ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Jan. 8
By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:
Iran is an important foreign trade partner of Turkmenistan, Trend reports referring to official sources of Ashgabat.
Turkmenistan supplies oil products, electricity and textile products to Iran. In turn, Iran exports vegetables, fruits, building materials, products from ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics, ceramics and vehicles to Turkmenistan.
Until recently, Turkmenistan’s main export products included natural gas, and Iran ranked second in terms of gas procurement volumes after China.
However, Turkmenistan had to limit the supply of its natural gas to Iran from Jan. 1, 2017 due to a $1.8 billion-debt for deliveries in 2007-2008. Tehran claimed that Turkmen gas supplies just stopped suddenly.
Iran can receive Turkmen gas through several branches and the key one is the Korpeje- Kordkuy gas pipeline, which was commissioned in December 1995. In 2010, an additional gas pipeline was opened along the Dovletabad-Serakhs-Hangeran route.
Meanwhile, Iranian Mehr news agency reported last year that Iran and Turkmenistan are working together on the Gonbadli border hydrocarbon field. For a long time, gas production there has been problematic due to the low pressure in the gas reservoir, and it was possible to achieve noticeable success only starting from March 2012.
The two states also built the Dostluk (Friendship) border dam and completed the North-South Railway Project, based on a tripartite agreement signed in 2007 with the participation of Turkmenistan, Iran and Kazakhstan.
Turkmen experts believe that strengthening cooperation with Iran can contribute to the expansion of Turkmenistan’s exports to many other countries through the Persian Gulf terminals, as well as through pipeline, railway infrastructure and power lines.
In May 2018, the Iranian side proposed to open a direct flight on Tehran-Ashgabat and Mashhad-Ashgabat routes.
The Turkmen Ministry of Finance and Economy reported that 142 companies of various forms of ownership with the participation of Iranian capital, including companies with limited liability, subsidiaries, representative offices and branches are registered in the country.