Russia-Turkmenistan Business Forum

Mikhail Mishustin spoke at the plenary session of the forum.

The Russia-Turkmenistan Business Forum is taking
place in Ashgabat, on 19-20 January. An agreement to hold this forum was
reached in December 2022 in Moscow as part of a meeting of the
Intergovernmental Russia-Turkmenistan Commission on Economic Cooperation. The
forum is being held in order to increase trade, economic and industrial
cooperation between Russia and Turkmenistan. More than 300 representatives from
businesses and organisations in Russia are taking part in the forum.

Mikhail Mishustin’s remarks:

Mikhail Mishustin’s remarks at the plenary session of the Russia-Turkmenistan Business Forum

Esteemed Mr Meredov,

Colleagues and friends,

I am happy to welcome all the forum participants and guests. I would like
to thank the organisers and personally, President of Turkmenistan Serdar
Berdimuhamedov, for the warm welcome and hospitality. This is the first
large-scale business forum in the history of Russian-Turkmen relations. I am
sure that it will help establish new ties between entrepreneurs and lay the
foundation for many promising projects.

Today, we are all working under unusual conditions. The global financial
and economic architecture is being reformatted. The traditional mechanisms no
longer work. The currencies that were considered the world’s units of account, have
become unreliable. Both our country and those who seek to develop mutually
beneficial cooperation with us are under severe pressure.

This is a time of great challenges, but it opens up new opportunities for
us, primarily for strengthening our sovereignty in various areas, including
economic, financial, and technological areas. Last year showed that Russia is
coping with these new challenges. The main objectives are being resolved and
our social obligations to our citizens are being fulfilled.

The economy is adapting. The decline in gross domestic product turned out
to be much less than our Western opponents predicted. According to preliminary reports,
the decline was only about 2.5 percent in 2022. Inflation is below 12 percent,
which is better than in a number of European countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that our financial and banking
systems, as well as the economy as a whole, are stable.

We sincerely value friendship, neighbourliness and strategic partnership
with Turkmenistan. Trade between our countries now amounts to about $1 billion.
Undoubtedly, the potential for economic cooperation is much higher. We can see
good opportunities for deepening interaction and expanding areas of
cooperation. To do this, we will intensify our joint work. Turkmen
entrepreneurs with their high-quality and competitive products can occupy some
of the niches that have been vacated by the exit of a number of foreign
corporations from the Russian market.

We can talk not only about increasing trade flows, but also about creating
joint ventures and building modern industrial, energy and transport facilities.
And I would say that now is the best time for it. Russian manufacturers will
reorient themselves from Europe to mutually beneficial projects in friendly
countries, which certainly include Turkmenistan.

Many of our companies are represented at the business forum. All of them
are ready to discuss specific proposals for the development of cooperation. For
us, the concepts of business ethics and the obligation to fulfill contracts are
not just lip service. Russia and Turkmenistan have always been and will be
reliable partners for each other.

Last year, we marked the 30th anniversary of establishing
diplomatic relations between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation, as well
as the 20th anniversary of signing the Treaty of Friendship and
Cooperation. All these years, joint work has been successfully developing in
the widest range of areas. And now it is reaching the next level.

The leaders of our countries, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and
President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, signed the Declaration on
Deepening Strategic Partnership in Moscow last June. Fourteen new agreements
were signed, including on joint projects in agriculture, trade, the banking,
information and transport sectors, as well as on strengthening interregional

In all, Turkmenistan and Russia have signed almost 300 international
documents. About 200 enterprises with Russian participation operate here.
Energy plays a significant role in our economic relations. Mr Meredov spoke
about this in detail today. At the same time, we actively develop other areas,
including agriculture and the textile industry. We are ready to increase
deliveries of engineering products.

One of the top priorities
is the development of industrial cooperation. We have a number of major
projects under way. Over the last few years, Russian manufacturers have
supplied seven diesel locomotives for Turkmenistan’s railways. Our trucks,
especially the KAMAZ trucks, are very popular in Turkmenistan. Now together
with their partners in Turkmenistan, Russian automakers are working on a
portfolio of new orders for the current year.

There is a great
potential in shipbuilding cooperation that should be established on a mutually
beneficial basis using construction sites of the two countries.

At the same time
we attach special importance to the development of international transport
routes. And here our position coincides completely with that of our colleagues
from Turkmenistan. We are working together to develop the North-South
international transport corridor, to reach its full capacity. This will open a
wide range of opportunities for businesses in building infrastructure, service
and trade-logistics centres, as well as in modernising sea ports.

In particular,
one of the promising joint projects under discussion is the construction of a motorway
along the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. There is a need to increase the
cargo turnover of Russian and Turkmenistani ports on the Caspian Sea, and
expand the supply of railway locomotives, freight and passenger cars.

with Russian regions play an important role in bilateral relations. St Petersburg
maintains close contacts with Ashgabat. The Republic of Tatarstan demonstrates
consistently high dynamics of cooperation. The Astrakhan Region has many plans
and projects, including in terms of establishing a regular maritime link
between the ports of Olya and Turkmenbashi. In total, about 60 Russian regions
are cooperating with Turkmenistan. Many of them have concluded agreements in the
trade, economic, scientific and technological spheres among many others.

It should be
underscored that Russia is one of the leading trade and economic partners of
Turkmenistan. We intend to work actively to increase our interaction.

The Russian
Government and government institutions of credit and export support will
provide the necessary assistance to entrepreneurs.

Together with
our colleagues in Turkmenistan we are ready to consider easing customs,
veterinary and phytosanitary control procedures, and relaxing visa requirements
for business travel.

During the
forum, we hope to hear your ideas about forming a favourable business
environment and stimulating joint projects. Nobody knows better than members of
the business community which factors are holding back entrepreneurial activity
and initiative.

I would like to
take this opportunity to inform you about several international events
scheduled in Russia for the first six months of this year. First of all, we
would like to invite our Turkmenistani colleagues to the Russia – Islamic World
international economic forum, which will take place in May in Kazan. Forum
participants will discuss cooperation in finance, investment, entrepreneurial
initiatives, high-tech technology and many other areas.

A busy agenda is
expected for early June in Sochi, with a meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of
Government, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, the Our Home Eurasia
international fair of cooperation projects and the Eurasian Congress.

Naturally, I
would like to invite business representatives and government officials from
Turkmenistan to attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum in
mid-June. It is one of the most important business events in the world.

To conclude my
remarks, I want to say a few words about the prospects of our cooperation
within the regional integration format. We can see that Turkmenistan is
interested in exploring cooperation opportunities within the Eurasian Economic

The EAEU has
proved its stability and effectiveness in the most challenging conditions, from
global economic crises to the COVID-19 pandemic. Including Turkmenistan in the
integration processes will have a positive impact on the country’s economy and
will be helpful for all countries of the five. It will help fulfil many
projects that are important for citizens of our countries.

Dear friends, I am confident
that the traditionally friendly ties between Russia and Turkmenistan, the
strategic partnership based on trust, mutual respect and consideration for each
other’s interests will secure quality expansion of trade and economic links for
the benefit and prosperity of our countries. I want to wish all forum
participants a productive
discussion, fruitful networking and new mutually beneficial deals.

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