Ministers of Economic Profile Met with IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department Director
Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili and Minister of Finance Lasha Khutsishvili met with Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund, who was on a working visit to Georgia.
According to the administration of the Ministry of Economics, the IMF Resident Representative for Georgia, Selim Chakir as well as Deputy Ministers and the Heads of Departments of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development attended the meeting.
The parties reviewed the issues related to cooperation between Georgia and the International Monetary Fund. The importance of the new three-year program aimed at further strengthening of macroeconomic stability, increasing medium-term growth prospects in the face of existing challenges in the region, promoting the continuation of structural reforms, including public finance management, state enterprise reforms and energy support schemes, was also covered during the meeting.
Georgian side informed the Director for the Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund about the current situation in the country’s economy, indicators of economic growth for 5 months of the current year, as well as future forecasts. It was emphasized that Georgia has quite a successful experience in managing external shocks and despite the current geopolitical shock, by implementing an immediate and effective economic policy, the economy of Georgia maintains high rates of economic growth, sustainability and macroeconomic stability.
As Selim Chakir noted, the authorities have shown significant progress in the direction of strengthening the regulation and supervision of the financial sector. According to the Chakir, the IMF supports the economic program developed by the government, which is focused on reducing fiscal deficit, inflation and external vulnerabilities, as well as structural reforms necessary to boost growth.
At the end of the meeting, the parties confirmed readiness to continue cooperation in the process of implementing economic and structural reforms important for the country.
FIFTH CENTRAL ASIAN EXPERT FORUM
On December 10, 2022, the Fifth Central Asian Expert Forum "Actual aspects of regional cooperation on climate change, water use, food security and information and communication technologies in the Central Asian region" was held in the Turkmen capital.
The event was organized by the Scientific Center for Strategic Studies of the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan with the assistance of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.
The purpose of the event is to discuss topical issues of ensuring regional cooperation, development of common strategic approaches, practical proposals and recommendations for the governments of the states of the region in agreed areas by the leading experts of the Central Asian countries.
The regular meeting was attended by heads and experts of the Institutes for Strategic Studies of the Central Asian States, heads and representatives of diplomatic missions, UNRCCA, faculty and students of the IMO MFA, and media representatives.
The forum program included three sessions: "Cooperation in combating climate change in Central Asia in the light of the decisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), water cooperation in the Aral Sea Basin", "Issues of food security in the Central Asian region", " Problems of ensuring security in the field of information and communication technologies”.
During the meeting, the measures taken in the countries of Central Asia to mitigate the effects of climate change, and the possibility of attracting the resources of international financial institutions, in particular, the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), were discussed.
The importance of analyzing the emerging realities, identifying priority areas for mutually beneficial cooperation based on a thorough and critical study of the key processes of regional development and trends in interstate relations, and achieving concrete results that can make the CA region more secure, stable and prosperous was noted.
Speaking about integrated approaches to protecting cyberspace, ensuring information security at the national and regional levels, the participants noted that at present all countries of the region have adopted and are implementing their own strategic and conceptual documents aimed at developing the digital society, as well as countering cyber threats.
In conclusion, the participants expressed their sincere gratitude to President Serdar Berdimuhamedov for his support in holding this forum at a high level, noting with satisfaction that it would give an important impetus to the further development of cooperation between the countries of Central Asia in addressing topical regional issues.
MEETING OF THE MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF TURKMENISTAN AND THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
On behalf of the President of Turkmenistan, the government delegation of Turkmenistan headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov is in the Russian Federation on a two-day visit.
On December 6, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R.Meredov met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia S.Lavrov.
Opening the meeting, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted the friendly, dynamic and consistent nature of bilateral relations developing on the principles of mutual respect, equality and trust. “Turkmenistan is our close friend, strategic partner. Russia pays great attention to cooperation with Turkmenistan in regional and international affairs. The tone of our relations is set by the Presidents of the two countries, who have held 5 meetings this year alone,” Sergey Lavrov emphasized.
He also highlighted the importance of bilateral inter-parliamentary cooperation, the interaction of Russian regions with Turkmenistan, which makes a significant positive contribution to the course of interstate relations.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan expressed confidence that the current talks would be an important step in bilateral relations and emphasized the main factor in their successful development - high-level meetings.
The head of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry expressed gratitude to Russia for the continued support of Turkmenistan's international initiatives, including in such areas as energy security, sustainable transport, ecology, and a number of other areas.
The officials discussed in detail the state of and prospects for interaction in the foreign policy arena, in particular, in matters of maintaining and strengthening regional and global stability, cooperation on the Caspian and Aral Sea issues, and jointly countering new challenges and threats. The effectiveness of interaction between Turkmenistan and Russia in international organizations, including the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Independent States, was noted.
The issues of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, which in recent years have acquired noticeable dynamics and specifics, have taken their due place in the negotiations.
During the talks, the importance of expanding cultural and humanitarian ties was noted. In this context, S.Lavrov highly appreciated the careful attitude in Turkmenistan to the Russian language and culture. In this regard, the decision taken at the state level to construct a new building of the Russian Drama Theater named after M. Pushkin, and to create the Russian-Turkmen University, was acknowledged
The parties reaffirmed their firm mutual commitment to the further development of strategic partnership that meet the fundamental interests of the two countries and contribute to ensuring peace, stability and development on a regional and global scale.
Following the results of the negotiations, the Cooperation Program between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation for
2023-2024 was signed.
Turkmenistan assumes chairmanship in the Forum "Central Asia - Republic of Korea"
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov took part in the 15th Cooperation Forum "Central Asia - the Republic of Korea", which was held on Tuesday, October 25, in the city of Pusan.
Speaking at the forum, Rashid Meredov noted that "the main task today is the solidarity of the countries of Central Asia and the Republic of Korea in maintaining universal long-term peace and stability," according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
According to Meredov, in modern conditions "the role of political and diplomatic interaction between our countries is growing, establishing a regular and open exchange of views on issues of mutual interest," the press service of the Foreign Ministry notes.
Meredov drew the attention of the Korean side to the great potential for cooperation in high-tech industries, including telecommunications and space, in water desalination projects.
As a result of the meeting, the Joint Statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Work Plan of the Secretariat of the Central Asia-Republic of Korea Cooperation Forum for 2023 were adopted.
On the sidelines of the forum, Rashid Meredov met with Pusan Mayor Pak Hyeong-Jun, discussing with him the possibilities of developing relations between the seaports of Turkmenbashi and Pusan, exchanging experience in the field of port management, and in the future - establishing sister city relations between them.
Issues of promoting partnerships in the fields of information and digital technologies, transport and communications, shipbuilding, water and forestry, architecture and urban planning were considered.
Rashid Meredov also met with his South Korean counterpart Pak Jin. The head of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said that Turkmenistan, with a sense of gratitude and high responsibility, takes over the chairmanship of the Forum and starts preparing for the next, 16th meeting of the Republic of Korea-Central Asia Forum in 2023 in Ashgabat.
The parties expressed confidence that the official visit of Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty - the Upper House of the Turkmen Parliament Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the Republic of Korea in November this year will open a new page in the history of bilateral relations.
AIR ASTANA RECEIVES SKYTRAX BEST AIRLINE IN CENTRAL ASIA & CIS AWARD FOR THE TENTH TIME
Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has received prestigious Skytrax awards for “Best Airline in Central Asia and CIS” for the tenth time and “Best Service in Central Asia and CIS” for the first time. Awards were presented to all winners at a Skytrax Awards ceremony in London today.
“Since it was launched 20 years ago, Air Astana steadily built a reputation for safety, efficiency and outstanding customer service. We are once again honoured to receive awards from Skytrax today, which perfectly reflect our commitment to the very highest standards of excellence and recognition from our devoted passengers. I would like to thank every one of our almost six thousand staff for their professionalism and dedication on this proud occasion,” said Peter Foster, President and CEO of Air Astana.
"Air Astana is celebrating its tenth win this year. The airline's management and employees should be proud of this success and of winning the award for Best Airline and Best Service in Central Asia and CIS. The past two years have been very challenging for the aviation industry; therefore, this award confirms the high quality service that Air Astana continues to provide to its customers,” said Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax Awards.
Winners of Skytrax Awards are determined through an annual passenger survey. More than 300 airlines were evaluated between September 2021 and August 2022. More than 14 million people from 100 nationalities participated in this survey in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. Survey participants rated the airline's website, check-in and boarding procedures, cabin cleanliness, IFE, crew appearance and service, food quality, comfort of seats and more.
Air Astana received the Skytrax "Best Airline in Central Asia and India" award for the first time in 2011 and this was followed a year later by being the first airline in the CIS and Eastern Europe to receive a four-star Skytrax award. From 2013 to 2015, Air Astana was awarded the Skytrax Award for “Best Service in Central Asia and India” and in 2021, it was certified by Skytrax for COVID-19.
Georgian Prime Minister’s meeting with IMF Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with the Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The meeting focused on the close cooperation between Georgia and the IMF, with a special emphasis on the new program recently approved by the IMF, especially in light of the situation in the region.
The parties discussed the country's economic situation and macroeconomic parameters, underlining that Georgia maintains positive dynamics, with the average economic growth in January-May reaching 11.2%.
Irakli Garibashvili highlighted concrete directions prioritized by the Georgian government, including the importance of energy independence, reinforcing infrastructure, ensuring food safety, and implementing structural reforms.
The Prime Minister thanked Jihad Azour for support and the work carried out by the IMF for the benefit of Georgia.
The meeting at the Government Administration was attended by the Assistant to The Director of Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund, Francisco Parodi, and the IMF Resident Representative for Georgia. Selim Cakir.
Press Service of the Government Administration