The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985.—Ed.
In the Autumn of 1991, Turkmenistan proclaimed itself as an independent state. The independence is valuable for each citizen of Turkmenistan. After gaining its independence, Turkmenistan got the opportunity to freely interact with the rest of the world. The Neutrality of Turkmenistan is inseparably connected with its Independence, since the statehood gave our country the opportunity to implement its independent policy around the world. Thus, Turkmenistan freely expresses its position on any regional or international issues with its full openness.
Turkmenistan’s international reputation has constantly increased. On December 12, 1995, with the unanimous support of 185 member states of the United Nations Organization, the UN General Assembly adopted a Special Resolution that granted international legal status to Turkmenistan as the permanent Neutral state.
Being a political, economic, intellectual and cultural center, Turkmenistan was recognized by the international community as an independent state and gained the reputation of a country with constructive foreign policy, domestic peace and stability, as well as a country with definite actions of implementing market reforms.
Under the leadership of the President of Turkmenistan, today Independent and Neutral Turkmenistan successfully conducts a multilateral and integrated foreign policy based on clear principles and clear goals. Hence, the activities carried out within the framework of the "Concept of the foreign policy of Neutral Turkmenistan for 2022-2028" developed and approved by the Turkmen leader of the Turkmen State is a clear example of this success.
The President of Turkmenistan H.E. Mr. Serdar Berdimuhamedov said, "The Motherland is our national doctrine, which originates in the depths of millennia. Love for the Motherland is a pure feeling, forever rooted in our hearts. Therefore, it is the sacred duty of each of us to glorify throughout the world the great achievements of our Independent Neutral Motherland, a country of peace and friendship. After all, a Motherland is the Motherland only with its people! State is the state only with the people”.
The rapid development of the national economy, with an average growth rate of 6 percent in the last five years, has contributed to the GDP per capita growth of Turkmenistan. GDP growth is ensured by the State's investment policy and the amount of foreign investment.
Regarding the current priorities in the economic development of Turkmenistan, the turnover of the retail trade in January-August of 2022 increased by 10.5 percent compared to the equivalent period of 2021. Due to the foreign economic policy conducted in Turkmenistan based on the principles of mutually beneficial international cooperation, the volume of foreign trade turnover increased by 38.6 percent compared to the equivalent period of 2021.
According to the results of the eight months of 2022, the revenue of the State budget was fulfilled by 106.3 percent, whereas the expenditure by 97.5 percent. 80.9 percent of the State budget was allocated to financing the social sphere. The average salary in large and medium-sized enterprises of Turkmenistan increased by 10.4 percent compared to the equivalent period of 2021.
According to the results of 2021, Turkmenistan achieved the highest level of natural gas production during the years of its independence, in particular 83 billion 772.9 million cubic meters of natural gas were produced.
Presently another large-scale energy project that goes beyond the boundaries of the region both economically and politically is being realized.
This large-scale project is the construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. The gas pipeline will benefit the development of economies of the countries, participating in this project, and strengthen the political stability of the entire region.
It is no coincidence that the continuous integration into the world transport network and the further expansion of the national infrastructure in the direction of the main corridors, connecting the East-West and North-South routes are among the main tasks for the near future. The creation of important transport corridors in this area is of great importance in order to realize the goals of revival of the Great Silk Road and unifying the two major economic regions of Eurasia.
Taking into account the current complex conditions in the transportation network of the world, with the initiative of Turkmenistan, on 29 July 2021, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Strengthening the links between all modes of transport to ensure stable and reliable international transport for sustainable development during and after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic”.
In order to fulfill the tasks arising from this Resolution, the Government of Turkmenistan, under the auspices of the United Nations, successfully organized an international Ministerial Transport Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries on August 15-16, 2022.
During the above-mentioned international conference, the participants emphasized the importance of transport sector for sustainable economic development of countries, especially developing landlocked countries, and further expansion of all areas of regional and international intergovernmental relations. However, in order to build an efficient transportation network, along with efforts at the national level, there is a need for coordinated multi-stakeholder cooperation to establish sustainable networks, create and develop transit corridors. This issue is particularly important during the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery period.
Overall, as the main part foreign policy of Turkmenistan, these major projects aimed at the development of transit cooperation are not only economically and commercially beneficial, but also have a positive impact on the general situation in the region and beyond, ensuring stability and security in Asia, that is also becoming an important geopolitical condition with vital impact on all forms of regional political communications.
New frontiers of effective cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea
One of the priority directions of the foreign policy of our country under the leadership of the President of Turkmenistan H.E. Mr. Serdar Berdimuhamedov is the development of friendly, equal, mutually beneficial bilateral relations with all countries of the world.
Being a member of more than 50 major international organizations, Turkmenistan established diplomatic relations with 151 countries of the world.
Continuous political dialogue at various levels of interstate relations, the aspiration to expand trade-economic relations and strengthening cultural-humanitarian cooperation have a positive effect on system-oriented cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea.
The diplomatic relations between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea were established on February 7, 1992 and over the years our countries have accumulated big experience of friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation.
In order to attract the latest technologies and leading ideas to the national economy, as well as to make more effective use of its export opportunities, Turkmenistan is particularly interested in strengthening and modernizing the effective relations with the Republic of Korea in various fields, especially in the trade and economic sphere. During the recent years, a vast experience of friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries was accumulated.
It is important to note that the influence of the Asia-Pacific region on global politics, world economy and financial industry is growing. According to the President of Turkmenistan, Turkmenistan has strategic interests in this region, especially in trade, economy, energy, transport and communication sectors. In terms of expanding multilateral cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region, Turkmenistan pays great attention to expanding and strengthening relations with the Republic of Korea. Relations between Turkmenistan and South Korea are characterized by mutual understanding, trust and positive cooperation.
In order to understand the rapidly developing Turkmen-Korean cooperation and the importance of this direction of mutual actions, it is necessary to look to the history and the present trends of the Korean economy.
One of the main directions and priorities of the foreign economic activities of Korea today is to finance the foreign economies and to export the advanced technologies and its products.
As an equal member of the global community, Turkmenistan attaches great importance to the geo-economic aspect of international cooperation. At the same time, Turkmenistan expresses its readiness to use its rich natural and mineral resources for the benefit of the global community for the purpose of providing the new qualitative approach to the present international relations. Turkmenistan's favorable geographic location at the junction of Asia and Europe, connecting East and West, serves as an important factor for the domestic development as well as complies with the interests of broader international cooperation.
In today's reality, where the global economy is developing at a high pace, the role of global industry, trade, economy and financial-investment sectors are becoming more important in solving the social responsibilities.
The implementation of this issue depends largely on the level of efficient cooperation between countries in these priority areas. It is worth mentioning that Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea share matching or similar views on various issues of cooperation, especially in the field of trade and economy.
The Embassy of Turkmenistan in the Republic of Korea