Bilateral documents signing ceremony was held during Turkmen – Singapore business forum.
The following documents have been signed:
The Agreement on Cooperation between the State Bank of Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan and Bank Association of Singapore and the Agreement on Cooperation between the State Bank of Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan and DBS Bank Ltd. (Development Bank of Singapore);
Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of textile Industry and Indorama Corporation Pte. Ltd.;
In addition, Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Trade and Industrial Chamber of Turkmenistan and Singapore Business Federation. The Memorandum of Understanding between Turkmen State Institute of Economics and Management and the Institute of Management Development of Singapore has also been signed.
The same document was signed by the Ministry of Industry and Communication of Turkmenistan and Singapore Company Pacific International Lines Pte. Ltd, which have agreed on cooperation in transport and logistics.
Two Memoranda of Understanding was signed by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan with Vallianz Holdings and Sun Connect Pte. Ltd.
The second part of business forum was dedicated to industrial complex and transport sphere of Turkmenistan and to cooperation in these sections including with participation of business communities.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
Turkmen – Singapore business forum is to be held in Singapore under the state visit of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the Republic of Singapore.
Meeting of representatives of business circles of two countries is to become a starting event for taking of trade and economic partnership contact to new level, for opening of new points of consolidation of efforts.
The meeting of the conference hall of Shangri La Hotel was forestalled by the exhibition of export goods of our country. It presented the production of textile industry, yarn, fabrics and readymade sewing production including jeans, bright gift bedding, kitchen and bath sets, silk items and ornamented carpets.
It also presented the products made by the facilities of chemical industry of Turkmenistan, which was described in details in informational bulletins and booklets. Bright banners attract the attention to the displays of oil and gas industry, agriculture, food industry and other branches.
Turkmenbashy International Seaport has also presented its display at the exhibition, having demonstrated passenger and commercial fleet, capabilities of cargo transfer and shipbuilding yard.
In addition to pharmaceutical production, the section of medical industry demonstrated herbal teas from the plants growing in Turkmen land, medicine made of licorice, cosmetic face masks based on mineral materials.
Turkmen entrepreneurs also demonstrate their production in Singapore. These are home textile, clothes, washing liquids. Stylish leather footwear, food products, natural fruit juices, confectionary.
Private tourist agencies offered their service in tourism business inviting t make a wonderful trip around historical places of Turkmenistan and to see its modern architectural beauties.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
Turkmen – Singapore business forum, which was timed to the visit of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to this country, started working in Singapore.
More than 40 big companies of Singapore took part in business meeting in the conference hall of Shangri-La Hotel. Specialization of the companies is rather broad. This is production of equipment for oil and gas, chemical, energy, agricultural and food production spheres, construction industry, shipbuilding, transport and communication sphere, trade, banking business, development of software, engineering and other.
Turkmenistan was represented by the heads and specialists of different ministries and departments and members of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
The forum was opened by Teo Xyong Xeng, the Chairman of Singapore Business Federation, which unites more than 25,800 companies as well as the main local and foreign business chambers.
In his speech, he noted that current forum gives good opportunities for study of capabilities of cooperation and investment collaboration. According to his words, trade between Turkmenistan and Singapore was 43.4 billion US dollars in 2018, which is 5 times higher than in 2016.
Being one of the most rapidly growing economies in Central Asia with huge natural resources, Turkmenistan represents huge economic potential for establishment of trade and investment relations, Teo Xyong Xeng said, having announced the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between Singapore Business Federation and Trade and Industrial Chamber of Turkmenistan.
In this context, such priority spheres as oil and gas sphere, energy, chemistry, construction, transport and logistic, agriculture have been mentioned.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
In the afternoon, the conference hall of Berkarar Hotel hosted the meeting of representatives of business circles of Caspian states. Its agenda included topical subjects of establishment of international cooperation, attraction of foreign investments and technologies in different branches of the states of the region, discussion of perspective joint projects.
For example, one of the session was dedicated to the cooperation in oil and gas sphere, its directions and perspectives. Officials of the State Concern Turkmengaz, Malaysian PETRONAS, Chinese CNPC and other took part in the session. The review of activity of big foreign partners in Turkmenistan has been presented and new investment projects in petrochemical sphere were presented.
The investments were the topic of another subject. High-rank delegates of the World and Asian Development Bank, one of the leading Qatari company Al Qamra Holding made speech at the session.
The name of the third session is Industrialization: Look in to the Future. It was held by the Central Asia Regional Head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, who focused on the role of business in this sphere. Big industrial projects initiated by Leader of the nation Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which are implemented by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, practice of Azerbaijan of legal support of business and successful model of free industrial zone on example of free industrial zone in the port of Georgian Poti have been reviewed in this section.
Outcomes of the exchange trades held under Caspian Exhibition of Innovative Technologies have been announced in the end of business forum where 300 heads and representatives f 90 big companies, banks, associations and unions took part.
256 transactions to total amount of 380,179,000 US dollars have been registered at the trades. For foreign currency, brokers from Russia, Turkey, Great Britain, Luxemburg, United Arab Emirates, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and Afghanistan have bought hydro-treated diesel fuel, A-80 gasoline, L – 0.2 – 63 and L – 0,5 – 62 diesel fuel, TC1 jet fuel, total petroleum coke, ECO – 5 hydro-treated diesel fuel produced by Turkmenbashy Refinery complex as well as ECO-93 gasoline and liquefied of the State Concern Turkmengaz. B-type carbamide and technical iodine produced by the State Concern Turkmenhimiya were the subjects of foreign currency transactions.
In addition, cotton yarn and fibre, Portland cement and glass were sold for foreign currency to Russian Federation, UAE, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
For local market, Turkmen entrepreneurs have bought polypropylene and polyethylene to total amount of 43 million manats.
It has been mentioned in the final speech that Turkmenistan has demonstrated again the willingness to start real cooperation in specific strategic directions with Caspian states and with the countries of other regions.
Document signing ceremony, which set out the agreements reached during the meetings and session in the fields of the CEF 2019 was held afterwards. In general, 57 international documents, which are related to cooperation in such spheres as international technologies, investment cooperation, trade and economic and financial sphere, diplomacy, transport, power energy, light industry, agriculture and water management, sport and other areas.
Certificate award ceremony took place afterwards. The Trade and Industrial Chamber of Turkmenistan has been awarded with the certificate for organization of Caspian Exhibition of Innovative Technologies and the first international motor exhibition of Turkmenistan on the territory of Turkmenbashy International Seaport. This certificate was presented by Sergey Gorsky, Deputy Executive Director of Messe Frankfurt, the global leader in organization of motor industry exhibitions.
Awarding this certificate, we welcome the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to organize the exhibition of advanced technologies and the first motor exhibition, which is held in Turkmenbashy and supplements this forum, supporting the promotion of new technologies in industry including in car manufacturing industry, - Mr Gorsky said.
President of the Union of Commercial Chambers and Commodity exchanges of Turkey Rifat Hisarciklyogly and the Secretary General of the Trade and Industry Chamber of the Economic Cooperation Organization Adem Kula have also presented the certificates.
ISO Compliance certificate has been awarded to the State Commodity and Raw Material Exchange of Turkmenistan by the General Project Manager of SGS in Caspian Region Azer Mammadov.
It was mentioned that this certificate is awarded by the results of big work made by the Exchange after the audit and inspection by SGS and is high marks of the final result.
After the ceremony, the briefing was given to representatives of mass media on the outcomes of the meeting of business circles. The main subjects of discussion, outcomes of available capabilities of activation of cooperation have been summed up as well as weighted and comprehensive assessment multidimensional potential of Turkmenistan has been given.
Outcomes of the first day of work of Caspian Economic Forum has been summed up the briefing. The importance of the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on foundation of CEF, which marked the launch of new ground of the dialog of the countries of the region and their international partners where anyone can obtain full information about the dynamics and perspective plans of social and economic development the Caspian Five, exchange the views about latest world trends in different section of economy, receive direct comments on interesting questions from representatives of the Governments, profile ministries and departments, successful businessmen and leading international experts has been highlighted.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
During the period of 11-14 February 2019, Turkmen delegation headed by the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan is on the working visit to the Federal Republic of Germany.
According to the program of the visit, the delegation will participate at the Turkmen-German business forum as well as hold negotiations between representatives of relevant national agencies and German state and private organizations. Among the members of Turkmen delegation, there are heads of the Ministry of Agriculture and Nature Protection, Ministry of Finance and Economy including the Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan as well as the Ahal region municipality. There are also representatives of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan.
On the 12th of February, Turkmen delegation held a meeting with Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The parties noted with satisfaction that traditionally friendly relations established between Turkmenistan and the Federal Republic of Germany reached new frontiers and target-oriented bilateral cooperation evolves at high pace.
The parties also stressed the importance of fruitful economic relations currently existing between Turkmenistan and Germany as well as discussed the issues of widening cooperation in this direction, particularly realizing large investment and innovation projects in the agricultural sphere.
Then the members of Turkmen delegation visited the Innovative Scientific Developments Centre of “Claas” company and visited the agricultural farm.
On the 13th of February, the Turkmen-German business forum opened in the premises of «Deutsche Bank AG» in Berlin.
Georgian delegation, headed by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia, introduced the Georgian investment environment at the Chinese-Georgian Business Forum held in Xiamen. Deputy Ministers of Economy and Sustainable Development – Nino Javakhishvili and Giorgi Cherkezishvili delivered speeches at the Forum. The importance of the Forum in terms of further development of the trade relations between the two countries was specially emphasized.
Within the framework of the visit, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Georgian Government and one of the largest Chinese company CEFC. The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia also signed an Agreement on handling 75% share of the Poti Industrial Zone to the Chinese conglomerate CEFC.
“The Agreement envisages handling of the 75% share, which belonged to the state, and the management right of the Poti Industrial Zone to the CEFC. The Poti Industrial Zone is a very important asset for the economy of the country and its vital to reorganize and actively develop it. We believe that the Chinese company will bring success to the Zone since they have the ability, the power andthe knowledge to manage such a complex and large project. We will start cooperation on this project in the nearest future” – Giorgi Gakharia stated.
“This really is a fact to welcome, as it will facilitate additional cargo inflow through Georgia” – the CEO of the Georgian Railways, Mamuka Bakhtadze noted.
Approximately two hundred Georgian and Chinese private companies participated in the Business Forum.
Georgia offers enormous business potential to those who seek new investment destinations, across a range of the country's fastest growing sectors: clean energy, tourism, manufacturing, regional services, logistics and agribusiness, - with these words Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili addressed businesspersons gathered at the Swiss-Georgian Business Forum. Head of the Government invited investors to Georgia for them to see what Georgia has to offer, choose from the country's menu of opportunities, and give a start to their business in Georgia.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili assessed Georgia-EU Association Agreement including the DCFTA as one of the biggest achievements with regard to FTAs, which means more Georgian products and services on the European market. Prime Minister is convinced that this agreement brings Georgia-EU relations to a qualitatively new level of cooperation. Prime Minister thanked and congratulated the respective delegations for negotiating and concluding the pre-signature procedures with remarkable efficiency. He noted that in view of the recent developments in the context of United Kingdom's referendum on leaving the EU, achieving higher level of integration with the EFTA countries is crucially important.
"Georgia concluded FTA with EFTA and Iceland beat England in football match yesterday - I think there is some common sense about it. In the wake of this important milestone, today's event is a perfect platform to introduce Georgia to Swiss investors and present the latest economic trends and investment opportunities to you," - Prime Minister noted. He also elaborated on recent successes and short-to-medium plans that are relevant to the national and regional economic agenda. Giorgi Kvirikashvili listed opportunities that Georgia can offer to its fast-growing network of international investors,
"First and foremost, we are a country with an open-door policy and a favorable investment environment. According to the World Bank, we are one of the easiest countries in the world to do business in. We have the 9th lowest tax burdens in the world, according to the World Economic Forum. Despite the tough security challenges and political turbulences we face both regionally and transnationally, Georgia remains a politically stable safe haven, where all companies can enjoy a secure and predictable business environment. Moreover, while these regional challenges inevitably disrupt economic development processes, Georgia still maintains decent economic growth. All the major credit rating agencies consider us stable. The compound annual growth of GDP in the recent period of 5 years is 4.9%, and Georgia is widely expected to maintain steady growth for years to come.
FDI inflow in the Georgian economy over the last years is characterized by growth. In Q1 2016, FDI showed 103% growth compared to same period of last year. This is the highest FDI volume since 2008. In fact, FDI in Georgia amounted to $1.35 billion in 2015," - Prime Minister indicated.
As for the access to international markets, Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted that Georgia sits at the heart of a vast and growing network of free trade deals, spanning from the EU, Turkey, the CIS countries and now EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland).
Prime Minister assessed Georgia-EU Association Agreement including the DCFTA as one of the biggest achievements and added that this agreement makes Georgia's political and economic integration with the EU irreversible. It brings Georgia-EU relations to a qualitatively new level of cooperation. We are confident that this should contribute to the transformation of the country into a genuine European State. We have embarked on a demanding process of implementation of wide-scale reforms, including approximation of the EU acquis, which will bring Georgia in line with European business standards and practices.
While we are beginning to enjoy closer trade and economic integration with the EU, soon we will become the first country in the region to enjoy a free trade agreement with both the EU and China. We are in the final stages of FTA negotiations with China, which we hope to see concluded by the end of this year.
Georgia is a country of only 3.7 million people. Relying solely on our pro-business environment and enlarged market size through FTAs is certainly not enough to fully maximize profit. The next most important factor contributing to the state's overall competitive advantage is Georgia's favorable location and proximity to different trade-heavy markets. Georgia has historically played an important geostrategic role in the South Caucasus region, and this is most certainly still the case today. Georgia provides the shortest possible route linking East with West and North with South. Looking ahead, Georgia will be key to unlocking this region's ultimate success as a superhighway of trade and communication," - Prime Minister stated.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgia has become an important transit country and energy corridor.
"Pipelines linking Caspian oil and gas fields to Turkey and Europe pass through Georgia, as well as new road and rail networks that make Georgia an important logistical hub. The further development of our Black Sea ports, including the new Anaklia Deep Sea Port, strengthen Georgia's role as a Silk Road shortcut. To sum up, Georgia is progressively growing into its natural role of a regional hub," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili indicated.
Prime Minister outlines one of the fastest growing and thriving business sectors of Georgia - which is Tourism & Hospitality. According to the Head of the Government, over recent years, Georgia has seen its number of international visitors multiply - from 2007, the average annual number of international travelers has been increasing by a yearly 23% average.
"In 2015, the number of international visitors stood at 5.9 million, which exceeds the 3.7 million population of Georgia. There are no Real Estate Ownership Restrictions and Georgia offers considerable potential to develop Hotel & Leisure premises, including beach resorts, wellness and SPA destinations, winter-ski resorts and four season resorts. The tourism sector is also boosted by the secure environment in the country.
For example, The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index -2015/2016 ranks Georgia as the 16th most secure country in the world, just 5 steps behind Switzerland, which stands in 11th position. The number of international tourist arrivals is expected to grow by 8-10% during the next five years, generating more demand for infrastructure and stimulating investments" - Prime Minister stated.
According to him, Georgia is committed to sustain engagement with global markets and ready to compete for investments.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili listed several success stories with regard to the Swiss investments in Georgia, including "Blauenstein Georgia", which was established with Georgian-Swiss investment in Racha region in 2008. "The company has created unique cooperation model that is fully in line with local reality. We are ready to provide support, including financial assistance through Georgian sovereign fund. I would like to emphasize once again that this model fully meets demands of the Georgian reality. Namely, local farmers retain ownership over the land parcels and company reaches economy of scale without obtaining plots from small farmers. Hence, the process of implementation of new models and expertise in Georgian agriculture is ongoing. Government of Georgia believes that respective model may be applied in all mountainous regions of Georgia and Government continues to support the process of expanding this model to other regions.
Another success story is the Joint Stock Company "Margebeli", a holding established by Georgian and Swiss private investors on the Georgian market through conglomeration of the four biggest companies operating in various sectors of our economy. Nowadays, Margebeli JSC owns five operating companies, including one of the leading producers of mineral water in Georgia, Healthy Water JSC, and a food processing company, Marneuli Food Factory. I believe that today's event will open new opportunities for Georgian and Swiss companies to increase cooperation in the future", - Prime Minister stated and thanked Georgian businesspersons who arrived in Bern to attend the meeting as well as Swiss businesspersons present there.
Head of the Government elaborated on Government's 4-point reform plan that ensures sustainable and inclusive development and aims at making Georgia a smarter place to invest and to do business.
„The pillars of 4P Reform Plan are: Education reform that covers professional education and remodeling of the higher education funding mechanisms; Economic Development reforms, Education, Infrastructure Service Development and Open governance. We have already initiated the Corporate Income Tax Reform, with the aim of fostering an efficient and growth-friendly tax system. Under the new system, which will be effective from January next year, only distributed income will be taxed - retained earnings will be exempt. We have also started a Pension Reform and Reforms for capital market development. These are only a few examples of our very rich Economic Development Reform agenda. Considerable investments and efforts will be aimed at further reforming the educational system in order to bridge the gap between professional supply and impending demand. Our plan is to significantly accelerate the development of spinal road infrastructure by building east-west and south-north corridors. Georgia's potential as a key "Silk Road" country between Europe and Asia must be fully unlocked, as it will also increase population mobility and the country's touristic potential. Finally, by fostering open governance, we seek to further increase private sector involvement in the legislative process, and to modernize the delivery of public services", - Prime Minister indicated.
Prime Minister is convinced that there is a perfect possibility of lasting partnership between Georgia and Switzerland.
"I can see and appreciate your interest. And of course, I can just say thank you!"- Prime Minister addressed businesspersons gathered at the Swiss-Georgian Business Forum organized by the Georgian Investment Agency. Around 60 businesspersons attended the meeting. ,Head of the Georgian Investment Agency Giorgi Pertaia conducted a detailed presentation on the investment opportunities in Georgia. Successful investments in Georgia and business0friendly environment was discussed by founder of "Blauenstein Georgia" Max Blauenstein and noted that the company intends to increase the volume of investments in Georgia.
The Business forum has been holding in Batumi is attended by the President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska. The aim is to deepen business and trade cooperation between Georgia and Slovakia. The investment and tourist potential of Adjara region was presented to the Slovakian businessman. The Presidents of Georgia and Slovakia delivered speech.
Giorgi Margvelashvili highlighted the potential of economical projects and tourist investments. As he said, Georgia is interesting country for investors because the country has the lowest tax rates in the region, lowest corruption level and very high rates of business start.
“Three important hotels have been opened and two more will be opened in this year. They are too large hotels with 4 000 apartments. We are the country which connects Caspian and Black Seas. We are a country that is involved in the project is the most important part of the Silk Road. We are a country that has free trade with Europe, ”-Giorgi Margvelashvili said.
Prospects of deepening Georgian-Slovak trade and economic relations, partnership in the energy sector, information technologies, logistics, transportation, infrastructure and commerce were discussed today at the Georgian-Slovak Business Forum. Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska opened the event.
In his speech Prime Minister of Georgia elaborated on the partnership between the countries and expressed hope that the Forum will contribute to the deepening of Georgian-Slovak economic relations.
"We have very dynamic trade relations with Slovakia, which have steadily increased in the past few years. But we believe there is still an untapped potential and ample opportunities for investment and trade between our countries," - Prime Minister noted.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili also presented the capacities of Georgia and the government's reform agenda. Pursuant to him, the government is following bold reform agenda that aims at reinforcement of the democratic institutions, support to the economic development and the European integration.
"Georgia has always been part of European civilization and I want to emphasize that our path to European integration is irreversible. By signing the Association Agreement with the EU (including the DCFTA) in 2014, we took a major step towards our European goal. We have made steady progress in establishing European regulations and standards in Georgia. We are also pleased to have the steadfast support of Slovakia in pursuing our Euro-Atlantic ambitions," - Prime Minister noted.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, economic policy of Georgia is oriented on free, fair, inclusive and sustainable development. He also outlined the foreign trade policy priorities.
"Georgia has one of the most liberal foreign trade policies in the world that implies facilitated foreign trade regime and customs procedures, low import tariffs and minimal non-tariff regulations. One of our top priorities is diversification of our export through integration into the world's leading markets," - Prime Minister clarified.
In his address Prime Minister of Georgia thoroughly elaborated on the ongoing reforms in Georgia that encompass refinement of the tax legislation and administration; open governance and increased citizen participation in decision-making; acceleration of construction of basic infrastructure; reform of the higher and professional education systems.
"Georgia continues its broad and comprehensive reforms designed to improve further the business environment, create new jobs, enhance export possibilities and increase the welfare of citizens," - Prime Minister declared.
Prime Minister also presented the opportunities offered by the Techno Park of Georgia to the participants of the Forum. Pursuant to him, in the near future Startup Program will become fully operational thus enabling its beneficiaries to acquire funding and implement their business ideas. Prime Minister expressed hope that young persons will not have to queue for employment and will engage in entrepreneurial activities instead.
President of the Slovak republic Andrej Kiska elaborated on the need for deepening Georgian-Slovak relations. Pursuant to him, utilization of the existing potential will be truly beneficial for the both countries.
Within the framework of the Georgian-Slovak Business Forum Memorandum of Understanding between the Georgian National Investment Agency and Slovak Agency for International Development was adopted.
As Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said, over 17 million was spent on the EBRD annual meeting and business forum, and at least 14 million in real estate will be left to the state.
The Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili have observed preparations for the EBRD events to be held at the Youth Palace today.
According to Irakli Garibashvili, everything was done at the highest level. He also thanked the EBRD for holding this event in Tbilisi.
“Holding such an important meeting in Tbilisi was achieved thanks to the implemented reforms and projects”, - stressed Irakli Garibashvili.
He said he looks forward to the arrival of various delegations in Tbilisi. He expressed his readiness to do the same in the future as well.