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Turkmenistan has introduced new rules for acquisition of foreign currency. Now, to buy euros and dollars, Ashgabat residents must first obtain a special coupon, as reported by local media. It's no longer possible for citizens to buy currency at bureaus of exchange located in the head offices of banks. In order to exchange dollars or euros, Ashgabat residents should apply for coupons in a bank. A coupon itself is card that specifies in what bank office and at what specific time the resident may purchase currency.



Datuk Wan Zulkifli Wan Griffin, the head of Petronas Group (Malaysia), has presented a set of new proposals for cooperation to Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. As stated in the government report released on December 23, several projects related to the energy sector were submitted for the President's consideration. According to the report, Petronas was the first foreign company to begin exploitation of the Turkmen section of the Caspian Sea shelf. This took place under the Production Sharing Agreement signed in 1996 for 25 years.


On December 22, the Turkmenbashi complex of oil refineries witnessed the commissioning of an industrial complex with an annual processing capacity of 3 million tons. The news was reported by the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Oil and Gas of the republic. According to the press release, the complex includes several processing plants for electric desalting and direct distillation of crude oil into various petroleum products.



Turkmenistan signed an agreement with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on co-financing of the Country Programme for the period 2016-2020. This event is a landmark in the history of cooperation between the parties. As a member of the United Nations, Turkmenistan has become the first Central Asian country to make such a significant contribution to development of regional cooperation on humanitarian issues.



On December 18, Ashgabat hosted a regular meeting of the Turkmen government chaired by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The participants analyzed the results of the week, discussed the most topical issues relating to public life and a number of documents related to different spheres. This information was reported by the presidential administration in a press release published on December 19.



In 2016, Turkmenistan will – for the first time since independence – issue government bonds with a validity period of 5 years. The decision was taken by the government, as reported by local media on December 18. At a government meeting, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the decree “On issues related to the issuance, sale and repayment of government bonds.”



The capital of Turkmenistan hosted a sub-regional seminar on legal issues related to implementation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of the World Health Organization. The event was attended by experts from the CIS countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and others. The seminar was also participated by representatives of the Programme for Tobacco Control, and the WHO Regional Office for Europe.



From January 2016, citizens of Turkmenistan will start to receive a certain part of their wages and salaries in the form of government bonds. This “happy news” was reported by local media. According to them, in early December, financial departments, banking institutions and tax authorities received the governmental recommendation to pay 12 percent of wages in state bonds.


On December 22, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat for an official two-day visit. During this visit, the leaders of the two countries discussed issues of bilateral relations and regional problems; however, as noted by political scientists, the main topic on the agenda was the gas sector. Specifically, Turkey was trying to find a substitution for Russian gas, which currently accounts for over 54 percent of the total supply to the country.



Next year, the volume of mutual trade between Turkmenistan and Belarus will exceed $250 million, as forecast by Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Anatoly Kalinin, who visited Ashgabat to attend the Belorussian-Turkmen Trade Fair. He stressed, “In 2016, we hope to reach a level of at least $250 million in trade with Turkmenistan.”