Expert Aronsky about future of Turkmenistan following ECO summit

He stressed that the country had an opportunity to enter the European gas markets without building a gas pipeline.

On December 3, in an interview to, Yuri Aronsky, chairman of the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan, member of the coordinating council of the International Union of Economists, summed up and assessed the prospects of the 15th summit of the heads of state of the Economic Cooperation Organization. He focused on the future of Turkmenistan within the ECO. 

It should be recalled that the meeting of the presidents of the respective countries was held in Ashgabat on November 28. It was attended by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, as well as the Secretary General of the ECO Khusrav Noziri.

IV Business Forum of ECO Member States

On November 26, the IV business forum of the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization was held. It was noted that, since trade continues to be a key engine of economic development and a tool for socio-economic integration, the expansion of trade is a priority in the work of ECO. And since transport and logistics are a very important component for the sustainable development of the ECO region as a whole, the improvement of transport corridors and their management becomes an institutional priority of the ECO, and that makes it possible to link them with neighboring regions in order to ensure access to international markets.

As a result of the business forum, a number of documents were signed and export-import contracts worth more than 35.5 million dollars were signed.

Berdimuhamedov’s speech

At the summit the leaders of the ECO countries assessed the economic situation in the region and the world, and gave specific proposals for the development of economic cooperation in modern conditions. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that in 2020 the trade turnover between the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization amounted to 49 billion 800 million dollars, which, in his opinion, does not reflect the potential of the organization.

Turkmenistan advocates for the development of the transport and energy spheres, which today are the defining trend of global economic growth. According to the leader of the country, the use of the transport and logistics infrastructure of Turkmenistan will contribute to the intensification of 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 the Asia-Pacific region.

Ashgabat Consensus for Actions

On November 28, the presidents and prime minister of the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization adopted the final document of the summit — the Ashgabat Consensus for Actions.

The leaders showed their commitment to promoting the effective and efficient implementation of the ECO Vision 2025 in its six key areas of cooperation: trade, transport and connectivity, energy, tourism, economic growth and productivity, social welfare and the environment. The parties also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fight against coronavirus infection in order to effectively, efficiently and jointly overcome the consequences of the pandemic in the economies of the region.

A decision was made to increase the level of internal regional trade, increase the contribution of the ECO region to global trade within negotiations on the creation of an ECO Free Trade Zone.

Trade turnover worth 100 billion dollars

Turkmenistan has become the ECO’s observer on time. The peoples of the ECO countries have a similar mentality, many common traditions, cultural and economic ties, sea and land borders; all this allows them to jointly successfully develop the economy of the entire region and each country separately. And, as noted at the summit, today there is a real opportunity to practically double the trade turnover between the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization, bringing it to 100 billion dollars a year.

Supplies of Turkmen gas to Azerbaijan

At the summit, Turkmenistan agreed on swap deliveries of natural gas to Azerbaijan through Iran. The tripartite contract implies 1.2-2 billion cubic meters of gas delivery that will start on December 25 this year.

It is planned to supply 5-6 million cubic meters of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Iran daily. This gas will partly go to some Iranian provinces, where the gas production sector is underdeveloped.

Window to Europe

This contract is important for Turkmenistan because it will allow the country to enter the European gas markets through Azerbaijan without building a gas pipeline across the Caspian Sea. From an economic perspective, gas supplies through Iran to the European region are most beneficial for our country, and even though the gas «window to Europe» is not very large, it is still very important and has a great future.

Thus, the results of the 15th ECO summit in Ashgabat should be considered successful, and the documents signed on the sidelines of the summit are practically important and are already being implemented.

04 12 2021, 10:58
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