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Leigh Turner

Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Vienna

Part of UK in Turkey

27th September 2012

UK, Turkey and Turkmenistan: Doing Big Business

One after another, top British companies take the podium in a room full of Turkish construction companies. Each sets out world-class expertise in everything from design, construction and communications to steel, advanced engineering, security, training and sports services. Other speakers include the British Ambassador to Turkmenistan, Keith Allan; Sefa Gomdeniz, Chair of the Turkey-Turkmenistan Business Council; and myself.  Where in the world are we?

The answer is at the British Consulate General in Istanbul, where the British Embassy in Ashgabat, the Consulate General and organisations with an interest in trade between the UK, Turkmenistan and Turkey have gathered to show what they can do and to clinch business deals.

Turkmenistan, with the fourth largest reserves of natural gas in the world, is engaged in a series of multi-billion dollar construction projects in the next few years including a $5billion Olympic village complex; development of new gas fields in the east of the country; construction of a new east-west gas pipeline; the development of Turkmenbashi seaport; the development of the Avaza tourism economic zone; and the construction of Ashgabat International Airport.

Turkish construction companies are heavily engaged, having completed projects in Turkmenistan worth $3.5bn in 2011 and $24bn in the past 15 years.

British companies with specialist expertise are keen to partner with Turkish companies working in Turkmenistan to the benefit of both sides:  the trick is to make sure everyone knows what services are on offer and how best to access them. So it’s no surprise that a huge number of Turkish and British companies attend the seminar.  The lively discussions and presentations cover everything from how to find representation and open an office in Ashgabat to the practicalities of sub-contracting.

We at the British Consulate General in Istanbul are keen to provide more support to British companies and Turkish companies working together in third markets such as Turkmenistan.  For more information get in touch with Sayed Shah, the Head of the UK Trade and Investment team in Istanbul at sayed.shah@fco.gov.uk; in Ashgabat, Ambassador Keith Allen at keith.allan@fco.gov.uk; or contact me direct.  We are keen to hear from you.

3 comments on “UK, Turkey and Turkmenistan: Doing Big Business

  1. Dear Leigh, in Oct. ´12 you ´ve wrote the “PALM TREE…”-report. I liked it very much and posted a comment. Meanwhile I did some kind of research in re. of yr. completely excellent work. I discovered that in earlier days I had to fly to most of these cities (“Destinations”) which are located at the same area of which you are working now. That ´s one of the reasons why “UK, TURKEY AND TURKMENISTAN…” is to me a quite fantastic “PRE-ARTICLE” to yr. newest one so far. In both above mentoned (as always written “par excellance” !) are nearly similiar, necessary and important chapters. Like: “…building -up new UK and TURKISH – Business-links, co-operations, FOR 3RD. MARKETS. In this case : Turkmenistan. You just have to read about this well described gathering/meeting between the UK, TURKEY and TURKMENISTAN and the list of all those V.I.Persons who attended it and who “…clinch business deals…”.So it ´s great to read “..that a huge number of…..joined these seminar. For it ´s really true that the government in ASHGABAT/Turkmenistan has offer so much work-still to do. “SEAPORTS, AIRPORTS…” or NEW aircrafts for National Carrier Turkmenistan Airlines. One “E.G.”: Former US-Manufacturer MC DONNELL DOUGLAS (now “DOUGLAS DIVISION of BOEING”) has been once the 1st. company at all which immediately recognized the potential of this market. Result : In 1998 they were the first who delievered 12 of the former MD-95/30 medium-jet. (the 1st. 6 fitted with RR Aero Systems engines ! ) To conclude : I know , that Turkmenistan has had a critical phase and few (!) so-called ” top-managers” gave this state “bad credits/reputations”. But these times are long ago and according to yr. proper words the clever ones of all 3 sides will do better. So let ´s take the chance and DOING BIG BUSINESS. BW, Ingo-Steven Wais, Stuttgart

  2. Welcome back to blogging!
    Turkmenistan looks like an exciting place to do business.
    Are there any chances you will occasionally blog about developments in Ukraine?

Comments are closed.

About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.