(Ashgabat, November 28, 2021)
Dear leaders of the member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation!
Dear members of delegations!
First of all, let me express my deep gratitude to the leaders of the member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation for accepting our invitation to gather in the capital of Turkmenistan to participate in this Summit.
We rightfully regard the holding of this forum as an important event designed to strengthen cooperation between our countries in the economic, trade, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
First of all, I would like to emphasize that as a neutral state and a responsible member of the world community, Turkmenistan is always open for broad interaction with all interested foreign partners, including authoritative regional and international organizations. And here I am pleased to note the progressive dynamics of the dialogue with the ECO, with which we have accumulated a solid experience of joint work. At the same time, Turkmenistan is successfully developing friendly, good-neighborly relations with each member state of the Organization separately.
This, in my opinion, is a good help to multilateral partnership, enriches it, and gives additional stability to our common activities.
Having assumed the chairmanship of the ECO at the previous Summit, Turkmenistan made every effort to ensure that joint work acquired the proper dynamics and was filled with new creative impulses. In accordance with the developed Concept of the Chairmanship, our country has been actively working to implement it. Taking this opportunity, I express my sincere gratitude to all ECO member countries for the assistance provided to Turkmenistan during this period.
Among the most important priorities of the ECO, Turkmenistan sees the development of cooperation in the transport and energy spheres. Today it objectively acts as a defining trend in global economic growth. Timely and actively integrate into this process, using the existing competitive advantages, ensure ourselves the role of a full and effective participant in the formation of new transport and transit corridors, energy routes – such, I am convinced, should be our common urgent tasks for the foreseeable future.
I think that the ECO member countries have an understanding of the need to consolidate efforts in this direction. This is confirmed by the consistent support by the member states of the international initiatives of Turkmenistan, in particular, the draft resolutions of the UN General Assembly put forward by our country on cooperation in the field of sustainable transport and energy security. A number of ECO member states became a co-author of these documents. We are grateful for such support, and we consider it as a good basis for further practical steps.
Acting in line with the practical implementation of these initiatives, our country, in partnership with a number of ECO member states, has launched major infrastructure projects in recent years.
As you know, at present, the construction of power transmission lines along the route Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan, and a railway line from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan is underway.
The construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is in full swing.
Special attention in Turkmenistan is paid to the activation of transport and transit communication along the East-West and North-South lines. In particular, we are talking about the creation of transport corridors Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman, as well as Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey.
We are convinced that our joint opportunities are far from being exhausted by the projects listed above. Today we need additional energy and transport-transit corridors both between the countries of the ECO space and beyond.
In our opinion, the establishment of a goal-oriented dialogue with such interstate associations as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Commonwealth of Independent States is in demand in this context.
The implementation of large infrastructure projects with the participation of the ECO member states, without exaggeration, means a qualitative breakthrough in the formation of a new geo-economic space on the continent, opens up colossal prospects for cooperation, attracting large foreign investments, and solving a number of important social problems.
I would like to especially emphasize the importance of Afghanistan’s participation in these processes, which is thus becoming an active actor, a valuable and integral participant in the economic partnership. In this we see a strategic perspective for Afghanistan, its role in regional and global processes, the most important condition for achieving peace, harmony and development on Afghan soil. I am also convinced that we must provide urgent and effective humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people in this difficult period.
We propose to study the issues of using logistics and infrastructure facilities in Turkmenistan itself in order to activate transport and transit communications between the regions of the Caspian basin and the Black Sea with access to the countries of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific region. We are ready to provide our modern port facilities on the Caspian coast in the interests of the ECO partners.
We see real prospects for the implementation of other infrastructure projects in the ECO space, in particular, in the field of road and rail transport.
We consider it necessary to intensify the work of the special committee created within the framework of our Organization for the construction and reconstruction of roads and railways, and the development of specific proposals by it.
Dear Summit participants!
The most important component of partnership between our states is the development of trade. At the end of last year, the total trade turnover between the ECO member countries amounted to 49.8 billion US dollars. Of course, this indicator does not reflect the existing joint potential.
We have to seriously think about creating effective mechanisms to ensure stable and dynamic growth of the trade and investment partnership, and make efforts to diversify it. I believe that we have the right to count on a more active role of the business communities of our countries, including through medium and small businesses. We are talking about establishing various forms of cooperation in such segments as the production of industrial goods, agriculture, the service sector, in other areas.
It is necessary to help the business to fully develop business ties, to ensure their proper banking and financial support, to create, if necessary, a system of appropriate benefits and privileges in the implementation of trade operations.
Cross-border and regional commercial ties are called upon to play a due role. Here our peoples have centuries-old traditions, valuable experience has been accumulated, which requires its revival, use and enrichment, taking into account modern realities.
In this regard, I consider it expedient to think about creating specialized ECO business platforms on the principles of public-private partnership, each of which could work in its own direction in the interests of developing and expanding trade relations between our countries.
An extremely relevant topic today is economic interaction with the use, first of all, of high digital technologies, the widespread use of electronic trading platforms. This is dictated by the modern requirements of the movement of goods and services.
I am deeply convinced that all states of our regions, without exception, have the potential for innovative growth.
Combining efforts meets common interests and will allow us to confidently integrate into the highly competitive environment of the global economy of a new technological order.
I would like to highlight the importance of enhancing cooperation in medicine and healthcare. The last two years have become a very serious test for everyone. It soon became obvious that one or another country alone can achieve only temporary successes in the fight against the pandemic. In this regard, we believe it expedient in the very near future to begin to establish, within the framework of the ECO, systemic channels for the exchange of experience, methods and best practices in the field of combating dangerous infectious diseases. We have something to offer each other.
Economic cooperation in the ECO space should be accompanied by the expansion of interaction in the cultural and humanitarian sphere. We believe it expedient to start forming system plans for holding cultural events, art festivals, including with the participation of children and youth groups, meetings of the creative intelligentsia of the ECO member states, to develop joint tourism programs, and organize sports competitions.
Dear Summit participants!
Turkmenistan notes the generally progressive nature of the work of the Organization for Economic Cooperation, its positive impact on the course of regional partnership. Today ECO is a respected, authoritative international economic structure that has received recognition in the world. Over the years of the Organization’s existence, various agreements have been concluded between the member countries and decisions have been made on priority issues of interstate interaction, a lot of work has been done to develop a viable strategy for the most effective use of joint potential.
The most important constructive factor in the activities of our Organization was that it followed and continues to strictly follow the principles and goals laid down at its foundation and in subsequent years, when the ECO was replenished with new members and formed in its current composition. I mean the fact that it retains its focus as an instrument of economic cooperation. This should remain the same. It is also gratifying that ECO is consistently expanding its external relations, interacting with other international and regional structures.
We, the member countries, can rightfully bring all these results into the jointly accumulated positive baggage. But time does not stand still, it requires us to develop new approaches to the activities of the Organization, taking into account modern realities, trends in the world economy, the peculiarities of the course and direction of regional processes. In these conditions, special tasks are assigned to the ECO, corresponding to its specificity, distinctive geoeconomic character. I am convinced that all participants proceed from the unifying essence of the ECO as a mechanism of economic partnership between states linked by history and geography, traditions and values, as a natural format for the implementation of joint mutually beneficial projects based on the existing objective advantages and common interests.
Dear Heads of State!
Today’s meeting is called upon to further strengthen the relations of friendship, good-neighborliness and effective mutually beneficial partnership between all member states, to determine the directions of joint work for the coming period.
It is obvious that the current stage requires us to work out extremely specific and realistic solutions, create such mechanisms and formats of interaction that would meet the long-term interests of our countries, contribute to the full integration of the ECO into the system of modern world economic relations, contribute to the growth of the economies of the member states and the well-being of peoples.
I am convinced that the potential of the ECO gives us grounds for reaching strategic goals and implementing large-scale joint projects.
I would like to express my gratitude to the ECO Secretary General, esteemed Mr. Khusraw Noziri, for the skillful and effective coordination of our activities.
The development of cooperation with large international and regional organizations is one of the priority directions of our foreign policy.
Acting as chairman of the Economic Cooperation Organization, our country developed a draft Resolution “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization” and proposed it for consideration by the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
This Resolution was unanimously adopted on September 9, 2021 at the 102nd plenary meeting of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. This Resolution of international importance was co-sponsored by 10 states.
Let me congratulate all participants on this important event, as well as on the ECO Foundation Day, and wish you all new successes in strengthening our cooperation.
Dear leaders of the member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation!
Dear members of delegations!
Thank you for your active participation in the 15th Summit of our Organization, for the informative and profound speeches presented.
Today’s meeting demonstrated the readiness and determination of all member states to continue to steadily move along the path of cooperation and close interaction, to strengthen our ties in the economy, trade, investment, high technologies, and the humanitarian field.
Numerous proposals, useful ideas and assessments were voiced, which will undoubtedly replenish the arsenal of our partnership, defining clear guidelines for the future.
The discussions that took place showed that the potential of our Organization is enormous, it is capable of taking the most active and significant part in modern world and continental processes as a major and influential subject of international economic relations, contributing to the strengthening of stability and mutual understanding, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and progress.
The summit showed that the consistent strengthening of the ECO, building up its economic potential, logistics capabilities, the formation of effective industrial cooperation schemes, the joint development of projects in energy and transport – all this meets the genuine interests of the peoples of our countries, serves the goals of economic and social growth, improving the quality and level people’s lives.
I am convinced that together we are capable of solving the most difficult problems. Today, in a difficult situation in international relations, crisis phenomena in the global economy, our countries show examples of mutual trust, good neighborliness, responsibility, respect for each other, and readiness to go forward hand in hand. This was clearly confirmed by the current Summit.
Turkmenistan is firmly committed to further close cooperation within the ECO. We will continue our constructive policy of partnership and mutual understanding with all member countries of our Organization, and will assist in enhancing its role and authority.
We are deeply satisfied with the results of today’s meeting, and highly appreciate the support provided to Turkmenistan during its chairmanship, as well as at all stages of preparation for this Summit.
In conclusion, I would like to sincerely thank you for your kind words addressed to Turkmenistan and the Turkmen people, and your support for our international initiatives. All this gives us additional confidence in the correctness of the choice made in favor of broad and active cooperation within the framework of our Organization.
Once again, I congratulate all the participants of the Summit on the ECO Foundation Day, I wish you success and new achievements for the benefit of our peoples and states, their progress and prosperity. /// nCa, 29 November 2021 (picture credit TDH)