State visit of the President of Turkmenistan to Singapore in the world press

Meeting of Turkmen leader with the Government of Singapore has raised the interest of the world leading new agencies, which announced the visit in their news lines already in preparation stage. Therefore, the attention of the world press was attracted to the meeting in the last two days on August 26 and 27.

Undoubtedly, national mass media central newspapers, other printing and electronic including private media, TV and radio channels, highlighted the visit of the President of Turkmenistan more actively. It was local media that were the source of information for foreign websites and portals, many of which provided their comments on the information about events in Singapore. The subject of the visit occupied special place in the content of Singapore daily press, which became the best evidence of keen interest of reading audience of this country in modern Turkmenistan, its foreign and home policy.

For example, one of the oldest and competent publications of Singapore, English the Straits Times, cited the State Minister of Trade and Industry of this country Koh Poh Koon: Singapore companies already study the cooperation with Turkmenistan in the sphere of chemical and private education and there is a potential for further increment of trade routes.

He said about this at the first Turkmen � Singapore business forum, which was organized under the state visit of the President of Turkmenistan. Nine agreements (12 during the visit) have been signed at the forum. According to Dr Koh, the volume of bilateral trade between our countries already shows the potential of growth.

Chairman of Business Federation of Singapore Teo Xiong Xeng noted in his greeting speech that current trade indicators reflect the increment of export from Singapore to Turkmenistan by five times, which means growing interest of business circles of both countries in each other. Machinery, equipment and rubber are the main export goods of the Republic of Singapore to Turkmenistan.

It is no wonder that some Singapore companies recognized economic potential of Turkmenistan and took some measures for establishment of trade and investment relations as Turkmenistan, which is confidently led by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, is one of the rapidly growing economies in Central Asia and has huge natural reserves, Mr Teo said.

Mass media of Singapore have also cited the forecast of Asian Development bank that the growth rates of Turkmenistan this year would be 6 percent, having added that gas reserves in our country are the fourth in the world by the estimate of experts.

Number of media has published the extracts from the speeches of Turkmen official delegation at business forum, for example, about that 'investments are main instruments of diversification of Turkmenistan's economics', and that 'share of investments to the economy of the country is more than 30 percent of the GDP every year'. It was said that share of foreign investments is up to 13 percent from total volume and the volume of investments to the country was 11.5 billion US dollars in 2018.

The fact that economic aspect is an imperative dominant of modern Turkmen � Singapore relations was confirmed by bilateral meetings and business talks in Singapore, which were included to the programme of visit of Turkmen government delegation.

International CNA agency called the first state visit of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Singapore a historical milestone referring to the declaration of President of Singapore Halimah Yakob. This visit has opened new article in the relations, which Mrs Yakob characterized as 'friendly and problem-free' as diplomatic relations have been established 23 years ago. She noted that our countries have many things in common despite geographic distance: Our countries focus on economic development and enhancement of human capital.

According to her, Turkmenistan has 'huge potential' for attraction of great number of visitors to its white-marble capital Ashgabat as well as to the objects of the UNESCO World Heritage such as the city of the great Silk Road Ancient Merv. These attractions may raise the interest of Singapore people, - Mrs Halimah Yakob said.

In addition, she noted that Singapore hopes to welcome more Turkmen delegations for exchange of practice and intensification of understanding. Singapore is ready to share our model of development on relative fields with Turkmenistan � she added.

In its statement for the press, the Foreign Ministry of Singapore noted that the Presidents of both countries confirmed friendly relations between two states and discussed the ways of expansion of cooperation.

Singapore Foreign Ministry has also noted that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov confirmed close cooperation between two countries in different international formats at the meeting in Istana Palace. The meeting resulted in signing of three agreements � on cooperation in legal sphere, on avoiding of double taxation and on cancellation of visa requirements.

In its turn, the IRAS has noted that comprehensive Agreement on avoiding of double taxation would improve transboundary trade and investments between two states. It reduces the incomes tax rates on the incomes from transboundary entrepreneurship activity and set tax rights of both jurisdictions for minimization of double taxation.

Information of Singapore and Turkmenistan mass media about the visit has also been published by Asian and European press, which noted potential capabilities of both countries for joint activity in oil and gas, energy and chemical industry, construction, transport and logistic, agriculture.

Many media have paid attention to the proposal of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to create the mechanisms of development of trade and economic relations, in particular, such as organization of business forums, exhibitions and meeting of experts on regular base.

The Head of Turkmenistan suggested to hold second Turkmen � Singapore business forum in Ashgabat as well as invited President of Singapore Halimah Yakob to make a visit to Turkmenistan at any convenient time.

Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta has also commented on the meeting of the President of Turkmenistan with representatives of Singapore business circles, which was held in Shangri-La Hotel on August 27: Ashgabat considers Singapore as one of perspective trade and economic partners of Turkmenistan. However, the Head of Turkmen state noted that Singapore does not use existing potential of beneficial cooperation to the full extent. According to his words, only six investment projects with participation of Singapore companies and five companies with Singapore capital are registered in Turkmenistan.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta reminded that another Singapore company, GP Global Equipment Pte. Ltd received the contract for project design and construction of gas compressor station before the visit of Turkmen leader to Singapore. Its construction has to be started in September this year and to be completed in February 2022. The station will be located at ZA�kli-Derweze gas treatment facility of the complex of gas condensate fields in Central Karakums. Its annual output capacity will be 2 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Foreign press noted that Singapore, which is by right takes leading positions among developed countries of the world, is considered as one of the most important strategic partners of Turkmenistan, in cooperation with which it is planned to have number of significant joint projects promising big economic benefit not only to participating countries but to entire region as well.

According to international political scientists and analysts, the orientation of Turkmenistan and Singapore to adding new dynamics to bilateral relations is mainly explained by similarity of the strategy of social and economic development. It is based on the orientation to high-speed model of economic growth, attraction of foreign investments and technologies, use of the best world practice and pragmatic combination of key tools of industrialization � import substitution and export orientation, which allows both countries achieving significant success in modernization of economy and considerable progress in social sphere.

Foreign mass media stated that in general, constructive character of the meetings and talks in Singapore, positive intention of the sides to activate and expand the dialog as well as reached agreements, which are to make the base for development of long-term partnership, all of these gives confidence that the state visit of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov would brig the dialog of two countries to new level.

Source: Turkmenistan State News Agency-TDH