The exhibition and conference showcasing the achievements of the private sector of Turkmenistan started Tuesday (17 March 2020) in Ashgabat. The two-day event is timed to coincide with the 12th anniversary of the formation of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, a bridge organization connecting the private sector and the government authorities.
About 200 individual entrepreneurs, companies, and groups are participating in the twin event.
The private sector of Turkmenistan has made tremendous headway during the past one year. The quality and range of newly introduced products and services is impressive. Seeing all of it under one roof is a unique experience.
At the heart of this speedy transformation is the economic patriotism – the desire to gain self sufficiency in as many areas as possible, and raise the capacity for export.
This is evident at the exhibition hall where the niche areas such as artistic prints on leather are on display side by side with the locally produced boats.
Considering the fact that Turkmenistan is not a very large market – just about six million of population – it takes courage to venture into new areas of production. The businessman has to be bold and innovative.
In this context, the UIET (Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan) plays a key role. Since the government is the largest buyer of nearly everything, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, the UIET helps the business community in finding the public sector buyers.
Some of the companies displaying their products and services at the exhibition, such as the IT solutions, laptops and tablets, nonwoven materials, designer garments, automobile accessories etc. cannot reach the full potential of their profitability without tapping into the foreign markets. This is also an area where the UIET is helpful through its offices and representations in some foreign countries. The diplomatic missions of Turkmenistan are also gearing to provide the trade facilitation services.
The conference that started together with the exhibition had a general body session of UIET. Alexander Dadaev, the chairman of UIET was reelected for another period of four year. He will remain in office up to 2024.
The UIET has 24200 members, of which 1809 joined during the past one year.
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The threat of Covid-19 is a worldwide concern and Turkmenistan is no exception. The approach of Turkmenistan is two-pronged: On one hand the measures have been put in place to prevent the intrusion of coronavirus from people arriving from the vulnerable countries, and on the other hand plenty of caution is exercised locally without heavily disrupting the daily life.
This was evident at the opening day of the exhibition of UIET.
The participants of the opening ceremony were possibly less than 300, including the foreign diplomats and businessmen, and the government officials.
Two principles of crowd management were at play – 1. Keep the number of people relative to the available area sufficiently small to allow for adequate distance; and 2. Provide sanitization service before the people enter the covered area.
At both the entrances to the exhibition hall the medical staff was available with antibacterial wet wipes, hand sanitizers and nose gel.
Within the hall, the Harmala (Yuzarlyk) smoke was circulated in earthen vessels.
Although large numbers of people visited the exhibition, the arrival and departure of the groups was coordinated to make sure that at any given time the hall does not get crowded.
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During this week and next week we will publish separate stories to highlight some of the areas being explored by the business and industrial community of Turkmenistan. /// nCa, 18 March 2020