Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia visited Turkmenistan on 26-28 October 2019.
The president of Turkmenistan and the prime minister of Malaysia had tete-a-tete and expanded format talks on Sunday, 27 October 2019.
Expanded format talks and press conference – Summary
Here is the summary of the talks in the expanded format and the remarks of both the leaders to the media:
A dynamic and progressive is inherent in our bilateral dialogue. This is confirmed by the legal base which includes interstate, intergovernmental and inter-sectoral agreements and treaties.
The partnership in the trade and economic sphere has reached a new level, with notable contribution of the Petronas Carigali, which is our country’s long-standing business partner in the oil and gas sector.
Malaysia has supported Turkmenistan from the first days of independence. Both the states actively interact within various international structures, including the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
We note with respect the contribution of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to peace and security.
Today’s meeting will be an important step towards strengthening bilateral relations.
During the conversation, the sides confirmed their willingness to effectively use all available opportunities to strengthen and bring to a new level of Turkmen-Malaysian relations throughout its spectrum.
Malaysia co-authored projects on energy security and cooperation in the field of transport put forward by Turkmenistan, as well as draft Resolutions on the neutrality of Turkmenistan from 1995 and 2015, and announcing 2021 as The International Year of Peace and Trust, unanimously adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Turkmenistan will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its neutrality in December next year, and we invite Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to attend the international forum on peace, security and sustainable development timed to this date.
Turkmenistan pays particular attention to developing partnerships with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, defining this area as the strategic course of its foreign policy and foreign economic activity.
There are great opportunities for cooperation between Turkmenistan and ASEAN. We are ready to consider various options for closer partnership in specific areas.
Petronas Carigali of Malaysia has successfully implemented the investment project in the oil and gas industry of Turkmenistan. It is a long-term and reliable partner of Turkmenistan.
The textile industry is a promising area. We are ready to expand supplies of our textiles to the Malaysian markets. Currently, the domestic textile industry has modern enterprises that produce high-quality, competitive products from local raw materials that meet all international standards and are in high demand.
A bilateral business forum was held in Kuala Lumpur in 2015, which was attended by the representatives of dozens of Malaysian companies and leading sectors of the economy of Turkmenistan. We propose to hold the second meeting of business circles in Ashgabat in the first half of 2020.
International transport and logistics systems may become a priority for joint efforts.
Along with the development of the coastal infrastructure of Turkmenistan, the national merchant marine fleet is being actively updated. A shipbuilding and ship repair plant was built in the city of Turkmenbashi along with port facilities. It would be appropriate to discuss cooperation in shipbuilding, taking into account the experience of Malaysia in this area.
The digital economy is another promising area of bilateral cooperation. Malaysia is one of the leading states in the implementation of information and communication technologies. There is the mutual desire to establish long-term cooperation.
The most important area of Turkmen-Malaysian relations is the humanitarian sphere, where there is enormous potential for building productive contacts in the fields of science, culture and art.
Positive experience has been accumulated in the field of education and training of qualified specialists. Every year our students are sent to Malaysia for higher education.
Turkmenistan attaches great importance to establishing direct contacts between scientific institutions of the two countries.
Another promising area of partnership is tourism, where Malaysia has accumulated rich experience. We would like to study and apply it in Turkmenistan.
The establishment of direct air links between the capitals of our countries will contribute to the growth of tourist flows.
As part of humanitarian contacts, the Days of Culture of Turkmenistan were held in Malaysia in December 2015. We invite Malaysia to a cultural response next year.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad
Turkmenistan has dramatically changed since my last visit 25 years ago.
Malaysia is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and firmly adheres to the strategy of non-interference in the internal politics of other states, and opposes terrorism and other challenges of our time. Malaysia, being a sovereign country, follows the chosen course, advocating for world peace.
We maintain trade relations with 193 countries. There is great potential for further expansion of cooperation with Turkmenistan.
Positive experience has been accumulated in joint business partnerships in the fuel and energy sector, for example, the Petronas Carigali company, which takes part in the implementation of mutually beneficial investment projects in Turkmenistan. We hope that new large-scale project would be planned and implemented in the future.
The Malaysian government and the private sector have done great work in the sphere of digital economy. We are ready to cooperate with Turkmenistan in this area.
The introduction of the Turkmen products in Malaysia will bring trade and economic relations between our countries to a new level.
Among the priority areas of bilateral partnership are the automotive industry, aircraft manufacturing, and the field of high technology.
The convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea opens up new possibilities of cooperation between Malaysia and Turkmenistan.
We are pleased with the number of Turkmen students studying in Malaysia and we are ready to increase this number.
I invite President Berdymuhamedov for a visit to Malaysia.
The following documents were signed on conclusion of the summit talks:
- Programme of Cooperation between the ministries of foreign affairs of Turkmenistan and Malaysia for the period 2020-2021
- Training of diplomats at the level of ministries of foreign affairs of both the countries
A joint statement was endorsed by the president of Turkmenistan and the prime minister of Malaysia but they did not sign it.
President Berdymuhamedov and Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad endorsed a joint Turkmen-Malaysian statement but did not sign it.
Here is the unofficial, slightly paraphrased translation of the text:
- At the invitation of His Excellency the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, His Excellency the Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, made an official visit to Turkmenistan on October 26-28, 2019.
2. During the visit, the Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, was received at the Oguzhan Palace Complex in Ashgabat. Both the leaders held fruitful negotiations that took place in a warm atmosphere. The talks covered a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
3. Both the leaders reaffirmed their desire to maintain close contacts at a high level, to deepen friendly exchanges and cooperation in all areas, including the promotion and development of Turkmen-Malaysian relations. Both the leaders recognized the need to fully realize the potential of bilateral relations, maintain regular contacts, consultations and close coordination at all levels. The leaders also emphasized the importance of exchanging views on pressing issues of mutual interest at international meetings and conferences sponsored by the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other international organizations of which Turkmenistan and Malaysia are members.
4. Both the leaders noted that bilateral consultations between senior officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and Malaysia are the main mechanism for enhancing interaction between the two countries. The next round of bilateral consultations will be held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on a mutually acceptable date, which will be determined through diplomatic channels. Both sides agreed to intensify consultations and dialogue to further strengthen bilateral cooperation and exchange views and initiatives to solve regional and global problems of mutual interest.
5. Both the leaders agreed that the economic partnership established under the Trade Agreement, signed between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of Malaysia on May 30, 1994, has enormous potential. Both the leaders emphasized the desire to strengthen bilateral economic ties, expand trade and investment, and create an enabling business environment in both countries. Both governments will continue to work closely to facilitate the flow of goods and services.
6. The parties, recognizing the need to encourage foreign investment in order to accelerate the economic prosperity of both the countries, noted the positive many years of experience of PETRONAS in the oil and gas industry of Turkmenistan and expressed their readiness to further develop mutually beneficial cooperation.
7. Malaysia encourages entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan to explore investment opportunities in connection with the strategic location of Malaysia and a favorable business environment. Among the potential areas of study for Turkmenistan are the chemical, food, information technology, regional enterprises and the logistics industry.
8. Both sides also reaffirmed the importance of cooperation between the private sectors of both the countries in exploring cooperation in various fields, including the production of medical equipment, transport, the chemical industry, communications, multimedia, the banking sector, effective management of natural resources and environmental protection.
9. Both the leaders welcomed the creation of a parliamentary friendship group between Turkmenistan and Malaysia in 2018. The creation of a friendship group will further strengthen relations between the Mejlis of Turkmenistan and the Parliament of Malaysia.
10. Both the leaders agreed on the need to strengthen educational ties between higher education institutions, as well as technical and vocational training. Both the leaders agreed that such cooperation is crucial for expanding relations between the two countries.
11. Tourism and youth exchanges have also been identified as key areas in facilitating the expansion of contacts between people and sustainable socio-economic growth, in addition to strengthening mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries.
12. His Excellency the Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, expressed deep appreciation and gratitude to His Excellency the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the Government and people of Turkmenistan for the hospitality and friendly reception provided to the Malaysian delegation, and invited the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdim for a visit to Malaysia. His Excellency President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov graciously accepted the invitation.
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, October 27, 2019 /// nCa, 28 October 2019