News article

UK Ministerial visit to Ashgabat

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The UK’s Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office The Rt. Hon. Baroness Warsi visits Turkmenistan on 10 June 2013.

UK Foreign Office Minister, Baroness Warsi, arrives in Turkmenistan on 10 June for her first visit to the country. Her programme in Ashgabat includes calls on senior members of the Government of Turkmenistan and meetings with British business representatives.

Baroness Warsi’s visit represents a key step forward as the United Kingdom continues to develop its long-term strategic relationship with Turkmenistan, and follows a high-level visit to Ashgabat the previous week by the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy, Charles Hendry MP.

Discussions during Baroness Warsi’s visit will be wide-ranging, and focus on the growing trade relationship between the UK and Turkmenistan; developments and opportunities in Turkmenistan’s energy sector; support for ongoing reforms in Turkmenistan; and neutral Turkmenistan’s important and constructive contribution to the region’s security and stability.

Baroness Warsi will seek to encourage even more business between the UK and Turkmenistan, which is already flourishing under the Turkmenistan UK Trade & Industry Council. Bilateral trade with Turkmenistan was worth a record-breaking £236 million in 2012, an increase of 193% over 2011. But there is room for many more business partnerships not just in and around the energy sector, but also in transport and infrastructure, construction and sport. The UK also wants to ensure that experience and expertise gained from the London Olympics in 2012 is put to good use as Ashgabat prepares to host the 2017 Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games and other major international sporting events.

Baroness Warsi will complete her visit to Turkmenistan on 11 June in Dashoguz, before crossing to Uzbekistan on the next stage of a regional tour.

Baroness Warsi commented:

I am delighted to be visiting as the relationship between Turkmenistan and the United Kingdom moves from strength to strength. I am particularly pleased with the progress being made in our commercial relationship, and will be working hard to promote even more business partnerships between the UK and Turkmenistan across all sectors. I also look forward to developing our broader co-operation agenda, including on energy, on Afghanistan and on our support for Turkmenistan’s programme of reform.