Turkmen and Russian companies have signed over 50 deals worth nearly $2.2 billion following a business forum held in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat.
"Following the two-day forum, Russian and Turkmen companies signed over 50 bilateral agreements worth a total of 150bn rubles [about $2.2 billion]," TASS quoted a Russian deputy minister of economic development, Dmitriy Volvach, as saying on January 20.
"Turkmenistan is a reliable partner in the field of industrial cooperation. The businessmen of our countries are ready to develop new projects. Projects on upgrading the rolling stock of the Turkmen railways, freight cars and equipment are being implemented with the support of the Russian Export Centre. The leadership of the centre worked at the forum on these days," the official added.
He also said that Russia was now implementing over 20 investment projects costing $3.5bn in Turkmenistan.
Representatives from 220 Russian companies and 110 Turkmen companies, from the sectors of industry, agribusiness, transport, logistics, IT and education, attended the Russian-Turkmen Business Forum.
The forum was held as part of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin's official visit to Turkmenistan who arrived in the Central Asian country on January 19. He was leading a Russian delegation including hundreds of businessmen, "who are ready for close cooperation with their Turkmen partners".
Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedow held talks with Mishustin on January 20 to discuss developing economic cooperation between the two countries. The two sides had a one-to-one meeting first and then chaired a meeting attended by all members of the two countries' delegations.
"Our country attaches great importance to comprehensive cooperation with Russia which is based on strategic partnership. A special role is also assigned to regular contacts at the highest and high levels. Such meetings give an impetus to bilateral partnership and contribute to developing new ideas and launching new projects," the Turkmen president said at the meeting.
In his turn, the Russian prime minister stressed the importance of developing trade and economic cooperation and mutual trade based on the existing mutual potential and was in favor of finding new directions in all areas of partnership.
A number of bilateral documents had been signed as part of Mishustin's official visit to the Central Asian country, including an agreement on cooperation in the field of migration; a document on cooperation in training specialists; a protocol on cooperation in the fight against customs violations in 2023-25; a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on fishery; a protocol on the integration of information systems to protect plants; an action plan (roadmap) on cooperation in the field of water use and ecology; an agreement on cooperation in the spheres of transport and logistics and etc.
Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredow said at the Turkmen-Russian business forum that his country is planning to develop energy cooperation with Russia.
"Speaking about energy, I would like to note bilateral cooperation in all its three main components - gas, oil and electricity. We note here the growing activity of the [Russian] companies Tatneft and Gazprom in Turkmenistan's oil and gas sectors. We are planning to develop joint activities in the oil and gas industry," Meredow said on 19 January, according to TASS.
The minister noted that both sides were now discussing involving the Russian company Silovyye Mashiny (Power Machines) in a project on upgrading the Mary hydroelectric power station and a thermal power station in the town of Turkmenbashi.
Meredow also said that the transport of Russian goods to Turkmenistan nearly quadrupled in 2022 compared with the previous year.
"Special priority is being given here to cooperation in the field of rail transport and shipbuilding. First of all, we are speaking about the operation of the eastern route of the 'North - South' international transport and transit corridor. We are working on this topic with our Russian partners, specifically with the management of the Russian Railways company," the Turkmen minister said.
He also called on forum participants to "use more actively the opportunities for transport cooperation in the Caspian Sea - between the Turkmen port of Turkmenbashi and Russia's Astrakhan and Makhachkala".
At a working meeting in Ashgabat on January 19, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak and his Turkmen counterpart, Shakhym Abdrakhmanov, discussed cooperation in the areas of oil and gas, electricity, renewable energy and peaceful nuclear energy.
Russian companies offered their services in the modernisation of Turkmenistan's electricity system. The Russian delegation also offered cooperation in the oil and gas supply, the construction of gas infrastructure and the preservation of environmental safety in the Caspian Sea and the participation in joint field development projects in Turkmenistan.