On September 5-7, 2018, the European Union funded project “Support to Further Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD III)” supported visit of the officials and member enterprises of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, accompanied by the Key Experts of the Project, to the first Turkmenistan – European Business Forum “Turkmenistan – Heart of the Great Silk Road” in Vienna, Austria.
The Forum was hosted by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan (UIET) and the representative office of the UIET in Vienna in partnership with Turope Consult GmbH. It gathered representatives of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, high-ranking officials of the Republic of Austria, representatives of responsible ministries and departments of Turkmenistan, executives of major Turkmen and European agencies and companies.
The main objective of the event was to further strengthen and develop mutually beneficial partnership links between businesses in Turkmenistan and European countries. The participants exchanged views on a number of key areas of bilateral cooperation, including export of Turkmen agriculture and food products, textile products, chemical products, tourism services with an emphasis on rural and agricultural tourism, and reviewed possibilities for reinforced cooperation in these areas.
The agenda of the event included presentations and lectures by international and Turkmen experts, workshops and round tables on the abovementioned economic sectors, visits to leading Austrian agriculture, farming, meat and milk processing enterprises, as well as networking dinners. At least 12 Memorandums of Understanding were signed during the Forum.
The SARD III Key Experts also facilitated the organization of additional meetings for their Turkmenistan partners after the forum. For example, a meeting with the Austrian Accreditation Body for the newly established Turkmen private food-testing laboratory allowed clarifying the lab manager’s understanding of the critical criteria and requirements for the food laboratory’s international accreditation.
The EU-funded project “Support to Further Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD III)” is supporting the Government of Turkmenistan in the achievement of national sector objectives for sustainable agriculture, rural development and institutional support to the rural agri/sector. The third phase of SARD in Turkmenistan aims to increase productivity and competitiveness of the agri-food sector through activities that improve production, processing and marketing and to strengthen the capacity of supporting public sector agriculture institutions. More information on SARD III is available at www.sard3tm.org.