Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, June 11 / Trend H. Hasanov /
A Turkmen delegation headed by deputy chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov will be on a working visit to Riga up to June 13, 2013, the Turkmen government said today.
The delegation will take part in the annual high-level meeting on intercontinental transport communication 'Arteries connect the heart of Asia with the world'.
The Latvian government invited representatives from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, European countries ,the US, Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, China, Turkey , Georgia, South Korea, Japan, the EU and NATO as participants.
According to the Latvian Foreign Ministry's website, Riga offered to discuss the integration of Afghanistan and Central Asian countries in the regional and global economic processes.
"It is time to connect historical and geographical parts of Eurasia and trade routes of such global markets as Europe, China, Russia, Iran, the Middle East, India, Pakistan and the coast of the Pacific Ocean through Central Asia," the Latvian Foreign Ministry said.
Ashgabat is actively working in this direction.
The Atamyrat-Ymamnazar-Akin rail section was laid in the Lebap region of Turkmenistan in early June as part of the implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan international railway project. Turkmen, Afghan and Tajik presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Hamid Karzai and Emomoli Rahmon attended the ceremony.
The event was held in the framework of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding signed in March this year in Ashgabat.
Those countries interested in the project's implementation are awaiting support from international financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.
As for relations between Turkmenistan and Latvia, they were given impetus by the official visit of the President of Turkmenistan to Latvia in September of last year and the return visit of the Latvian President Andris Berzins to Turkmenistan in May this year.
Other topics were the prospects for cooperation in the field of tourism and transport and in particular port infrastructure, the improvement of which Turkmenistan which is located on the coast of the sea gates of the Caspian Sea, has prioritised. In November last year, the Latvian Minister of Transport Aivis Ronis made a working visit to Turkmenistan.
The parties are currently discussing cooperation on logistics and overland transit routes between Turkmenistan and Latvia in order to develop effective and mutually beneficial solutions for transhipment. The volume of mutual trade is increasing. In 2011, trade turnover between Turkmenistan and Latvia grew more than 1.5 times compared to the previous year amounting to $125 million. It is expected this figure will double in the future.
The head of the Riga Shipbuilding Plant and director of Eiroholdings Vasily Melniks held a meeting with the State Service of Maritime and River Transport of Turkmenistan in March this year.
Turkmenbashi port is preparing for a major upgrade of its maritime infrastructure. According to experts, a full-scale transformation will require significant investments. Dozens of foreign companies and a number of financial institutions around the world have expressed their desire to participate in the modernisation of a naval harbour.