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ASHGABAD, Turkmenistan, Oct. 3—Turkmenistan's government news agency TDH reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is in Ashgabad for an official state visit.
"The visit by this friendly country's prime minister is aimed at identifying further areas for cooperation between the fraternal Turkmen and Turkish people and to give new momentum to the longstanding and fruitful dialogue between our nations," TDH reports.
Since establishing diplomatic ties, Turkmenistan and Turkey have inked more than 98 different agreements. These documents have laid the groundwork for regular flights between the countries, established joint projects, registered corporate subsidiaries, affiliates and local offices in Turkmenistan and deepened trade and economic ties between the partners.
According to TDH figures, bilateral trade between Turkmenistan and Turkey has been expanding every year. Trade volume in 2007 was triple the figure for 2000. Turkey is in third place, behind Russia and Iran, for total trade with Turkmenistan. Exports from the Central Asian country are chiefly comprised of energy commodities, textile and chemical products and agricultural goods. Turkish exports to Turkmenistan include metals and metal products, household goods, equipment, construction materials, electronics, products of the chemical and light industries, foodstuffs, automobiles and medicine.
As of September 1, 2008, Turkmenistan had more than 500 companies with Turkish participation, or more than 35 percent of the foreign companies operating in the country. These companies are at work on 806 different projects in various sectors of the nation's economy. For example, Turkish companies have directly invested $256.7 million [USD] to develop Turkmenistan's textile industry.
Currently, 1,652 Turkmen students study in Turkey's higher education system; in Turkmenistan there are 14 Turkmen-Turkish schools, a Turkish primary school, the Bashkent Learning Centre and the International Turkmen-Turkish University.