Turkmenistan is moving towards an open door policy

18 January 2019

At the invitation of the Turkmenistan Authorities, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Ashgabat, the country’s capital, on 16 and 17 January 2019.  He met with the President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chairman of the State Customs Service for discussions on how to further develop the existing cooperation between Turkmenistan and the WCO.

During a bilateral meeting, H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan, shared his vision of an open door policy focused on building the transport infrastructure, namely airports, seaports, railways and roads, to link his country with its neighbours.  He therefore sought the WCO’s support through the provision of expertise, in order to improve Turkmenistan’s logistics system, and through the organization of seminars.

Secretary General Mikuriya highlighted many of the WCO instruments and tools incorporating best practices from around the world.  He also explained how the WCO’s capacity building policy, based on political support and an ownership approach, was helping Customs administrations identify their needs and priorities.  He went on to underscore the fact that the WCO could support Members with their Customs reforms and improve regional connectivity as a result.  In response, the President agreed to send more Customs staff to WCO-related meetings and to host WCO experts and Members with a view to boosting regional cooperation.

Ways of enhancing several transit routes between Turkmenistan and its neighbours were explored during a bilateral meeting between Mr. Rashid Meredov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Secretary General.  They agreed to send a Turkmenistan Delegation to the WCO to facilitate the country’s accession to WCO Conventions and to develop an action plan in support of the President’s vision.

Dr. Mikuriya also had a meeting with the Customs management team headed by Mr. Atadurdy Osmanov, Chairman of the State Customs Service, during which they concurred on the way forward.  In addition, he visited regional Customs terminals and airport facilities to observe how Customs operates.

During his stay in Ashgabat, Dr. Mikuriya gave a special lecture to students and Professors at the Institute of International Relations, which is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International University of Humanities and Development.