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.
On April 25, the Kempinski Hotel in China's capital Beijing hosted a presentation of the railway route linking China with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran. According to Ambassador of Turkmenistan in China Chinar Rustamova, organization of the railway route “China – Kazakhstan – Turkmenistan – Iran” will allow to shorten the distance of transportation between Iran and China more than twofold as compared to the sea route. She also added that the rail corridor to Europe via Kazakhstan has proved its high efficiency.
On April 24, Turkmenistan celebrated the traditional national Holiday of Akhal-Teke Horses. It is dedicated to a breed of riding horses that was created in the country. Nowadays it is considered one of the most beautiful and oldest in the world, as its emergence dates back to about 5,000 years ago. The Horse Festival is celebrated every year on the last Sunday of April. It includes many different activities, their scale comparable with the main national holiday of Turkmenistan – the Independence Day.
In the middle of 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Ashgabat on a two-day visit. The voyage was scheduled for mid-October, but it was postponed due to the terrorist attacks in Ankara. Much changed during those two months. There were held parliamentary elections in Ankara, where Erdogan's party won a landslide victory; after the incident with the downed aircraft, the relations between Turkey and Russia were severely strained. Turkey started to look for new gas suppliers.
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?