According to local media, bread and flour are becoming much more expensive in Turkmenistan’s state stores. The price of a kilogram of flour is being quoted at 3.5 manat ($1 at the state rate or $0.18 at the black market rate), instead of the one manat ($0.30 at the state rate or $0.05 at the black market rate) previously. Similarly, the cost of a loaf of bread has increased to 2.5 manats ($0.72 or $0.13) from one manat ($0.3 or $0.05). The food ration limit has stayed the same despite the price increases: one person can still only purchase three loaves of bread and five kilograms of flour. In Turkmenistan, state and private stores have entirely different prices. Private stores offer everything, but many families often cannot afford the goods. Although the prices in state stores are significantly lower, scarcity is a common issue, and there's a rationing quota that caps the quantity of goods sold to each individual. Additionally, lines frequently form in state stores because of the influx of customers looking to purchase bread at reduced prices. This occasionally leads to sad consequences; according to Turkmenistan’s domestic mass media, a woman was killed in a fight in the Tashkhovuz region last summer while purchasing subsidized flour. People in Turkmenistan prefer to purchase flour imported from Kazakhstan over local flour found in state stores, in part due to the country's growing demand for flour and bakery products, according to a report by Tukrman News. For instance, people in the Maryam region claim that Kazakh flour costs just slightly more and is of higher quality. A 50-kilogram bag of local flour costs at least 180 manat ($51.50), while the price of Kazakh flour is 200 manat ($60.10). However, according to some shoppers, Turkmen flour smells bad and looks gray in color. It is not available in infinite quantities: there is still a five-kilogram per person ration quota in place. According to people cited by Turkmen news, in addition to the price of bread and flour, prices for fertilizers, irrigation water and leases for the use of state equipment have increased several times. Unfortunately, farmers who rent land from the government aren't receiving any additional income from the increase in retail purchase prices.
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The founder of the Russian e-commerce platform Wildberries Tatyana Bakalchuk has mentioned in an interview with RIA Novosti that the company is planning on entering the Tajikistan and Turkmenistan markets. "We recognize that we must increase the geographic area in which we operate in order to sustain [our] growth rate. First, we are examining the bordering nations. We are already present throughout the nations that make up the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union). We are now heading to the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) nations; for instance, we will be entering the market of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan," Bakalchuk said. Furthermore, RIA cited Bakalchuk as saying that the organization is presently attempting to establish a logistics network in Azerbaijan. “The Persian Gulf nations and the UAE market both pique our interest. Representatives from the Middle East, for instance, attended the forum 'Russia - Islamic World' in May, and many of them showed interest in our work. Thus, we will carefully consider the UAE and the Persian Gulf countries in this regard. We have already begun negotiations with a few nations." Wildberries currently operates in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The company is an international online store that sells clothing, footwear, electronics, home furnishings and other items across thousands of categories. As of April 2023 it was the ninth-most visited e-commerce portal in the world, according to Statista data. The company was established in Russia in 2004 by husband-and-wife team Vladislav and Tatyana Bakalchuk.
On February 6th the management of Turkmen state company Turkmenneft met with representatives of the Emirati oil & gas company Dragon Oil. The delegation from Dragon Oil was led by the company's by CEO Ali Rashid Al-Jarwan, the International Information Center of Turkmenistan reported. The two sides discussed prospects for further cooperation in the oil & gas sector, taking into account their combined experience and Turkmenistan's large-scale plans for developing its fuel and energy complex.
Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov led a delegation from Turkmenistan, which visited Japan from January 22nd to 23rd. During the visit, the development of bilateral cooperation and the organization of the first Summit of Heads of State of the Central Asia-Japan Dialogue were discussed. According to information received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, the diplomats met with Yoshimashi Hayashi, Secretary General of the Japanese Cabinet of Ministers During the visit, they discussed the involvement of Japanese companies in the export of high value-added products, diversification of project financing, study of experience in "green" and hydrogen energy, as well as the creation of modern high-tech industries. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Japanese companies showed great interest in cooperation in infrastructure and energy transition. Meredov also met with Ken Saito, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan. A number of important issues related to cooperation between Central Asia and Japan were discussed. A proposal was made to hold the next Ministerial Dialogue on Energy Economy within the framework of the Dialogue "CA+Japan". The topic of developing a Roadmap on decarbonization, which will be aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources, was also touched upon. One of the key topics of discussion was the possibility of introducing the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM). This mechanism will allow the countries of Central Asia and Japan to share knowledge, technologies and resources in the field of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transition to sustainable development. The topic of developing cooperation in the field of e-commerce was also touched upon. The idea is to create an electronic platform to improve trade relations between CA and Japan. This will reduce trade barriers and simplify procedures for importing and exporting goods. Finally, joint work in the field of hydrogen development and transportation technologies was discussed. Hydrogen is one of the promising sources of energy, and its efficient utilization can have a significant impact on addressing climate change. This meeting was an important step in strengthening cooperation between Turkmenistan and Japan in the fields of economy, trade and industry. It opens new perspectives for the development of the energy sector, industry, trade and technology.
During a working visit to Japan on January 22nd, the Turkmen foreign minister, Rashid Meredov, held a meeting with the chief cabinet secretary of Japan, Yoshimasa Hayashi. They exchanged views on the current state of their countries' bilateral cooperation in priority areas, the Turkmen Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported, as well as prospects for developing ties. Mr Meredov stressed the positive dynamics in cooperation between Turkmenistan and Japan in the political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. The parties focused on the development of trade and economic ties, mentioning a number of successfully completed joint projects in the energy and gas chemical industries. They also identified priorities for further cooperation in the energy, industrial, and investment sectors, as well as in the fields of culture, science, and education. Also on January 22nd, the Turkmen delegation led by Mr Meredov met with representatives of the Japanese business community. It was suggested to invite Japanese companies to produce export goods with high added value in Turkmenistan, as well as to involve small and medium-sized enterprises from both countries in joint projects. Representatives of Japanese companies showed interest in cooperating in the fields of infrastructure and energy transition.
The Forum to Attract Foreign Investments in Turkmenistan’s Energy Sector will take place on April 24th and 25th, 2024 in Paris. The Forum's organizers are the State Concerns Turkmengaz, Turkmennebit (Turkmen oil), and the State Corporation Turkmengeology in partnership with the Turkmen Forum and U.K.-based GaffneyCline, according to the official website of the event. The purpose of the Forum is to expand the opportunities for attracting foreign direct investment in all aspects of the energy industry of Turkmenistan, and to strengthen regional dialogue on further sustainable development of the energy sector. Upstream, midstream and downstream opportunities will also be addressed. The Forum will bring together leading national and international energy companies, as well as experts who shape the future of the oil and gas industry not only in Turkmenistan, but also in the wider region. Turkmenistan has repeatedly stated that increasing production and diversifying the export of its hydrocarbon resources is a priority task of the country’s oil and gas sector.