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2019 †N3-4(168-169)
The state visit by President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in to Turkmenistan was the most important event of the spring part of the political season. Land of the Morning Calm, as Koreans themselves call their Fatherland, has long had a strong interest in developing a technological and political partnership with Turkmenistan. This was clearly evidenced by the Korean president's visit to Ashgabat, where President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in held talks.
As part of the one-on-one meeting followed by the talks with participation of the two delegations, the heads of state discussed the pace of development of the Turkmen-Korean cooperation in the political sphere, in the framework of international organizations, as well as in the trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres.
The talks focused on cooperation in the energy and transport-communications sectors. In this regard, 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 Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan is counting on mutually beneficial cooperation with the Korean businesses, including construction of new industrial facilities using advanced and environmentally friendly technologies.
The leading Korean companies implementing projects on construction and modernization of oil refining and gas chemical complexes were cited as an example of the efficient joint work. Such projects include the construction of a gas processing plant at the Galkynysh (Revival) field and a gas chemical complex for production of polymers in the village of Kiyanly on the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea. In this regard, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov 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. The sides signed the Agreement on the abolition of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official and special passports and the Agreement on cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian sphere.
The sides also signed the Program of Economic Cooperation between the two countries for 2019-2022; the Plan for implementation of cooperation in exchanging of medical workers, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment; the 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 the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies.
To the applause of the signing ceremony participants, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President Moon Jae-in signed a Joint Statement of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea. After the signing ceremony, the Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea made statements for press.
In the second half of the day, the President of the Republic of Korea visited the village of Kipchak near Ashgabat, where he paid tribute to the memory of the first President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurad Niyazov. He laid flowers at the Mausoleum and viewed the Turkmenbashi Spiritual Mosque. Then, the distinguished guest laid flowers at the Monument to Independence of Turkmenistan and planted a tree in the alley of honored guests.
On the last day of his state visit to Turkmenistan, President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in and President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov visited Balkan province, where they viewed a polymer plant in the village of Kiyanly on the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea.
This plant for production of polyethylene and polypropylene was built by South Korean companies LG International and Hyundai Engineering in cooperation with Japanese company TOYO Engineering on the orders of State Concern "Trkmengaz."
The heads of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea met with the staff of the polymer plant, as well as builders who took part in the construction of this gas-chemical complex.
As Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted in his speech, the Korean companies have been making a significant contribution to the development of the chemical and energy industry of Turkmenistan over many years now. The launch of the gas-chemical complex for production of polyethylene and polypropylene is evidence of close cooperation and friendship between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea.
"The promising Turkmen market will be happy to welcome representatives of Korean business, big companies that build facilities using the most advanced technologies, taking into account the environmental component, train qualified personnel and demonstrate interest in effective, sustained and long-term partnership," the President of Turkmenistan said.
In his turn, the President of the Republic of Korea noted that the consortium of Hyundai Engineering and LG International successfully implemented a number of projects in Turkmenistan, helping to establish trusting relations between the business structures of the two states. According to the South Korean leader, this is only the beginning of bilateral economic cooperation, the full potential of which will be realized through the diversification of the gas and chemical industry of Turkmenistan and establishment of industries that manufacture high added-value products.
Addressing the meeting participants, the distinguished guest stressed that their efforts and work would be remembered as a great achievement in the history of friendship and prosperity of the two states.
The Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea joined the staff of the plant for a group photo for memory of their visit. Then, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President Moon Jae-in viewed the major technological installations and engineering facilities of the plant and a pavilion exhibiting polymer products manufactured in Turkmenistan.
Later, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President Moon Jae-in visited the national tourist zone "Avaza" and the Turkmenbashi International Sea Port. Upon completion of his state visit, the South Korean leader left home.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005