Last week, from 25 September to 1 October 2022, Chairman of the upper house of the Turkmen Parliament Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made a working trip to Japan, during which he took part in the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
He also held a number of bilateral meetings, including with the Prime Minister of Japan, representatives of the Parliament, and heads of some leading companies.
Meeting with Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Japanese Parliament Hosoda Hiroyuki
On 26 September, within the framework of the visit, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Japanese Parliament Hosoda Hiroyuki.
During the conversation, Arkadag put forward a number of proposals to further strengthen inter-parliamentary ties.
Firstly, it is necessary to enhance the work of the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group, secondly, to create and effectively use mechanisms of youth inter-parliamentary interaction, thirdly, to increase the role of women in inter-parliamentary relations, and finally, to intensify the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, he said.
Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan noted the merits of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the development of the Turkmen-Japanese dialogue.
In turn, Hiroyuki, noting that Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of natural gas reserves, stressed his country’s interest in building up partnership with the Turkmen side in the energy sector.
He also supported the ideas of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the development of parliamentary diplomacy.
Berdimuhamedov also said that Turkmen youth are happy to learn Japanese. There are departments of Japanese language in six universities of the country. Only in Ashgabat, the Japanese language is studied in 12 secondary schools.
At the end of the meeting, Arkadag Berdimuhamedov invited Hosoda Hiroyuki to visit Turkmenistan at any time convenient for him.
Working breakfast with Japanese businessmen
On 27 September, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov had a working lunch with the CEOs of the leading Japanese companies: «Kawasaki Heavy Industries», «SANKO SELKO CO. LTD”, “Komatsu Ltd”, “Itochu Corp.”, “Mitsubishi Corp.”, “Sumitomo Corp.”, “Marubeni”, “Sojits Corp.”, “JGC”, as well as with the head of the Japanese sector of the Turkmen-Japanese Committee for Economic Cooperation, Chairman of the Board of the company “Rönesans Holding”.
During his remarks at the meeting, Arkadag noted the contribution of Japanese companies to the development of Turkmen-Japanese economic cooperation.
Corporations “Itochu Corp.”, “Kawasaki Heavy Industries”, “Mitsubishi Corp.”, “Sojits Corp.”, “Sumitomo Corp.” and others have made and continue to make a significant contribution to the development of the Turkmen economy and social sphere, the implementation of major projects in energy, mining of mineral resources, chemical industry, transport, agro-industrial complex.
Over the past 4 years, with the participation of Japanese companies, large industrial facilities have been put into operation in Turkmenistan – a gas chemical complex for the production of ammonia and carbamide in Garabogaz, a polymer plant in Kiyanli, GTG plant in Ovadandepe and a gas turbine power plant in Lebap province.
According to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, a General agreement is currently being implemented for the supply of Komatsu earthmoving equipment to Turkmenistan in the amount of more than US$ 470 million and Toyota motor vehicles worth US$ 90 million.
In addition, 38 investment projects with the participation of Japanese companies totaling over US$ 11 billion, about 230 million euros and almost 17 billion yen have been registered in Turkmenistan.
As Arkadag noted, despite the complicated situation in the world economy, Turkmenistan continues to demonstrate stable economic indicators.
Turkmenistan’s GDP growth remains at the level of more than 6%. Every year, investments in the economy are equal to about 35-40% of GDP, that is about US $ 17 billion. At the same time, the share of foreign investments is up to 15% of the total.
Negotiations are currently underway with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan on an Agreement on the Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments.
The priority areas of partnership with Japan are environmental protection, green and clean energy projects.
This year, with the participation of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and companies, the Japanese side shared its experience in the development of the hydrogen energy industry.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov further expressed hope that the second project for the generation of gasoline from natural gas using sophisticated Kawasaki technology in the field of clean energy will be implemented with the help of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).
During the meeting, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made five concrete proposals for the development of Turkmen-Japanese business cooperation:
- It is advisable to update the Roadmap of Cooperation in the field of infrastructure in Turkmenistan and enrich it with new relevant projects. This document can be signed at the 14th meeting of the Turkmen-Japanese Committee for Economic Cooperation.
- It is necessary to consider the issue of attracting Japanese companies to export high-value-added products from Turkmenistan.
- There is a need for joint work to improve the joint financing mechanism. In particular, Escrow Accounts can be used for the safe conduct of settlements between the buyer and the seller. In addition, various forms of project financing, including such as project financing with payment for manufactured products, direct investments and others can be introduced.
- Turkmenistan is interested in studying the Japanese experience in “green” and hydrogen energy and creating modern high-tech industries.
- Establishing the business of Japanese and Turkmen SMEs in the Turkmen and Japanese markets.
According to Berdimuhamedov, there are all possibilities for the implementation of these proposals – the political will of the leaders, the high level of mutual understanding and trust, stable indicators of economic development, a mutual attitude to the comprehensive and long-term building of business ties.
The meeting also discussed the implementation of the second stage of production and industrial facilities in Turkmenistan jointly with Japanese companies. They include:
- Plant for the production of 600,000 tons of ammonia and 1.15 million tons of carbamide fertilizers in Garabogaz
- Plant for the production of 600,000 tons of gasoline from gas (GTG2) in Ovadandepe
- Plant for the production of 300,000 tons of phosphorus fertilizers in Turkmenabat
- Plant for the production of 640,000 tons of urea and 400,000 tons of ammonia.
Joint work plans and agreements on these issues will be considered at the 14th meeting of the Turkmen-Japanese Committee for Economic Cooperation.
The same day, Chairman Halk Maslahaty held bilateral meetings with the heads of Japanese companies: Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Itochu Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and the Turkish companies Rönesans Holding, Çalik Holding.
State funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
On 27 September, Chairman of the upper house of the Parliament of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took part in the state funeral ceremony of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
In the hall where the funeral ceremony took place, videos were shown telling about the great contribution of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the development of Japan, his meetings with the leaders of foreign countries.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and his wife expressed condolences and sympathy to Mrs. Akie Abe, widow of Shinzo Abe.
Meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan
On 28 September, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida.
The current state and prospects for the development of interstate cooperation were discussed during the meeting. The sides called for the intensification of trade and economic ties.
They also noted the need for further work on potential projects, taking into account the implementation of large-scale and long-term programs in Turkmenistan aimed at industrialization and the creation of knowledge-intensive high-tech industries.
Turkmenistan also attaches great importance to the development of cooperation in the field of transport and communications with Japan. The expediency of launching air service on the Ashgabat–Tokyo–Ashgabat route was stressed.
Meeting with the Chairman of the Parliamentary League of Turkmen-Japanese Friendship
On the same day, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with Chairman of the Parliamentary League of Turkmen-Japanese Friendship, member of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of Japan Endo Toshiaki.
During the conversation, the fruitful cooperation between the two countries within the framework of the Central Asia + Japan Dialogue initiated by Turkmenistan was noted.
The parties paid attention to the development of economic relations between the two countries. The productivity of cooperation in the construction, fuel and energy, cultural and humanitarian spheres was also emphasized.
In particular, Berdimuhamedov recalled that thanks to the great attention of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the development of cooperation with Turkmenistan, over US $ 8 billion were invested in Turkmen economy. These funds were used to implement projects for the production of carbamide, ammonia, gasoline “ECO-93”, polyethylene, polypropylene.
Discussing the development of transport logistics, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that it is planned to start cargo and passenger services on the route Ashgabat–Tokyo and Tokyo–Ashgabat.
Turkmenistan’s transport and logistics capabilities will also create favorable conditions for the export of Japanese products through Turkmenistan to Europe, from the Caspian to the Black Sea, he added.
Bilateral meetings of the Turkmen delegation
During the visit, the Turkmen delegation to Tokyo held a series of bilateral meetings. They included:
- Meeting of representatives of the State Association “Türkmen horses” in the Tokyo Equestrian Complex.
- Meeting of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Berdyniyaz Myatiyev with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Yuumi Yoshikawa
- Meeting of representatives of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan with the companies “Itochu Corp.”, “Mitsubishi Corp.”, “Komatsu Ltd”, “Kawasaki Heavy Industries”
- Meeting of the heads of the State Bank for Foreign Economic Activity with representatives of Japanese banks
- Meeting of the Chairman of the State Concern “Türkmenhimiýa” with the head of the company “JATECO”
- The head of the new administrative center of the Akhal province met with the head of the International Relations Department of the Tokyo Metropolitan Prefecture.
On 1 October, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of the Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov completed a working visit to Japan and returned to Ashgabat. ///nCa, 3 October 2022 (photo source – TDH, screenshots from Turkmen TV)