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Nine agreements inked at the Singapore-Turkmenistan Business Forum to bolster business ties between the two countries

  • Organised in conjunction with the state visit of His Excellency Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan and his accompanying delegation
  • Nine agreements, including seven Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) signed to promote business collaboration between Singapore and Turkmenistan
  • Potential business opportunities in the Oil & Gas, Energy & Chemicals, Construction, Transport & Logistics, Agriculture sectors
Monday, 26 August 2019 [Singapore] Eighty representatives from close to 70 Singapore companies attended the Singapore-Turkmenistan Business Forum, jointly organised by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan.

Organised in conjunction with the state visit of His Excellency Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan from 27 to 28 August 2019, the event was graced by Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry as well as His Excellency Chary Gylyjoy, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan.

The business forum provided participants with updates on the Turkmenistan economy and business environment and gave the Singapore community an in-depth look into emerging opportunities, particularly in the Oil & Gas, Energy & Chemicals, Construction, Transport & Logistics, and Agriculture sectors.

Nine agreements, including seven MoUs, were signed in the presence of Dr Koh and H.E. Gylyjoy:
    1. MoU between the Singapore Business Federation and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan to pave the way for more exchanges of market and business information between Turkmenistan and Singapore.
    2. MoU between Indorama Corporation Singapore and the state-owned chemical company Turkmenhimiya to collaborate on the development and modernisation of the chemical and fertiliser sectors in Turkmenistan.
    3. MoU between Indorama Corporation Singapore and the Ministry of Textile Industry of Turkmenistan to work together to further the development of Turkmenistan’s textile industry, leveraging Indorama’s experience to enable Turkmenistan to value-add to its raw cotton production.
    4. MoU between Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and Turkmen State Institute of Economy and Management for cooperation between higher education institutions from both countries and to contribute to the growth and development of education in Turkmenistan.
    5. MoU between Sunkonnect and the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan to facilitate consultations between both parties and execute renewable energy projects in Turkmenistan.
    6. MoU between Pacific International Lines and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications of Turkmenistan to cooperate in projects to develop the transportation and logistics network of Turkmenistan.
    7. MoU between Vallianz Holdings and Nurly Tolkun, Member of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan to facilitate cooperation and closer consultations for related projects.
    8. Cooperation agreement between the Association of Banks in Singapore and the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan to strengthen collaboration in banking and financial services, including cross-border money transfers and payments.
    9. Cooperation agreement between DBS Bank Ltd and the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan with the aim to expand trade, financial, and economic cooperation between Turkmenistan and Singapore.
The positive response to the forum reflects the high level of interest of the Singapore business community in opportunities in Turkmenistan, SBF Chairman Mr S.S. Teo noted. This is the first such business forum since diplomatic relations between Singapore and Turkmenistan was established in 1996.

With a growth rate of 6.2% in 2018 and a forecasted growth rate of 6% in 2019, according to the Asian Development Bank, Turkmenistan is one of the fastest growing economies in Central Asia. In addition to cotton and natural gas, the country is rich in in petroleum, sulphur, iodine, salt, bentonite clays, limestone, gypsum, and cement – all potential inputs to the chemical and construction industries.

Singapore’s bilateral trade with Turkmenistan grew from S$16.3 million in 2016 to S$43.4 million in 2018 , driven largely by a five-fold increase in Singapore’s exports to Turkmenistan. Singapore’s main exports to Turkmenistan include machinery and equipment, mineral fuels and rubber.

SBF Chairman Mr S.S. Teo said, “Endowed with vast natural resources, Central Asia, with its strategic geographic location between the world’s largest markets, presents investment opportunities for Singapore businesses, as the region aims to become a major international logistical and trading hub.

“Turkmenistan is no exception. We hope today’s forum will be the start of many more to come and will help to increase awareness among companies of investment opportunities in both countries. As Singapore companies look to invest in Turkmenistan, we hope to attract Turkmenistan companies to use Singapore as base for entry into markets in the region.”

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