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Berdymuhammedov to Seek Japanese Investment

Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov is to go to Japan in December to attend a meeting of the Turkmen-Japanese Economic Committee.

He is likely to discuss plans for Japanese investments in a water desalination plant and a polypropylene factory.

Turkmen-Japanese relations are principally economic, and the joint committee was set up in 1994.

Companies like Itochu, Mitsubishi and Mitsui have been active in Turkmenistan, building roads, providing excavation machinery, and refurbishing gas processing plants.

In 1996, the two countries discussed a pipeline which would run from Turkmenistan via China and South Korea to Japan, but the plan would have been costly and never came to anything.

NBCentral Asia observers say Japan’s high-tech knowledge base and investment capacity make it a promising partner for Turkmenistan, which is in dire need of modern technology.

“If a favourable investment environment is created for Japanese businesses, and customs and taxation procedures are eased, there could be a major breakthrough to the benefit for the Turkmen economy,” said Annadurdy Khajiev, a Turkmen economic analyst based in Bulgaria.

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