“Turkmenistan is now investing heavily in infrastructure, in the construction of which Russian companies are actively involved. The most modern port in the Caspian Sea, Turkmenbashi, was built here,” Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov said in an interview with “Rossiyskaya Gazeta» on the eve of the II Caspian Economic Forum, which started today in Moscow.
Speaking about how trade and economic cooperation between Russia and the Caspian countries is developing, he called projects of industrial production, construction, IT technologies, supplies of pharmaceutical products, light industry products promising for the interaction of Russian business with Turkmenistan.
Maxim Reshetnikov highlighted the role of the trans-Caspian route and the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway in the development of the North-South ITC project.
According to the minister, for Russia, “the Caspian countries are becoming more and more important partners every year – our mutual trade has grown by 54% over the past six years. Our trade volume is $34 billion in 2021.”
According to the results of seven months of this year, despite all the sanctions and restrictions, the trade turnover increased by 10.3% (up to $20.1 billion) compared to the same period of the last year, the minister said.
He noted that the turnover is mainly value-added products. These are food, metals, timber, chemicals, fertilizers, engineering products, and transport.
Sharing his expectations from the CEF, the minister said: “For us, this is an opportunity to get together again and discuss the sore points, to develop a common vision. We have intensive bilateral contacts with all the Caspian countries without exception. Intergovernmental commissions are constantly working, delegations, individual departments, prime ministers travel, there is very intensive work at the presidential level. All questions are known, steps are outlined everywhere, movement is under way. At the forum, among other things, we will discuss the strategic agenda, environmental and climate issues, and epidemiological safety. We need not only to resolve issues for tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, but to look a little further – into 2025-2030.”
The Caspian region unites five countries with a population of more than 270 million people – Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. They account for 12.6% of world exports of energy products and 7% of world exports in general, RG notes.