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2020 †N9-10(186-187)
This year's celebration of Turkmenistan's independence featured two events in Ashgabat - an exhibition of economic achievements of Turkmenistan and a conference titled "Digital Economy - the Most Important Factor of Economic Development" - that helped to fully comprehend the dynamics of digitalization of the Turkmen economy. Members of parliament and government, representatives of the diplomatic corps, as well as ministries and departments, public associations and mass media took part in the forum opening ceremony. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov's welcoming address to the forum participants was read out during the ceremony.
Over 70 exhibitors demonstrated their capacities and quality of products and services during the festive exhibition. The exhibition participants included dozens of private companies and individual entrepreneurs. The leading branches of the national economy, such as the fuel and energy complex, the chemical industry, transport, communications, the construction and textile industries were the most represented at the exhibition.
The fuel and energy complex, being the core sector of the national economy, was exhibited in the industrial section. The stands of the State Concerns Turkmenneft, Turkmengaz, the Turkmenbashi complex of oil refineries presented the key stages of implementation of large-scale projects, such as development of the Galkynysh gas field, production of purified commercial gas, construction of the transnational gas pipeline Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India.
The stand of the State Concern Turkmenhimiya comprehensively presented the dynamics of growth of the chemical industry: production of mineral fertilizers, various oil products, building materials, industrial processing of underground iodine-bromine waters and salt waters of the Garabogazgol Bay. One of the chemical industry exhibition sections demonstrated the progress in construction of plants for production of potash fertilizers (potassium chloride and potassium sulfate), combined fertilizers, carbon black and ethyl alcohol. Projects of plants for production of liquefied gas, urea and ammonia from natural gas, graphite electrodes that were presented at the exhibition looked very promising in terms of attracting foreign investments.
The stands of specialized state-owned enterprises presented the aspects of implementation of programmatic transformations in the field of transport and communications, creation of a combined system of transport communications with access to the largest international and regional sea, road, rail and air hubs.
A separate section of the exhibition was devoted to road construction. And this is no coincidence. Highways, bridges, overpasses and junctions are being built in the country, and this requires effective engineering solutions and application of advanced technologies. In this regard, the exhibition featured a variety of samples of products from companies specializing in construction of such facilities. The exhibition participants also included logistics companies whose work is of particular importance in the context of implementation of large-scale international projects. Many of them already proved their capacity to transport oversized cargo using digital technologies.
The growth dynamics of the national construction industry was displayed on the stands of specialized departments, as well as big enterprises of the industry that produce facing stone, cement, brick, panel blocks, nonmetallic building materials, pipe products, metal structures, finishing, paint and varnish, facing and insulation materials, plumbing and electrical engineering products.
One of the leading export-oriented sectors of the national economy, the Ministry of Textile Industry, presented a wide range of cotton and silk fabrics, garments and knitwear. The exhibits of this section also included ornamental carpets, samples of hand-made embroidery and woven souvenirs.
The expositions of the agro-industrial complex were traditionally of great interest for visitors. Fruits and vegetables grown in farmlands and greenhouses, bakery, confectionery, sausage and dairy products, juices and drinks, canned food, as well as natural honey were presented there.
Representatives of private business become increasingly stronger in various production areas. Turkmen entrepreneurs and private commodity producers specialize in various fields - from agriculture and food industry, textile and furniture production, printing activities to construction of modern residential complexes and industrial enterprises. The presentation of capacities of members of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan in the implementation of the national Digitalization Concept was one of the features of the exhibition.
The foreign exhibitors included organizations and companies participating in the implementation of joint projects in the areas of urban planning and industry, as well as in building road and transport infrastructure.
The scientific-practical conference "Digital Economy - the Most Important Factor of Economic Development" started on the day of exhibition opening. It was organized by the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan. The forum participants heard the reports on the pace of development of the digital economy in Turkmenistan, the role of digitalization in the social protection system, modernization of national statistics and the education system.
In their reports, the conference participants emphasized that digitalization is a qualitatively new stage for the national economy, the transition to which is now possible thanks to the thoughtful and scientifically grounded strategy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in the field of socio-economic development that led to sustainable growth dynamics and minimization of risks caused by external factors. The reports noted that flexible reallocation of financial resources between various sectors of the national economy would contribute to solving social problems, maintaining the stability of the economy and gradual shift of all industries to an innovative platform.
The conference participants discussed the role of digitalization in the social protection system, in modernization of national statistics and technological diversification, as well as in the education system. They exchanged views on the prospects for investment activities, production of import-substituting products, development of science-intensive and high-tech industries and the electronics industry in particular.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005