The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in, who arrived in Turkmenistan on a three-day state visit on the first leg of his three-nation tour in Central Asia, announced plans to boost cooperation in energy and infrastructure.
The top-level talks between the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in with the participation of the official delegations of the two countries took place at the Oguzhan Palace Complex in the capital Ashgabat on Wednesday.
As part of the one-on-one meeting followed by the talks with participation of the two delegations, the two leaders discussed the pace of development of the Turkmen-Korean cooperation in political, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres.
The Turkmen leader noted that Turkmenistan has an abundance of natural resources, growing industrial and transport infrastructure and an agricultural sector, while the Republic of Korea has modern technologies and production facilities. According to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan is counting on mutually beneficial cooperation with the Korean businesses that includes construction of new industrial facilities using advanced technologies.
The two leaders agreed to forge ahead with Korea’s New Northern Policy and Turkmenistan’s development of its transportation infrastructure. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also suggested that the sides should look into the possibility of implementing joint energy projects in Turkmenistan in the near future.
The talks between the two delegations concluded with the ceremony of signing bilateral documents, including an Agreement on abolition of the visa regime for holders of diplomatic, official and special passports and an Agreement on cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian sphere.
The sides also signed a Program of Economic Cooperation between the two countries for 2019-2022, a Plan for implementation of cooperation in exchanging medical workers, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, a Protocol on amendments to the Convention on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies.
Moon also visited a gas chemical plant in Kiyanly in the country’s western coast on Thursday after an hour-long flight from the capital Ashgabat accompanied by the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The petrochemical plant worth more than 3.4 billion US dollars was built by an international consortium led by South Korea's Hyundai Engineering Co. More 120 Korean companies took part in the implementation of the project, which was started in November 2014 and completed in September 2018.
Moon was briefed on the plant and visited key facilities producing polyethylene and polypropylene. He congratulated South Korean representatives on the successful construction without a single accident, noting that this is a globally unprecedented record set at such a large scale construction site.
“I believe the Kiyanly plant project is only the start of economic cooperation between the two countries. The possibility that lies ahead is much greater and limitless,” Moon said, meeting with South Korean workers in Kiyanly. “The potential of Turkmenistan is not only in natural resources. Now the country is actively pursuing a value-added petrochemical industry and industrial diversification. Furthermore, it is transforming itself into a logistics hub in Eurasia”.
Before wrapping up his visit to Turkmenistan, Moon vowed support for Turkmenistan’s development efforts and South Korean companies working with the Central Asian nation.