15 Years of Successful Cooperation with Turkmenistan

“The Manager Training Programme is an excellent example of German-Turkmen cooperation”, stressed Michael U. Bierhoff, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Turkmenistan, in his speech on 4 May during the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Manager Training Programme in Turkmenistan.“Congratulations on 15 years of successful work; I wish and I hope that we will experience many more years of this trustful and mutually beneficial cooperation.”

Isolde Heinz (GIZ), Ulrich Niemann (BMWK), Michael Bierhoff (German Embassy in Turkmenistan), Begmurat Allakbayev, Galina Ivanovna Romanova (both Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan), Maksat Kutlimuradov (from left) ©Jumayev Begench

Vice Minister Begmurat Allakbayev from the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan emphasised the fact that almost 300 Turkmen alumni contribute to active cooperation between German and Turkmen business partners. He said that many Turkmen alumni of the Manager Training Programme had also established their own businesses.

The almost 100 guests at the event could see for themselves that, in different ways, the MP has positive effects on the participants’ enterprises. As examples, four entrepreneurs, all of them alumni of the MP, provided insights into their own personal success stories, which they have achieved thanks to the Manager Training Programme.

Rovshen Mukhammetnurow, Director of Derýaplastik, took part in the Manager Training Programme in 2022 and promptly put the skills he had acquired there into practice in his enterprise. “The result exceeded my highest expectations. Export capacities have increased significantly and, as a result, the turnover of our company’s products too, which means that the production also had to be increased.

Shokhrat Amangeldiev looks back on long-term business relationships that developed during the MP. He already had contacts to German companies before he participated in the MP in 2016. During the Programme, however, he was able to find new partners and conclude several import contracts. In the meantime, he acts as a distributor for air conditioning and refrigeration technology in Turkmenistan for two German producers.

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The new impetus that the participants receive during the MP leads to the development of new business ideas for some of the entrepreneurs. That was the case for Shasenem Garlieva, who now runs a café in which she not only offers German Baumkuchen but also sells Turkmen handicraft products made from camel wool. She got the idea for the latter during her stay in Germany.

Meylis Rejepov, managing director of the firm Parahat, came to Germany with the aim of contacting manufacturers of cleaning machines for the beverage industry or firms that offer tailormade solutions during the Programme and testing them. Rejepov would also like to create “a Hamburg coffee house atmosphere in Ashgabat” – an idea that emerged during a visit to a firm that sells coffee making accessories.

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Green Technology & Smart Farming: Trend Topics in Focus

A review of their participation in the Programme during the anniversary celebration vividly reminded the alumni of their time in Germany. Thanks to the lively exchange of experiences among the alumni of the various years, new contacts could also be established and, at the same time, numerous opportunities initiated for cooperation. Everyone agreed that these alumni meetings are valuable and that the nearly 300 alumni offer considerable potential. It was therefore no surprise that the alumni plan to establish their own association in Turkmenistan. “It would be an excellent opportunity to expand the expertise in this country and to deepen economic and trade relations between Germany and Turkmenistan further”, Bierhoff said.

The political discussions between representatives of both ministries on the fringe of the anniversary celebrations also underlined the significance of the MP for the bilateral cooperation. It was agreed to extend the Joint Declaration up to 2025 and to include current economic and political priorities of both countries, such as green technology, energy efficiency, smart faming, food processing and circular economy, in the Programme. “An anniversary should be an invitation not just to look back, but particularly to look forward. We are prepared to also offer new industry-specific groups for Turkmen participants, e.g. on green technologies”, said Ulrich Niemann, the Head of Division responsible for the MP at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Almost 300 Turkmen executives have participated in the MP in Germany so far. Bierhoff summed it up saying: “It is thanks to the fruitful cooperation between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan that this Programme has developed into a success story.”