocarbon materials as well as in construction of big infrastructural projects for oil and gas industry, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
The Head of the State noted that Turkmenistan and Singapore area able to work together in transport and logistic sphere. Agriculture is another priority sphere. Turkmenistan not only provides itself with wheat but also has become exporting it. Processing of cotton is arranged on modern level, wide variety of readymade textile items is produced. The fields under cotton crops will be expanded for strengthening of resource base of this sphere.
It has also been mentioned during the conversation that high potential of Turkmen economy is proven by expert of International Monetary Fund who give favourable forecasts of its development.
Turkmen leader invited Singapore companies to take part in implementation of new mega project of Smart City in Turkmen capital. In this regard, the Head of the State introduced the Hyakim of Ashgabat, who arrived to Singapore as a member of the Government delegation for study of advanced practice in urban construction sphere, introduction of information technologies to urban management and activity of relative services, to the businessmen.
Summing up his speech, the Head of the State expressed the confidence that agreements reached at the first business forum, where representatives of government organizations and private sector of Turkmenistan’s economy and their colleagues from Singapore took part, will be the base for future productive joint work.
During the meeting, which was held in the atmosphere of business-like and trustful communication, the sides exchanged the visions on perspectives of cooperation in oil and gas sector and petrochemical industry as well as in such spheres as transport and logistics, finances, seaport management, urban construction and other important spheres of joint efforts and interests.
Representatives of Singapore companies and corporations, which include the world leaders in production of high technology, scientifically based production, presented their proposals on cooperation and on giving long-term systematic character to this cooperation.
Mutual confidence that trade and economic partnership of two countries would be strengthened and developed has been expressed in the end of the meeting.
On the same day, the President of Turkmenistan has visited one of the main cultural attractions of Singapore, the Museum of Asian Civilizations.
Motorcade of Turkmen leader comes to the central entrance of the museum where high-rank guest has been welcomed by the Executive Director of the Council of National Heritage Mrs Chang Xvi Ni.
Having greeted President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and invited him to enter the building, Chang Xvi Ni talked briefly about the museum, which main goal is to show that Singapore is not only skyscrapers and financial centres but also has rich history of people living in this place.
Looking around the museum has started from big hall, which serves as a gallery of modern art. Museum exposition, which occupies 14,000 square meters, is divided into 5 parts, namely Singapore River, Southeast Asia, Western Asia, China and South Asia, and presents retrospective outlook of entire pan- Asian culture and civilization.
The Head of the State, followed by the Executive Director of the Council of National Heritage went up to the first floor of the museum where specialists of this unique complex familiarized President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with art items related to the history of South Asia, Islamic and Christian religions as well as archaeological findings made on the territory of Singapore.
Answering the questions of Turkmen leader, employee of the museum introduced technical provision of exhibition halls, methods used for storage of valuable exhibits. At the same time, it was noted that special centres for collection of the exhibits for this cultural facility are located in different Asian countries.
As of today, the collections of the museum have around 1,300 rare articles including written monuments, national dress and household items, musical instruments and jewellery, which used to belong to representatives of various nations that lived in this region.
The space of the museum is planned in a way to highlight every exhibit. The latest demonstration and interactive technologies, which give maximum information about the artefacts, are successfully applied in the galleries.
Comparing Asian countries, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that he can see many common things. First, this is a history of the nations of Singapore, which is the same like Turkmenistan history, has deep roots and counts five thousand years.
Continuing the subject, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov spoke briefly about his book “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road”, which gives detailed information about the history of ancient caravan route that made great influence on development of economy and culture of number of Asian and European countries involved in international trade.
The Head of the State has also told about Turkmen carpets, which are known around the world from old times and are the subjects of admiration until our days. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov presented beautiful carpets as a gift to the Museum of Asian Civilizations.
The museum personnel expressed the gratitude to the Head of Turkmenistan for valuable gift and noted that it would take deserved place among the exhibits.
Having expressed the gratitude to representatives of Singapore side for interesting and informative tour, Turkmen leader left the place of event.
In the afternoon, the President of Turkmenistan went to Istana Palace of the President of the Republic of Singapore where official welcoming ceremony of high-rank guest took place.
Head of friendly state Mrs Halimah Yakob warmly and cordially met President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the square next to the central entrance. Having exchanged the greetings, the leaders of two countries went to special podium.
After the report of the commander of the Guard of Honour, Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Halimah Yakob went along the line of the Guard of Honour, having paid tribute of respect to the State Flag of the Republic of Singapore.
After the ceremony, the heads of two states went to Istana Palace. In the foyer, Turkmen leader has left memory entry in the Book of Honoured Guests.
After, the members of official delegation of Singapore have been introduced to the President of Turkmenistan. In its turn, the members of the Government delegation of Turkmenistan have been introduced to the President of the Republic of Singapore.
After the ceremony of photographing, the heads of two states went to the session hall where Turkmen – Singapore high-level talks with participation of the delegations chaired by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President Halimah Yakob have taken place.
Having warmly greeted high-rank guest again, Mrs Halimah Yakob noted that Singapore pays great attention to this visit accepting it as the beginning of new stage of interstate cooperation. Having confirmed the intent of Singapore to expand beneficial connectiosn with Turkemnistan, the Head of friendly state expressed the confidence that current meeting would give an opportunity to discuss priority subjects of the partnership in its perspective directions.
Having expressed the gratitude to President Halimah Yakob for the invitation to visit the Republic of Singapore, warm welcome and conditions for efficient joint work, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed the confidence that current first state visit to this country would be an important step toward the development of friendly bilateral relations and would give new impulse to their activation.
For 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Singapore have bilateral cooperation on the principles of equality, respect and trust. In this context, the Head of Turkmenistan stated the similarity and proximity of positions of two states in current subjects of the global agenda. Thus, both countries pay great importance to strengthening of peace and security, sustainable development, combat against threats and challenges of modern times.
Further intensification of cooperation in trade and economic spheres, which have significant potential nowadays especially from realization of major projects in trade, fuel and energy complex, chemical and textile industry, transport and communication point of view, is one of priority directions of the partnership. Speaking of this, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has spoken of specific measures for increment and diversification of trade.
Important role in Turkmen – Singapore cooperation is given to relative joint intergovernmental structures as well as to business councils, which establishment is able to give actual impulse to the development of the partnership. In this regard, the Head of Turkmenistan noted the opportunity of activation of addition mechanisms for promotion of trade and economic relations, for example, those such as regular business forums, exhibitions, meetings of expert.
It would also be useful to develop contacts between representatives of business circles of two countries for establishment of joint activity and beneficial exchange of practice.
It is also reasonable to discuss in details perspectives of expansion of the dialog in the sphere of education, science and high technologies where Turkmenistan is interested in the practice of Singapore colleagues. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that it is necessary to consider the opportunity of cooperation in this direction including training of qualified specialists under the exchange programmes between relative establishments of Turkmenistan and Singapore.
There are also goo perspectives in the tourism industry. as is known, the work for development of Avaza National tourist zone is continued on Turkmen coast of Caspian Sea and Turkmen side welcomes the cooperation with Singapore partners in this direction.
Strengthening of fruitful cultural and humanitarian relations is one of priority objectives in the context of interstate relations. Different events, thematic exhibitions, Days of Culture on regular basis will provide significant support to establishment of closer contacts between the nations of two states.
Having highlighted the willingness of Turkmenistan to continue developing beneficial relations with the Republic of Singapore, the Head of the State, taking opportunity, invited President Halimah Yakob to visit our country on the state visit in any convenient time.
Continuing the talks, which were held in trustful and constructive atmosphere, wide spectrum of subjects of Turkmen – Singapore cooperation has been discussed.
The sides have also shared the views on current subjects of regional and international politics, which present mutual interest.
Finishing the meeting, having again confirmed the intent of Turkmenistan and Singapore to develop efficient partnership on long-term basis, Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Halimah Yakob exchanged best wishes addressed to each other and the nations of both countries.
Bilateral negotiations with participation of official delegations of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Singapore chaired by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took place in Istana Palace. Prior to the meeting, Turkmen leader and the Head of the Government of Singapore exchanged mutual greetings and had joint photographing.
Cordially greeting high-ranking guest, Mr Lee Hsien Loong noted that this visit of Turkmen leader to Singapore is considered as remarkable event in the history of traditionally friendly interstate relations. Having highlighted the interest of his country in development of productive cooperation with Turkmenistan, the Head of the Government of Singapore expressed the confidence in the efficiency of current talks, which are to give specific and steadfast character to bilateral partnership.
It was mentioned that Singapore is ready to work with our country in any spheres including in private business section. In this regard, the proposal on sending of the group of representatives of Singapore business circles to Ashgabat in order to study potential vectors of cooperation has been given. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has also spoken for the willingness of Singapore to support Turkmenistan in transfer to digital economy, which is an important factor of dynamic development in modern conditions, and to share the practice in this sphere.
Having expressed the gratitude to Turkmenistan for support of Singapore’s initiatives in international arena, Mr Lee Hsien Loong also highlighted that while improving the understanding, consolidating the efforts and supporting each other, our countries would achieve many things.
Having expressed the gratitude to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for the invitation to visit Singapore and for the hospitality, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that this was the first high-level visit of Turkmenistan delegation to friendly country, which gives special character to current meeting.
The Head of the State expressed the hope that beginning of versatile beneficial long-term cooperation between two countries would be put during the meeting. The agenda of Turkmen – Singapore partnership could be very rich and cover broad spectrum of directions including the subjects of regional and world politics, economy, trade, investment activity, cultural and humanitarian relations. The main goal of current visit is to give necessary impact to bilateral relations and to bring them to the level meeting mutual potential, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted.
Having outlined strengthening of cooperation in foreign sphere especially in provision of peace and security as the most important direction of interstate dialog, the head of Turkmenistan stated with delight the proximity and similarity of approaches to current problems of international politics.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov brought the support of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan, which is the only states in the world with permanent neutral status, as well as the Resolution initiated by our country in the sphere of transport cooperation and energy security by Singapore as visual examples of such cooperation. Having noted that Singapore has also supported Turkmenistan candidacy in the elections to number of important UN bodies, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed the gratitude to the Government of Singapore for such position.
These samples say that Turkmen – Singapore cooperation in international arena is able to be efficient, beneficial and bring good results. The main thing is that Turkmenistan and the Republic of Singapore are ready to make contribution to solution of current issues of modern global development and to render support to each other.
Both countries demonstrate similarity of approaches to such current issues as implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, counteraction against global challenges. Having confirmed the willingness to continue active joint work in this direction both in interstate format and under international organizations, the Head of Turkmenistan spoke for establishment of the practice of regular bilateral consultations on the level of the foreign departments.
Making strong relations with Singapore, we hope that your country would be one of the most important partners of Turkmenistan in trade and economic sphere, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted. We would welcome the expansion of Singapore companies in Turkmen markets and at the same time, we plan to make a bet on high technology segments where all prepositions for efficient exchange of practice are available. Cooperation in the sphere of digitization of the economy is also current aspect.
Energy, oil and gas sector, transport and communication, banking and financial sphere seem to be priority vectors of Turkmen – Singapore cooperation. It is also necessary to consider the partnership in textile industry.
Intergovernmental commissions for cooperation play big role in development of bilateral relations. In this aspect, it seems to be appropriate to review the opportunity to establish such commission between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Singapore.
First Turkmen – Singapore business forum, which was held on August 26, could be a good format for promotion of trade and economic relations. It would be useful to have such business meetings regularly, the Head of the State highlighted, having also proposed to put the exchange of business delegations, organization of trade and industrial exhibitions in both countries on systematic base.
Urban construction is another direction, which seems to have real future in cooperation. Taking into account rapidly growing cities of Turkmenistan and large-scale living construction in the country, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed to discuss in details the opportunities of establishment of close cooperation and exchange of practice in this sphere.
There are big opportunities for constructive partnership in energy sphere where Turkmenistan has significant potential and rich hydrocarbon resources. In this segment, our country implements the strategy of diversification of supply of energy carriers to the world market. Good perspectives of cooperation are opened in the context of realization of the project of construction of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline.
Broad perspectives of cooperation are provided by the orientation of Turkmenistan to development and modernization of processing section of fuel and energy complex and petrochemical industry, opening of innovative facilities producing high quality readymade goods. At present, number of high technology facilities including gasoline production plant work in the country.
Having made special mention of the perspectives of cooperation in transport and transit sphere, Turkmen leader noted that our country consider Singapore as an important potential partner in Asian Pacific region.
Following geographic locations, our countries are important intersections of communication routes in Asian Pacific and Central Asian regions. Historically, Turkmenistan is located in the heart of the Silk Road, which is revived in modern conditions these days. In its turn, Singapore also has an experience in development of transport system.
The Head of the State offered Singapore partners to consider the opportunities to use the capabilities of Turkmenbashy International Port, application of mechanisms of joint marketing and management.
Having expressed the confidence that huge opportunities for cooperation is opened for Turkmenistan and Singapore in this sphere, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov spoke for joint elaboration of proposals on development of transport infrastructure for further discussion in specialized international structures especially in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific.
The Head of Turkmenistan outlined ecological sphere, where our country occupies an initiative position in solution of priority issues in this sphere, among current directions of cooperation.
Speaking of humanitarian cooperation, Turkmen leader defined the activation of joint activity in scientific and educational sphere, culture and arts as an important factor.
Initial practice of Turkmen – Singapore partnership has been gained in education sphere and in training of qualified personnel. Educational capabilities of Singapore taking into account the development of high technology spheres of economy of our country, creation of digital clusters, implementation of advanced technologies present big interest for Turkmenistan, the Head of the state noted.
In this regard, Turkmen side expressed the gratitude to the Government of Singapore for the training of qualified specialists under the Singapore programme of cooperation. This is about such directions of training as economic planning, banking business and information technologies.
The Head of the State highlighted that the first visit to Singapore is to become a milestone event in the history of interstate dialog.
Taking an opportunity, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov addressed wishes of peace and prosperity to the people of Singapore. Having expressed the gratitude to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for constructive dialog, the President of Turkmenistan invited the Head of the Government of Singapore to visit Turkmenistan at any convenient time.
Having expressed the gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for comprehensive presentation of potential of Turkmenistan, detailed and systematic analysis of perspectives of cooperation, the Prime Minsiter of Singapore supported all proposals of the head of Turkmen state.
Singapore would be glad to share the practice with Turkmen partners, Mr Lee Hsien Loong said, having confirmed the willingness to establish broad beneficial contacts and exchange of business delegations.
After, document signing ceremony took place with participation of the President of Turkmenistan and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore.
The following documents have been signed:
Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Singapore on mutual cancellation of visa requirements for holder of diplomatic, service or official passports; Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Singapore on avoiding double taxation and preventing non-payment of taxes on income; Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in legal sphere between the Ministry of Justice of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of justice of the Republic of Singapore.
In the evening, the President of the Republic of Singapore gave official dinner in honour of high-rank guest where the leaders of two countries have made speeches.
Having finished the programme of the state visit to the Republic of Singapore, President of Turkmenistan went to Changi International Airport. In the airport, the Head of the State had a conversation with associates, having summed up the outcomes of the visit and highlighted its importance, which yet to be realized by implementing the agreements reached in Singapore.
The Head of the State expressed sincere gratitude to receiving party for cordial welcome, excellent organization of the visit and all events, which made the visit so substantial and efficient.
In the end, the head of the State has also congratulated the participants on success of current visit and wished great achievements in practical implementation of bilateral agreements.
After, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov went onboard the aircraft and left for his homeland.
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