President Ram Nath Kovind spoke to his Turkmenistan counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov over the phone on Thursday and discussed bilateral ties between the two countries.
The two leaders acknowledged the warm and cordial relations between the two countries underpinned by historical and civilizational links. They noted with satisfaction the sustained momentum of cooperation in diverse areas.
“The leaders agreed on the immense potential that exists in trade and economic spheres and noted the success of joint collaboration between Indian and Turkmen companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector,” said a statement from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The total trade between the two countries as per official data for the year 2018-19 stood at $66.27 million of which exports from India stood at $45.64 million and imports by India at $20.63 million registering a surplus of $25.01 million in India’s favour.
Turkmenistan’s major items of import from India include electronic and electrical items, machinery and woven apparel and pharmaceuticals, frozen meat and tyres. Exports to India comprise of fertilizers, cotton, raw hides and inorganic chemicals (like Sulpher, Iodine).
India provides training for Turkmen nationals under the ITEC programme. In 2018-19, 30 ITEC slots were offered to Turkmenistan. In all, since the inception of the programme for Turkmenistan in 1994, over 400 Turkmen nationals have been trained in various courses. In addition, India provides ICCR Scholarships to students from Turkmenistan to pursue graduation, post-graduation and Ph.D every year. There are over 300 students from Turkmenistan pursuing higher education in India in various reputed universities.
Kovind thanked the President of Turkmenistan for his telephone call and for his personal commitment to strengthening bilateral relations with India.