Ashgabat, 14 January 2013 (nCa) — President Berdymuhamedov delivered a keynote address to a gathering of the top officials on Friday (11 Jan). This is a traditional annual event where the president sums up the achievements of the past year and outlines the plans for the starting year.
Here is the slightly summarized and paraphrased translation:
Dear members of the Cabinet! Dear friends! As you know, last year around the world there was a decline in economic growth. The ongoing financial crisis has affected many of the states. In these circumstances, we took timely action to bolster macro and macro-economy in the country and gradually improve the work in this direction. We pay particular attention to the embodiment of the life; we have adopted programs for socio-economic development. As a result of the timely measures, the national economy continues to develop rapidly.
We performed well in the past year. The GDP last year grew by 111.1 percent. There was 138 per cent increase in the volume of investments in various sectors of the economy that is developing dynamically in accordance with the President’s program.
Now I will not dwell on the achievements of other industries, as an example the only successes in the construction sector. We successfully implemented all the planned program for 2012 projects for social and domestic purposes. Over the past year we have built and put into operation 397 major projects with total value of over U.S. $ 5 billion. Among them are the new settlements Bagtyyarlyk and Belek, gas turbine power station, numerous factories, building complexes of the National Institute of Sports and Tourism, the Turkmen State Institute of Oil and Gas, the objects of the National tourist zone “Avaza” and industrial complex for grain production in Rukhabat.
Among the built and put into operation last year facilities include railway stations, bridges, modern houses with luxury apartments, new palaces, numerous stadiums, museums, children’s health and leisure centers, and many other objects of social and community service.
Last year, for the first time during the years of independence, we have built and put into operation a record number of objects in the education system: This includes 36 secondary schools equipped with multimedia technology, 25 sports schools and 48 kindergartens.
[The global financial and economic crisis did not derail our programmes.]
We achieved significant new successes in economic development, education and science, to conduct reforms and improving welfare standards of the people! Increased wages, pensions and state benefits!
In this past year we had rich cotton and wheat harvests. We maintained a stable exchange rate of the national currency – Manat. Since the beginning of this year we have once again raised the wages, pensions and benefits.
[The achievements in the past year, as in all the previous years, were made by the dedicated work by the government and the people.]
Over the past five years the volume of investments in the national economy has grown by 8 times, including foreign investments that increased 8.6 times. These investments have been directed mainly to the creation of new industries, modernization and technical re-equipment of industries, and the development of the social sphere.
[Private sector has full support of the government]
Excluding the energy sector, the private sector products and services account for 55.7% of GDP. The share of private sector in the GDP has increased by 8.2% in the recent years.
Sound fiscal policy played an important role in the dynamic development of the production sector. It has stimulated the attraction of investments in the productive sectors of the economy and will increase the amount of funds allocated to social programs. The state budget for last year concluded with significant excess of revenues over expenditures.
[The stabilization fund has caused positive effect on the national economy.]
Positive impact on the national economy and has created the country’s stabilization fund. Our policy is aimed at diversification of the economy, reducing its dependence on the energy sector. The expansion of the energy supply market also had a positive impact on our economy.
Compared to the figures of 2007, GDP has grown by 3.5 times, the per capital GDP in terms of PPP has increased 1.9 times.
[Last year the per capita GDP exceeded the threshold of middle income parameters.]
Dear members of the Cabinet! Dear friends! According to the international experts, this year, the economic situation in the world, as always, will be complex and unstable. The global economy will undergo radical changes and enter a period of reorganization. Undoubtedly, these changes in the world economy will have an impact on our country. This year for Turkmenistan will be fairly complex. But this does not in any case should scare us, we must not lose heart. On the contrary, I am sure that with the support of our people, we will overcome all the difficulties and achieve all the set high goals!
I want to emphasize that the 2013th year will be one of the most important years for the implementation of the President’s program of socio-economic development. Based on this, I put to the Government of the country the following a series of important tasks.
We need to significantly step up efforts to implement the President’s program on innovation. We need to accelerate the strategic restructuring of the economy and its diversification. We will continue to pursue modernization, technical and technological re-equipment of the production sector, with particular attention to improving the efficiency of the economy, the creation of new industries.
We need to greatly intensify economic development and ensure the growth rate of GDP of at least 11 percent. In this connection, one of the most important and urgent task appears effective attraction of investment funds, a significant improvement of the investment climate, and creation of effective mechanisms to encourage investment.
In order to ensure a happy life for future generations and improve the living standards of the people, we must continue to search for new directions of development of the country! In order to achieve these goals:
1) A.Gochyev [economy, development] and heads of economic units, you have to activate and improve macro-control measures and macro regulation to promote stable and dynamic development of the national economy. We need to continue the active implementation of effective financial and monetary policies to maintain the stability of the national currency Manat, to improve the financial and banking system.
I just signed a decree “On approval of the State program of privatization of state property and facilities in Turkmenistan for 2013-2016 years.” This program provides for the privatization of a number of objects which will be held from the beginning of this year. Privatization activity in the country is part of our plans for the gradual transition to a market economy.
In this regard, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, in the first place, A.Gochyev, and chairman of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs A.Dadaev must ensure that privatization activities are carried out in the atmosphere of openness.
Ya.Berdiev, heads of law enforcement agencies, you have to control all the issues related to the privatization of the country.
2) B.Nurmyradova [culture, media] and leaders of culture! The formation and development of ideological and moral foundations of a democratic state, the creation of the necessary conditions for creativity and intellectual potential of society depends on the use of all available resources in the field of culture. Therefore, for solving problems facing the cultural sector, you need to effectively use the rich cultural heritage, develop the national art with millennial tradition, Turkmen music and literature. Creation of culture must encourage and inspire every citizen to the successful implementation of the ongoing reforms in the grand state. We need to create new and beautiful works of art, music and songs reflecting our wonderful era and reveal its essence. Its national identity, these works should be a worthy contribution to the art of the world.
It is necessary to form the image of Turkmenistan as a modern democratic state committed to spiritual values, respecting the rights and freedoms of the individual, based on international integration and universal progress and popularization in the world, and promote the growth of prestige of the country in the international community. A key focus of successful solutions facing the country’s culture is a task of the national personnel, creating favorable conditions for the professional development of young professionals.
Special attention should be given to the further development of fiction and documentary cinema. Association “Turkmenfilm” named after Oguzkhan should create new films about our history and the present day, on the great achievements and great projects in our homeland.
In short, our very recent history reflects the cultural policy of the country. Therefore, the priority of the policy should be the construction of a new philosophy, creatively correlated to our historical, cultural, spiritual and social experience with the tasks of the national heritage of modern Turkmenistan.
The State Committee on TV, radio and cinema should take immediate steps to improve the quality and artistic level of television and radio broadcasts.
A new entity ‘Printing House’ will be established to expand the range of publishing services. It is necessary to increase the number of newspapers, magazines, books, and also to improve the quality of publications.
In addition, in order to promote the consistent expansion of the successes of our country in the world it is necessary to continue the ongoing work on the development of new electronic newspapers to the Internet.
3) S.Toylyev [science, education, healthcare, tourism, sports], leaders of the related branches! As before, your focus should be the issues of promoting reforms in healthcare, science and education, the training of highly qualified specialists and sportsmen. We must pay special attention to the improvement of the education system as a basis for the development of not only the economy but also society as a whole. We have to take all necessary measures to ensure that our children are educated at the level with the developed countries.
This year, we have to complete the construction of Technopark, for which the foreign partners will be involved both in equity and expertise. You also need to continue the ongoing work in the country to enhance computer literacy.
And one more important question should be given special attention: we now have to carefully prepare for the upcoming V Asian Indoor Games and Martial Arts to be held in our country in 2017. For this important event in our country we should fully prepare all the necessary infrastructure, as well as coaches and judges and sportsmen/athletes.
4) R. Meredov, in regard to foreign policy, the new Foreign Policy Concept of the country, as well as all of the tasks and areas facing the foreign office, I delivered a speech at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, with the participation of diplomats. And so I will not repeat. I note only that the foreign policy, as always, is built on the principles of the policy of “open doors” and in accordance with the legal status of neutrality, aimed at maintaining and strengthening peace and stability in the region.
5) A. Nurberdyeva [chairperson of parliament], deputies of the Mejlis, to further the development of the state and society in this year, you have to continue the development of new laws and regulations that are important for the further development of the national economy and society. You need to step up efforts to protect the rights and interests of foreign investors, as well as intellectual property rights. At the end of this year, elections of the parliament will be held. This event must be carefully prepared. We must also take all measures to ensure that the newly elected parliament deputies are the most deserving and competent people. I will not dwell on the problems faced by the Majlis, as during this month, I plan to meet with the deputies.
6) Sh.Durdylyev [construction] , leaders of the construction industry! This year we will have a lot of work in realizing construction projects. I want to emphasize that, in comparison to last year this year’s program of building is more ambitious. This year, we have to build 20% more facilities than the last year. We need to commission 435 major buildings and numerous community facilities and industrial facilities under the National Rural program. This is a very large number of projects. These include part of the railway “North-South,” gas and oil pipelines, bridges, roads, factories, facilities of the National tourist zone “Avaza”, hospitals and health centers, residential areas and a number of other social and cultural purposes. In total, this year we have to implement projects worth about 17 billion U.S. dollars. Therefore, your task is to provide high quality construction and timely commissioning of all required facilities.
Vice-Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, the President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs A.Dadaev in order to promote high-tech industries for the production of export-oriented high-quality products, you need to continue the program of creation of joint ventures, with equipment that meets international standards and technologies. Provide a large-scale comprehensive modernization of existing industrial facilities.
7) A.Yazmyradov [agriculture] , khyakims provinces and districts, – providing plenty of food is still one of the major goals of the agricultural sector. – Your task is to build on the farm success last year and to obtain this year even higher yields of agricultural crops. You should consistently continue to enhance the agricultural base, fully supporting the population with high-quality agricultural products.
You should speed up the reform of agriculture in the light of modern requirements, providing the industry with the most advanced technology, higher crop yields, on schedule high quality farming practices, introduce new technologies to the industry, and accelerate the creation of a developed, modern agriculture complex. Take the necessary steps to upgrade the entire infrastructure of the agricultural industry.
And this year you should continue to work on the rational use of land and water resources, regional [localized] specialization of agriculture, and the introduction of market relations in the industry. In future, as always, the state will continue to provide full support for the technical re-equipment and modernization of all systems to ensure radical transformation of the agricultural complex and the villages. Further work is needed on the recommendations of the Council of Elders and other areas mainly on the improvement of small towns and rural areas, providing them with all the necessary social conditions for a comfortable life.
8) Ya.Kakaev, B.Hodzhamuhammedov [oil and gas sector], heads of oil and gas, you have to continue the development of fuel and energy, oil and gas and petrochemical and chemical industry. And, in addition, based on the development of the oil and gas industry through diversification, you should work effectively for the implementation of large international construction projects, such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India and others.
B.Hodzhamuhammedov, Sh.Durdylyev, in order to continue the development of the economy on the path of diversification to increase the supply of electricity to other countries, it is necessary as soon as possible to develop a program for increasing the volume of its production. Providing additional construction and renovation of existing power plants, and increasing the capacity of facilities that produce electricity.
9) A.Egeleev [transport and communications], the leaders of the transport and communication! Development of systems of this industry is very important to our country. During this year, you have to realize several big projects. It is necessary to expedite the establishment of a national satellite system and prepare for the launch of an artificial satellite into space.
You should continue to work on the construction of the remaining section of the international railway corridor “North-South,” the highway Ashgabat-Karakum-Dashoguz and Turkmenbashi-Farab, road bridges across the Amu Darya, construction and renovation of airports, as well as the implementation of other activities within projects. Intensify the work on further development of high-speed communications and the Internet.
10) H. Muhammedov [trade, textiles], leaders of trade and textile complex, you have to focus on the most important issues for further development of trade, textile, carpet industry and entrepreneurship. You need to keep focused on increasing the volume of exports, establishing close foreign economic relations with all foreign partners interested in developing cooperation with our country, study the demand and opportunities of foreign markets, the development experience of foreign markets and the introduction of new, more effective methods of exchange.
One of the biggest challenges is to increase the capacity of the textile industry, improvement and development of the industry with the help of enormous public funds allocated for this purpose. You should also continue to work on major reconstruction and modernization of outdated textile enterprises, increased production and competitiveness in the world markets. The Chamber of Commerce of the country should promote overseas our products.
A.Dadaev, representatives of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, you must use all your capabilities and internal resources for further development of the private enterprise. You should ensure participation of the Union in the implementation of the national rural program, and other programs and projects.
11) Cabinet members, law enforcement agencies, all public organizations need to continue the fight against drug abuse and other negative phenomena in our lives.
12) One more question, on which I now want to stop – it is the further improvement of the activities of all government agencies. This year we should take effective action in this direction.
These are the important issues facing us this year.
Dear members of the Cabinet! Dear friends! In assessing the results of last year in the end of today’s meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, I want to note that in general the year 2012 was good for our country – we have successfully completed all the plans. Thus, we have confidently started the new year, having met all the challenges facing us, backed with a good budget, and blessed with good prospects!
I sincerely thank all compatriots of all professions and jobs, those who are putting in honest and hard work and are making a worthy contribution to the prosperity of our homeland, in improving the living standards of our people!
I wish you all this year, good health, happiness, peaceful and happy life!