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New funding streams for the Sustainable Development Goals discussed in the Turkmen capital

On June 20, The International conference “Partnership to finance development in the heart of the Great Silk Road” organized by State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan took place in the Yyldyz Hotel in Ashgabat.

The forum that focused on the important issues of cooperation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals brought together over 200 representatives of various ministries and departments, transnational financial institutions, companies and commercial banks as well as the experts of the UNDP and other international and interregional organisations.

The conference was held in framework of three sessions that focused on the new funding streams for the Sustainable Development Goals, the cooperation aimed at accumulating internal resources, the role of the national banking system in investment activities, funding of investment development, business as well as transboundary projects.

The forum participants discussed the global and regional trends and prospects of financing the Sustainable Development Goals until 2030 in all aspects, including assistance to the overall economic growth, environmental security and support to the social integration. Particular attention was paid to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda that lays the foundation for the sustainable development financing and stands as an integral part of the Global Agenda.

In the framework of the international conference, the delegates considered the infrastructural projects in Turkmenistan, in particular the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, the implementation of which contributes to the sustainable development of the Central Asian region.

It was emphasized that the Turkmen leader’s constructive proposals to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals until 2030 were widely supported by the world community. Having joined a number of the most important UN conventions, our country is committed to the undertaken obligations, underlining the leading role of the United Nations as the key guarantor for strengthening the international security and enhancing the positive interaction between the states in the world.

The forum participants noted that as one of the first countries that has adapted the Sustainable Development Goals, Turkmenistan carries out the joint work on their implementation into the national plans and programmes. A significant role in the formation of the basis necessary for the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals is assigned to the Scientific and Practical Center opened at the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It was noted that with the assistance of the United Nations Organization, the specialists of ministries and departments in our country are trained the methods of achieving the objectives and targets the Sustainable Development Goals. The main source of funding in Turkmenistan is the state budget funds that are allocated to the implementation of national, sectoral and regional programs.

The strategic course of development of our state is oriented to the industrial and innovative growth of the national economy with the high competitiveness and improvement of people's well-being. According to those speaking during the forum, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the active cooperation with UNDP are priority vectors in this direction.

Much attention was paid to the work of the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs, which, cooperating with various financial organizations, contributes to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the country.

The activity of this bank is inextricably linked with the strategy of sustainable economic development implemented by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov that includes industrialization, diversification of the economy and production of export-oriented, and import-substituting products with high added value.

Great importance in Turkmenistan is paid to the support of private entrepreneurial, investment and innovation activities, which is one of the main driving forces for raising labor productivity, comprehensive economic growth, and creation of additional jobs.

Today, the country has created a favorable investment climate for the development of private sector and increase of the investment in the economy of Turkmenistan in the form of foreign direct investment. In particular, the relevant legal and regulatory framework has been developed and continues to be improved, guaranteeing the protection of foreign investment. The Law "On Free Economic Zones" that was adopted in October 2017 provides significant benefits, including in the area of taxation and lease of land. The simplified taxation system was created in the country for small and medium-sized businesses, to stimulate the private sector, the government provides loans with low interest rates.

The forum participants highly appreciated Turkmenistan’s achievements on the implementation of the Agenda on the Global Sustainable Development until 2030 through the national programs for social and economic development, including the National Programme of the President of Turkmenistan on the improvement of the social and living conditions in villages, settlements, cities in etraps and etrap centers till 2020, as well as the efforts taken by our state to mobilize financial resources for the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline.

The Outcome Document was adopted in the framework of the conference, and bilateral agreements, in particular, the Memorandum of Understanding, the Memorandum on joint cooperation to accumulate development financing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Turkmenistan were signed between the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Development Program, as well as the Memorandum on mutual understanding, the Memorandum on financing of possible projects in Turkmenistan were signed between the Government of Turkmenistan and “Al Qamra Holding Group” (the State of Qatar).

The forum delegates will take part in the training seminar on the Islamic experience in financing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and then will learn more about the activities of the Scientific and Methodological Center on the Sustainable Development Goals at the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan that conducts research is conducted on the important issues of foreign policy and diplomacy.

State News Agency of Turkmenistan