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1st China-Turkmenistan Science and Innovation Forum Held in Ashkhabad

To follow up on the agreement between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Turkmenistan President Berdymukhamedov during the Tashkent Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June 2016, the 1st China-Turkmenistan Science and Innovation Forum co-sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People’s Republic of China and the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan was held in Ashkhabad, the capital of Turkmenistan, from October 11 to 12, 2017.

At the opening ceremony on October 11, Turkmenistan Minister of Education Purli Agamuradov read out a congratulatory letter from Turkmenistan President Berdymukhamedov. In the letter, President Berdymukhamedov said that China is Turkmenistan’s important strategic partner and the cooperation between the two countries in various fields has developed rapidly. The 1st China-Turkmenistan Science and Innovation Forum reflects the friendly relations between China and Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is willing to strengthen STI cooperation with China, jointly train high-quality scientific and technological talents, and industrialize research results.

Chen Linhao, Deputy Director-General of International Cooperation of MOST made a speech on behalf of the Chinese side. He pointed out that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the STI development and sees international cooperation and exchanges in S&T as an important way to promote the S&T development. On the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Turkmenistan, the convening of the 1st China-Turkmenistan Science and Innovation Forum is of special significance to the development of China-Turkmenistan relations. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Turkmenistan side to deepen STI cooperation within the Belt and Road framework, promote the institutionalization of China-Turkmenistan cooperation in S&T, strengthen bilateral people-to-people S&T exchanges, especially close mutual visits and exchanges between young Chinese and Turkmenistan scientists, and lay a solid foundation for research institutions, universities and enterprises of both countries to engage in pragmatic STI project cooperation.

In his address, President Mezilov G. A. of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan expressed appreciation of the tremendous S&T achievements China has made, and said that the Turkmenistan side attaches great importance to China-Turkmenistan S&T cooperation and is willing to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation between the two counties in fields including nano science, electronic information, biopharmaceuticals, seismology, renewable energy, agriculture, animal husbandry.

From October 11 to 12, events including themed reports and one-to-one talks were held within the framework of the Forum. Thirty-two representatives from 17 universities and research institutions in China and nearly 500 representatives from the Turkmenistan S&T circles were engaged in wide-ranging exchanges and pragmatic connectivity centering on the theme of “New Technology Innovation and Production Practice”. Scientists from both sides gave special reports on the S&T development and research achievements in China and Turkmenistan in various fields. According to different fields, Chinese and Turkmenistan experts held group discussions on topics of key concern in agricultural science and technology, earthquake monitoring and clean energy, and put forward a number of specific proposals for cooperation projects, achieving fruitful results.

During the Forum, the delegation of MOST, China held bilateral talks with President Mezilov G. A. of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan, and the two sides exchanged in-depth views on strengthening bilateral S&T cooperation. The two sides agreed that measures should be taken to strengthen exchanges between Chinese and Turkmenistan young scientists, promote pragmatic project cooperation in key areas and study the possibility of establishing a joint technology transfer center.     

As the first science and innovation forum held since China and Turkmenistan established diplomatic relations 25 years ago, the 1st China-Turkmenistan Science and Innovation Forum was also one of the large and high-profile bilateral cooperation events between the two countries, drawing a wide social response.  

Chinese Ambassador to Turkmenistan Sun Weidong and Turkmenistan Ambassador to China Chinar Rustamova attended the opening ceremony of the Forum.