Turkmenistan is negotiating with Azerbaijan on various options of supplying Turkmen natural gas to Europe via the pipeline system “Southern Gas Corridor.” According to Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, Turkmenistan has the opportunity to export to the west up to 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. “Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are currently negotiating on transportation of Turkmen gas to Europe through the 'Southern Gas Corridor',” he stressed.
The Government of Japan, the Saudi Fund for Development and the Islamic Development Bank are showing their interest towards financing of the TAPI project for construction of the major trans-national gas pipeline connecting Central Asian countries: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan and India. Muhammetmurat Aman, head of the consortium “TAPI Pipeline Company,” announced this information while delivering a speech at the Seventh International Gas Congress of Turkmenistan.
Today, Turkmenistan attaches special importance to expansion of its business relations with the Republic of Korea, which is one of its major economic partners. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made such a statement during the recent meeting with representatives of a number of large South Korean companies, as reported by the Turkmen government press service on May 19. In particular, the Korean side was represented at the meeting by CEO of LG International Corporation Ho Chi My Lai, and CEO of Hyundai Engineering Chul Kim Wee.
On May 20-21, 2016, the eighth International Gas Congress of Turkmenistan will be held in the territory of the international tourist zone “Avaza.” Within its framework, there will be organized a round table to discuss the issues related to attracting investments in the TAPI project. According to the announcement published by the Turkmen government on May 16, the event will be participated by representatives of international organizations, government agencies, ministries and departments, as well as oil and gas companies from 37 countries.
For three days, the capital of Turkmenistan hosted a high-level forum on the theme “Central Asia and the multilateral trading system.” The event was organized by the Ministry of Development and the Economy of the Republic, jointly with the United Nations Economic Commission and the World Trade Organization. According to the country's state news agency, the foreign Forum participants were representatives of countries that are members of the SPECA, the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia.
In three districts of Herat Province (Afghanistan) that border on Turkmenistan, there is going on the military operation against the armed groups of the Taliban, which was launched on May 8, 2016. According to the local media, the situation in the western region of Afghanistan remains tense on the whole. In particular, this applies to the areas along the state border between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. According to the command staff of the government forces and representatives of the local authorities, there is a high concentration of militants, including foreign fighters.
In Turkmenistan, a new promising natural gas field was opened the vicinity of the super-giant field Galkinish. The press service of the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the republic reported this news on May 6, adding that the flow of gas of an industrial scale has been received from the first exploration well drilled within the new Giurgiu gas-bearing area. As a result, gas reserves were discovered at a depth of approximately 4,600 meters. According to the preliminary estimates, the production level in the new field may be more than 600,000 cubic meters per day.
On May 1-3, 2016, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia, which included negotiations with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh. It resulted in the ceremony of signing of bilateral documents, agreed and approved by the leaderships of the two countries. According to the press service of the Turkmen President, Berdymukhamedov invited the companies of Saudi Arabia to participate in investment projects, such as development the major gas field “Galkynysh” and construction of the TAPI gas pipeline.
Foreign diplomats and heads of major foreign companies are now allowed to rent dwelling in the capital of Turkmenistan. Worth recalling, the ban was introduced on February 5, 2016, when during a government meeting President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov announced a requirement to streamline the current system of registration of renting apartments, and to secure its legal aspect. “Persons who rent apartments must comply with all provisions of the current legislation, and they should interact with the State Tax Service in accordance with the law,” the head of state said.
The second phase of construction of the Lake “Altyn Asyr” is underway in Turkmenistan's Central Karakum Desert. The project provides for creating a unique hydro-technical complex, a complicated system of various drainage structures designed for collection of mineralized drainage water from the agricultural lands in the territory of all regions of the country. According to local media, this project is unprecedented and of great importance for both Turkmenistan and the entire region of Central Asia.
Quite recently, the Turkmen-Turkish cooperation in the field of cultural exchanges was viewed by the two countries as a progressive and useful one. There were opened several dozens of Turkmen-Turkish schools, a Turkish primary school, the educational center “Bashkent,” and the International Turkmen-Turkish University. In addition, thousands of Turkmen students are studying in Turkish universities. More than 10,000 Turkish citizens are currently living in Turkmenistan. About 500,000 of our compatriots are residing in Turkey.
In February, the Swedish news agency TT jointly with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) published the results of an investigation of the situation in the cotton industry of Turkmenistan. The authors of the report make loud statements about the use of child labor, encouraging Western companies to set aside raw materials of the Turkmen origin. What is actually behind this investigation?
The last month of 2015 and the first month of 2016 were marked by three important events in Turkmenistan: the launch of construction of the TAPI gas pipeline, the establishment of the National Oil and Gas Company (NAPESCO), and the establishment of the republic's own electronics industry.