Turkmenistan interested in increasing energy exports to Tajikistan

Turkmenistan is interested in increasing energy exports to Tajikistan, as well as the import of agricultural and industrial products from Tajikistan, Turkmen Ambassador to Tajikistan Chinar Rustamova said at a briefing in Dushanbe on Monday, Avesta.Tj reported.

She said that in the first half of 2012, exports of Turkmen oil products to Tajikistan amounted to about 33,000 tons. "It's not a huge amount given the energy of Turkmenistan," the ambassador said.

She noted that this figure can be increased by 3-4 times, if regional projects in the areas of building power lines, gas pipeline and transportation routes discussed recently are implemented.

"All of these projects, respectively, can link Turkmenistan and Tajikistan through Afghanistan, relations with which have become stronger. Currently, Turkmenistan increases electricity export to Afghanistan. Issues of implementation of the TAPI (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India) gas project and a railway project in Afghanistan are widely discussed. Tajikistan can join these projects, particularly rail, allowing it to increase the volume of trade with its partners, including Turkmenistan," Rustamova said.

Speaking about economic cooperation between the two countries, Rustamova noted that there is a mutual interest to enhance cooperation in the field of light industry, especially in the textile industry.

"Parties may establish cooperation in the water industry, especially the export of drinking water to Turkmenistan. Tajikistan discusses with Afghanistan and Iran cooperation in this area, and this area could become another area of bilateral Tajik-Turkmen cooperation," she said.

Touching on cultural relations, Rustamova said that with the financial assistance of the Government of Turkmenistan to the end of this year construction of a secondary school for 520 pupils will begin in Jilikul district (Tajikistan).

"At present, the technical issues of the project, valued at $ 3 million, are being resolved and it (the project) will be fully funded by the Turkmen side," the diplomat concluded.