Turkmenistan has put into operation a specialized facility for production of caviar and sturgeon breeding. According to local media, the new enterprise was established in the administrative center of Turkmenbashi district (Balkan province), and today it's one of the largest in the region. Its founders are private enterprises Gush Toplumy, Rowan, Myradov, and the economic entity Halyf.
Turkmenistan has today the cheapest gasoline as compared to all other Central Asian countries. Such data was published by the site, which informs about the prices for oil products in various parts of the world. As it follows from the information provided, one liter of gasoline costs only 27 cents to Turkmen buyers (at the current exchange rate of the US dollar against the national currency). The second place is occupied by Kazakhstan, where gasoline is more expensive – 39 cents per liter. It's followed by Kyrgyzstan, where gasoline is sold at 50 cents per liter.
Turkmenistan intends to set up its own electronics industry, which will occur in accordance with the government-approved state program on creation of enterprises specializing in production of various types of electronic equipment. Local media reported the news, noting that the aim of the new program is to create a competitive electrical and electronics industry equipped with modern high-tech, energy-saving and resource-saving equipment. The new branch will focus on production of goods oriented to the domestic and foreign markets.
In Ashgabat, the D. Azadi Turkmen National Institute of World Languages held a seminar on “Scientific and methodological basis of education in secondary schools.” The event was dedicated to the programs on teaching of the Chinese and Japanese languages to 5-12 grade students of Turkmen secondary educational institutions. The seminar was participated by teachers from the capital and provinces, as well as teachers from China and India. In the long term, Ashgabat will witness a series of similar educational seminars during 2016.
On January 18, Ashgabat hosted a meeting of the Government of Turkmenistan, which touched upon the progress of construction of the TAPI gas pipeline that is to link Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. According to the Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister, director of the State Agency on management and use of hydrocarbon resources under the President of Turkmenistan Yagshigeldi Kakaev, the Turkmenneftegazstroy State Concern (the contractor for construction of the Turkmen section of the project) is delivering specialized vehicles, equipment and pipe materials to the site.
Turkmenistan will buy pipe products in Azerbaijan – from Azertexnolayn, which is to supply products worth a total of $60 million. The Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan reported the news, noting the contract signed between the parties provides for delivery of 25,000 tons of water pipes during the current year. Turkmenistan will used these pipes in construction of the Turkmenbashi port on the coast of the Caspian Sea.
The Russian company Gazprom wants to “pause” its purchases of natural gas from the Turkmen state concern Turkmengaz, as announced by an unnamed source informed on the progress of the ongoing negotiations between the parties. According to this source, Uzbekistan is implementing a more adequate gas price policy, adjusting it in line with the changes in market conditions. As a result, the price proposed by Uzbekistan is “many-fold lower” than Turkmenistan's.
On January 9, the capital of Turkmenistan hosted a meeting attended by heads and representatives of the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the Republic, the state concerns Turkmenneft, Turkmengaz, Turkmengeologiya, Turkmenneftegazstroy, the Agency for management and use of hydrocarbon resources under the President of the Republic, a number of research institutes. The participants discussed performance of the oil and gas industry of Turkmenistan in 2015, and adopted work plans for the year 2016. This was reported by the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers on January 11.
In Turkmenistan, shops and other retail outlets have stopped selling cigarettes. Several local media reported the news referring to the human rights organization named “Turkmen Human Rights Initiative.” According to it, sellers of Ashgabat retail establishments were visited by representatives of the state service for safety and security of the healthy society, warning that sales of cigarettes may induce a fine of 10 minimum wages (TMT5,900 or $1,735). “After that, retail outlets began selling only to friends, from under the counter.
The parliament of Turkmenistan has ratified the Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Iran on cooperation in merchant shipping in the Caspian Sea. As announced by the Turkmen government, the document was signed in November 2015, during the official visit of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the Islamic Republic of Iran. On January 7, during a meeting with President of Turkmenistan, Iranian Ambassador to Ashgabat Seyed Mohammad Musa Hashemi Golpaegani said that his country attached great importance to development of the multifaceted relations with Turkmenistan.
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.
During the past two decades, Turkmenistan – the happiest Asian state in the opinion of local residents, and the most despotic one according to Western non-commercial organizations – was witnessing the replacement of the “Golden Age” with the era of “Might and Happiness.” There appeared and disappeared dozens of gilded monuments to local rulers, the living images of the ancient oriental despotism.