The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy, Baroness Nicholson, arrived in Turkmenistan on 7 June for her first visit to the country. Her programme in Ashgabat included calls on senior members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan and leading a delegation of British companies to participate at the 5th meeting of the Turkmenistan United Kingdom Trade & Industry Council (TUKTIC) which took place in the Yyldyz hotel on 9 June 2016. Some 20 leading British companies, led by Baroness Nicholson and UK Co-Chairman of the Council, Ambassador Ronald Nash, took part.
Discussions during Baroness Nicholson’s meetings at the Cabinet of Ministers was very wide-ranging, and focused on the growing trade relationship between the UK and Turkmenistan; developments and opportunities in Turkmenistan’s financial, banking, education, science and energy sector; support for ongoing reforms in Turkmenistan; and neutral Turkmenistan’s important and constructive contribution to the region’s development.
Baroness Nicholson took the opportunity to encourage even more business between the UK and Turkmenistan, which is already flourishing under the Turkmenistan UK Trade & Industry Council.
During the third day of the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy’s visit to Ashgabat, the 5th meeting of TUKTIC took place with Ambassador Ronald Nash, Co-Chair of TUKTIC giving the opening remarks and Baroness Nicholson the key note speech. The Baroness noted that the “UK can be a trusted and world class partner for Turkmenistan” and that the UK’s approach to building partnerships across the world can help Turkmenistan be competitive in a globalised world. The seminar which followed involved all the visiting British companies and representatives from various Turkmen Ministries to discuss cooperation in a range of sectors such as finance, banking, education, science, energy, construction, aviation, communication and sports. Representatives from the UK underlined in particular their readiness to support Turkmenistan’s preparations for the Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in 2017.
During the event the British Ambassador Mr Sanjay Wadvani, and the Turkmen Vice Premier Mr Hojamammedov ceremonially signed a Double Taxation Agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Turkmenistan. Avoidance of double taxation between the two countries will give an impetus to the expansion of bilateral trade.
The 5th meeting of the Council on 9 June was followed in the evening by an Embassy reception celebrating the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The trade visit takes place over three days, and companies undertook further meetings on Friday 10 June 2016.