STATEMENT by the National Leader of the Turkmen people and Chairman of the People's Council of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, at the high-level conference within the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
(Beijing, October 18, 2023)
Dear Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished heads and members of delegations,
First and foremost, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the President of the People's Republic of China, the esteemed Xi Jinping, for his initiative to convene the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, as well as for its exceptional organization and the warm hospitality extended to us.
The convening of this meeting stands as a highly relevant and essential event. Recent global realities, marked by the pandemic, increased instability, and a decline in trust and predictability, have adversely affected global economic activity. These challenges have disrupted interconnectivity and diminished the effectiveness of sustainable development plans and programs.
To overcome these negative factors, it is imperative that we unite the efforts of nations and international institutions, displaying solidarity in shaping a constructive and forward-looking agenda founded on goodwill, responsibility, and foresight.
From this perspective, the essence of Turkmenistan's "Revival of the Great Silk Road" strategy aligns with our vision of the future geo-economic landscape of Eurasia. It also corresponds with China's "One Belt, One Road" strategy, which emphasizes principles such as equality, consideration of partner interests, mutual benefit, and respect for the diversity of cultural and spiritual values. A vital element of the Turkmen approach is the depoliticization of cooperation, moving towards diversified and inclusive energy and transportation networks with broad international participation.
Built upon our rich historical experience of friendship and good neighborliness between the Turkmen and Chinese peoples, as well as our present-day shared interests, Turkmenistan and China have successfully forged a partnership in the context of these two strategies. They complement each other and are designed to propel economic development in Eurasia, connecting regions from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean based on contemporary criteria. By creating integrated production and technological cycles and industrial corridors, they contribute to resolving societal challenges, enhancing the quality of life, and improving the well-being of our peoples.
A striking example of this approach is the Turkmen-Chinese energy partnership. The inauguration of the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China in 2009 laid the foundation for a new energy landscape on the continent, opening avenues for the involvement of other nations on a mutually beneficial and equitable basis. Progress in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project mirrors this approach.
Presently, we are actively working to expand the geographical reach and scale of international Turkmen natural gas and electricity supplies. Infrastructure such as power transmission lines and fiber-optic communication connections has been established from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and several significant projects in these sectors are on our cooperation agenda.
Another vital domain is transportation. Turkmenistan, in partnership with other nations, is creating an extensive network of combined transport and logistics infrastructure along both East-West and North-South axes. In the future, this network will include transit corridors to regions around the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea basin, and the Baltic States. These corridors are of particular significance, especially in the context of major national transportation and communication projects in Turkmenistan and the development of new port infrastructure on the Caspian Sea.
One of our key initiatives involves establishing a transportation corridor from China through Central Asia to the Turkmen Caspian coast, extending to Iran and the Middle East. This corridor can also facilitate transit in the opposite direction, reaching the Asia-Pacific region and South Asian countries.
Our endeavors are aimed at fully unlocking the potential of transcontinental transportation, involving various modes of transportation such as railways, road networks, air routes, and the creation of logistics hubs at key junctions. The Turkmenbashi International Seaport is one of these hubs, and we are prepared to offer its facilities for use in the interests of our partners.
Coordinated transport diplomacy, aimed at consolidating joint efforts to enhance the efficiency of international corridors and logistics systems, is increasingly pertinent. It is worth noting that Turkmenistan, as one of the initiators of the global dialogue on sustainable transport, has been taking practical steps in this direction for many years. Our consistent efforts have led to the adoption of six General Assembly resolutions on transport in recent years, all of which were initiated by Turkmenistan.
I would like to emphasize that Turkmenistan's transport strategy is aligned with modern trends and the world economy's objective requirements. Therefore, I am convinced that it serves the interests of the majority of states committed to establishing an effective, stable, and equitable system in this crucial sphere.
One of the primary objectives of Turkmenistan's international collaboration is to strike a balance between industrial activities and environmental protection, ensuring environmental safety. This forms the foundation of our concept of the Green Silk Road. In this context, Turkmenistan's proposal to establish a specialized institution, the Regional Center for Climate Change Technologies, is both logical and timely. We are prepared to provide the necessary technical and organizational support for this Center, which is envisioned to be located in our capital, Ashgabat.
Furthermore, Turkmenistan is resolute in its commitment to reduce and eliminate the adverse effects of carbon dioxide and methane emissions into the atmosphere. This includes a gradual transition to the adoption and utilization of modern, environmentally friendly, and resource-efficient technologies, particularly in the energy, industrial, and transportation sectors.
Turkmenistan is also actively engaged in international cooperation in the field of hydrogen energy. We consider these initiatives as significant and practical contributions to the creation of "green corridors" of cooperation, particularly within the frameworks of the "Revival of the Great Silk Road" and "One Belt, One Road" strategies.
Economic interconnectivity, international technology exchange, and the sharing of expertise, skills, and methodologies are intrinsic elements of global development. These factors necessitate closer cooperation in production, the establishment of integrated technological and digital platforms, and joint communication systems. All of these initiatives aim to construct a comprehensive and sustainable framework for global cooperation, not only in a technical sense.
In our view, the concept of political logistics is currently relevant. We perceive it as a multi-tiered system of interaction among nations that share a vision of economic development and cooperation, free from political biases and ideological stereotypes. This system is based on principles of equality, mutual respect, and the consideration of each other's interests.
Distinguished heads and members of delegations,
I have no doubt that this esteemed and influential forum, which brings together representatives from numerous states with significant potential, can provide the necessary momentum for this process and the achievement of our established objectives.
I thank you for your attention and wish you successful deliberations!