President: Turkmenistan aims to create conditions for enhancing trade and economic relations between ECO countries

11:42 05.03.2021 1190

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 President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took part in the 14th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), which was held on March 4, 2021 via videoconference.  During the summit, the ECO chairmanship passed from Turkey to Turkmenistan.

 Speaking at the Summit, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov presented the priorities of Turkmenistan's chairmanship in this organization.

 As the head of the state emphasized, Turkmenistan was aimed at creating conditions for enhancing trade and economic relations between the ECO countries, increasing the volume and diversification of trade. In this regard, we proposed to begin the formation of economic routes in the region as the main stable system that ensures the movement of goods and services, the development of investments.

 Speaking about the priority areas during the presidency of Turkmenistan in the ECO, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov called the promotion of partnership expansion in the economic, trade, industrial, energy, transport and communication sectors and cultural and humanitarian spheres a strategic task.

 The President singled out industrial cooperation, the consolidation of production and technological potential, and the implementation of large joint infrastructure projects as the key economic areas. As recent examples of successful cooperation, the head of the state cited the opening in January of this year of a number of infrastructure facilities in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.  Among them were the new power line Kerki (Turkmenistan) – Shibargan (Afghanistan), the Akina-Andkhoy railway line, and fiber-optic communication lines.

 Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also proposed to consider the implementation of such ambitious and multilateral projects in various fields with the participation of other ECO countries. In this regard, it was proposed to focus on the combined transit transport corridors East-West, from the Asia-Pacific region to the European part of the continent and to the Middle East.

 The head of Turkmenistan also proposed to expand cooperation in the Caspian Sea region, since four of the five Caspian countries are ECO members.

 “We should actively advance across the Caspian Sea in the western and northern directions, reach the ports of the Black and Baltic Seas”, - the President said.

 The creation of energy clusters in the ECO space and diversification of energy supplies are also considered as a key task. “The construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is underway, that can serve as an example of such mutually beneficial cooperation”, -  Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.

 Speaking about the work on the implementation of projects for the supply of electricity along the routes Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan, the Turkmen leader expressed his conviction of the need for additional energy routes, both in the ECO region and beyond.  In this regard, the possibilities of interaction between the ECO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union, the CIS and other associations, the strategic interests of which coincide with the interests of the ECO, were noted.

 The President highlighted cooperation with Afghanistan as a separate topic.  The close involvement of the neighboring country in regional and continental economic partnership, as a participant in joint projects in the industrial, energy, transport, communication and logistics areas, would provide the Afghan side with a strategic opportunity and great prospects.

 The next Summit of Heads of ECO Member States Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed to be held in Ashgabat on November 28, 2021 and invited colleagues to the Turkmen capital to participate in the upcoming forum.

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