Germany and Turkmenistan: Bilateral relations

02.03.2023 - Article


The central element of Turkmen foreign policy is the country’s permanent neutrality. Turkmenistan pursues a policy geared to compromise, stability and peace in the region and in the international framework. Germany is one of four EU member states (along with France, Italy and Romania) with an Embassy in the capital, while the EU is represented by a delegation. Turkmenistan has an Embassy in Berlin and a Consulate in Frankfurt am Main. On 29 August 2016, former President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov visited Germany and met with Federal Chancellor Merkel in Berlin. Over the years, German-Turkmen relations have developed well but they do require ongoing support at political level.


In Turkmenistan, German businesses are considered reliable partners supplying sustainable high-quality products. The last meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Business and Trade took place in Ashgabat in early 2020.
In 2019, Turkmenistan ranked third amongst Germany’s business partners in Central Asia behind Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Bilateral trade had fallen sharply in recent years, however it increased again in 2021 reaching 182 million euro (2017: 371 million euro, 2018: 146 million euro, 2019: 161.2 million euro).

Development and cultural cooperation

As a middle income country, Turkmenistan is not one of Germany’s partner countries for bilateral development cooperation. Governmental development cooperation thus only takes place through regional projects for Central Asia.

In the field of education, there is a German-Turkmen exchange as part of the PASCH Schools: Partners for the Future programme (two PASCH schools in Turkmenistan). The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has a lector in the country.

In 2018, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation organised the archaeology exhibition “Margiana. A Bronze Age Kingdom in Turkmenistan”. This was the first time Turkmenistan featured so prominently in Germany. The exhibition ran from April 2018 to April 2019 on show for three months each in the Neues Museum in Berlin, the Archäologisches Museum Hamburg and the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen Mannheim. With 380,000 visitors, it was the most successful special exhibition in Berlin in 2018.


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