Last updated in October 2013
Germany is one of Turkmenistan’s preferred partners – along with the Russian Federation, China, Turkey and the United States. Political relations between the two countries are steadily growing in intensity. President Berdimuhamedov paid an official visit to Germany in November 2008. Bilateral political consultations were held for the second time in September 2012.
Economic relations between the two countries are good but there is still room for improvement. Turkmenistan is a country with great potential. Germany is Turkmenistan’s second largest foreign trading partner in the European Union. German products are held in high regard, especially in the technology and health care sectors.
Turkmenistan participates in a number of regional development cooperation projects.
In 2012, bilateral trade was worth EUR 397 million, compared with approximately EUR 358 million in 2011. The figures in detail: German imports from Turkmenistan were worth EUR 75.6 million in 2012, compared with EUR 48 million in 2011. German exports to Turkmenistan amounted to EUR 322 million in 2012, compared with EUR 310 million in 2011. Turkmenistan ranked third among Germany’s Central Asian trading partners in 2012, behind Kazakhstan (EUR 5.9 billion) and Uzbekistan (EUR 414 million).
There are approximately 100 registered projects involving German investments or partners in Turkmenistan. More than 50 German companies, such as Wintershall and RWE, operate there, including 19 with registered offices or German representatives.
The fourth meeting of the German-Turkmenian Intergovernmental Working Group on Business and Trade was held in Berlin in May 2013. The second Day of German Business took place in Ashgabat on 21 November 2012.
The following bilateral agreements are in place:
- air transport agreement of 19 February 2001
- investment protection and promotion agreement of 19 February 2001
- double taxation agreement of 24 November 1981 (continuing in force, currently under revision)
There is a German Business Delegate for Central Asia based in Almaty (Kazakhstan).
Germany and Turkmenistan have launched a bilateral further-training programme for managers, under which some 30 participants are invited to Germany every year.
Cultural relations between the two countries are based on the cultural agreement that came into force in 2002. Since President Berdimuhamedov took office, there has also been a gradual opening in Turkmenistan in terms of cultural exchange. There is keen interest in the scholarships offered by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and there are two DAAD-seconded academic teachers working in Turkmenistan. In 2009, the first Turkmen partner school was recruited to the worldwide Schools: Partners for the Future network and a second partner school joined the network in 2013. A German federal programme teacher has been working in Ashgabat since September 2013. There are plans to launch German Embassy language courses in cooperation with the Goethe Institute in November 2013. A series of events entitled German Spring was held in Turkmenistan in April 2013.