Turkmenistan’s Foreign Policy Strategy

The dynamic, innovative and coherent foreign policy strategy of Turkmenistan is the basis of the steady strengthening of the international authority of the state and increasing its role in regional and global geopolitics. The country’s foreign policy is based on the belief that all matters should be based on mutual respect and taking into account the generally recognized norms and principles of international law.

The President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said: “We advocate that the issues of energy transit in no way dependent on any political, economic or other problems, spontaneously occurring in the world. Our goal is to establish an international system of cooperation, pursuing mutual interests and based on the economic viability and healthy competition. Naturally, all of this must be based on a perfect legal framework.”

The initiative of the Turkmen leader was close and topical to all countries of the world because, as noted in the text of the UN Resolution, the initiative aims to improve access to reliable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy, contribute to achieving the internationally agreed development goals.

It is not surprising that many countries are aimed at fruitful cooperation with Turkmenistan.

Thus, with respect to the strategic partnership with China, it is worth noting that in December 2009 a pipeline associated two states was officially opened and by the end of 2012, Turkmenictan became the largest supplier of gas to the Middle Kingdom. “Blue fuel” from the Central Asian republic covers 51.4% of the needs of China. For comparison, the share of the next supplier after Turkmenistan – Qatar – is three times less (16%). For China, whose rapidly growing economy is in great need of hydrocarbon fuels (enough to say that the import of natural gas to China for 4 years has increased almost by 10 from 4 to 40 billion cubic meters) and cooperation with Ashgabat has a strategic importance.

The third meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Chinese Cooperation Committee took place in August in Ashgabat. Heads and representatives of several government departments, including the leading ministries and departments, as well as the business communities of the two countries, attended it. It was noted that during this period the cooperation in several key areas has increased, the committee emphasized the need to better harness the potential of mutually beneficial contacts in the trade, economic, energy, and transport sectors, the textile industry, in the field of agriculture. Health, tourism and sports were identified among the promising areas of cooperation.

Noting the favorable investment climate created in Turkmenistan for foreign partners, members of the committee from the Chinese side expressed the desire of the Chinese business community to expand their presence within the promising Turkmen market for joint investment projects.

With regard to cooperation between Turkmenistan and Korea, the beginning of an effective political dialogue between the leaders of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea marked the first meeting between the two leaders in August 2008 in Beijing as part of participation in the opening ceremony of the XXIX Summer Olympic Games. During the discussion, the sides discussed the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation and expressed the desire to intensify inter-state cooperation.

Over the years, the agreements have been successfully implemented in many areas. In the international arena, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea provide mutual support and trust to each other, in particular in the framework of cooperation with the United Nations.

In addition to the Joint Statement of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea in Ashgabat, the Agreement between the State Concern “Turkmengaz” and the company «LG International Corp.» and the company «Hyundai Engineering Co.Ltd.» about projects of construction of a plant of gas processing into the liquid fuel and gas and chemical complex in Turkmenistan; Memorandum of Understanding between the State Concern “Turkmengaz” and the company «LG International Sorp.” about the implementation of polyethylene and polypropylene produced by gas-chemical plant in Kiyanly were signed. Also an agreement on cooperation between the Ministry of Motor Transport and the corporation «Hyundai» Republic of Korea; between the main public service “Turkmenstandartlary” and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards was secured. Interstate documents on cooperation in the field of agriculture between the two foreign ministries were adopted.

These agreements offer good prospects for the development of mutually beneficial relationships by creating a new model of cooperation, which allows fully integrating all the benefits of the two countries and getting their practical results.

Turkey is an important strategic partner of Turkmenistan. Since the early days of establishing diplomatic relations, both countries took confident policy of comprehensive development of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, bonded by centuries-old ties of historical, cultural and spiritual community of the two brotherly peoples, effective and constructive strategic partnership which has a positive impact on economic progress, not only for these two countries, but the entire region.

Confidential relations between Turkmenistan and Turkey allow not only an effective and timely implementation of all the agreements, but also to find new areas of co-operation in various fields, including trade, economic, energy, transport, cultural and humanitarian, as well as in construction, agriculture, textile industry and many others.

Partnership with France is important for Turkmenistan as well. This summer at Paris Day of Turkmenistan’s economy in France, within which there was an exhibition of economic achievements, became the prelude to a new stage of bilateral cooperation. Certain steps to develop a joint program of further action taken during the event allowed the saying about it confidentially.

Economic and investment potential of Turkmenistan was represented in Paris to more than 25 ministries and agencies, as well as members of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. The reports of the delegates at the conference, scope all the key areas of economic development of Turkmenistan described more details about the successes and trends in the economic sectors of the Turkmen state.

The cooperation in such important field as aerospace technology, which is developing today with the company «Thales», is a good example of cooperative cohesiveness. The French company is building the first national satellite of Turkmenistan as well as equipping modern airport complexes in the country.

“For France, Turkmenistan is a key link in the development of relations with the Central Asian region, the country which potential dictates the need for the closest business contacts” – says the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, Laurent Fabius.

Cooperation between Turkmenistan and Japan is developing rapidly. A conference-presentation of tourist potential of Turkmenistan, organized by the Japan Association of Travel Agencies (JATA) and the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Japan, took place this summer in Tokyo. Top managers of more than 40 Japanese companies, representatives of the State Committee for Tourism, public and private tourism companies in the country attended the forum.

The response study tour of leaders of Japanese tourism companies in Turkmenistan in order to jointly create a tourist image of Turkmenistan. The most attractive for the Japanese tourist, is scheduled in October this year and will be the next important step in this direction.

In addition, in August the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met the President and Chief Executive Officer of the company «Mitsubishi Corporation» Mr. Ken Kobayashi. Noting the willingness of the company, specializing in a broad range of areas and working successfully in many countries around the world, to expand its presence in the fast growing Turkmen market. Businessmen have already introduced a number of new business proposals tailored to the priorities and key vectors of the state of the country in the coming decades.

In addition to the development of bilateral relations with other countries, the large and reputable international organizations, especially the United Nations, are the strategic partners of Turkmenistan. Universal mandates of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and security, as well as the goal of sustainable development, are fully coincided with the long-term prospects and the strategic priorities of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy in the international arena.