Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09ASHGABAT110
2009-01-22 13:07:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Ashgabat
Cable title:  

TURKMENISTAN: LOCAL BUSINESS COUNCIL MEETING TOOK

Tags:  PGOV PREL EINV EAGR TX AORC 
pdf how-to read a cable
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FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
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INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
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RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2529
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 3264
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 000110 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/21/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL EINV EAGR TX AORC
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: LOCAL BUSINESS COUNCIL MEETING TOOK
PLACE -- FOR THE FIRST TIME

REF: 08 ASHGABAT 1506

Classified By: Charge Richard Miles, reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 000110

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, EEB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/21/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL EINV EAGR TX AORC
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: LOCAL BUSINESS COUNCIL MEETING TOOK
PLACE -- FOR THE FIRST TIME

REF: 08 ASHGABAT 1506

Classified By: Charge Richard Miles, reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).


1. (C) SUMMARY: European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD) Resident Office Head, Neil McKain (please
strictly protect),said that the head of the Union of
Entrepreneurs and Industrialists is a "born entrepreneur" and
that "he has the right instincts to help entrepreneurs" in
Turkmenistan. According to one of McKain's contacts, various
local entrepreneurs and government officials recently
attended a meeting to discuss improvement of the business
climate. This was the first time that such a meeting had
taken place, and it happened at the initiative of the
President himself. McKain thinks progress is taking place in
Turkmenistan -- but at a decidedly Turkmen pace. Exposure to
other ways of thinking through technical assistance programs
and exchanges for the budding local entrepreneurial community
would be valuable contributions to improving the business
climate. Establishing a local business council that would
meet regularly would also be a useful mechanism for improving
business in Turkmenistan. END SUMMARY.

HEAD OF THE UNION OF INDUSTRIALISTS AND ENTREPRENEURS -- A
"BORN ENTREPRENEUR"


2. (C) Post reported reftel that the Head of the Union of
Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Aleksandr Dadayev, received
a loan to start a chicken farm by presidential decree on a
non-competitive basis. European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD) Resident Office Head, Neil McKain (please
strictly protect),said in a meeting on January 14 said that
Dadayev did not ask for the chicken farm contract, nor was he
enthusiastic about receiving the contract. Following the
awarding of the contract, the President then asked Dadayev to
run the Union, which shows that those in power agree with
McKain's assessment that "he has the right instincts to help
entrepreneurs here." McKain also said that Dadayev is a born
entrepreneur and that it is natural that the government
entrusted Dadayev with loans that not all Turkmen have access
too, since he has what it takes to be successful.

FIRST INKLING OF A BUSINESS COUNCIL FOR TURKMENISTAN


3. (C) McKain said that entrepreneurs and representatives of
various government agencies and ministries such as the
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Union of Entrepreneurs and
Industrialists, Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic
Relations, Ministry of Textiles, and three other ministries
met on January 13 for the first time -- at the initiative of
the president himself -- to discuss improving the business
climate. McKain said that he has advised the head of Chalik
Holding, Ahmed Chalik, to press President Berdimuhamedov to
establish a business council. McKain added that he hopes
that the President is hearing about the concept of a business
council from many organizations, and not just EBRD, in order
for the idea to gain traction.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS AND PLANS


4. (C) McKain also said that:

-- The "tall poppy" syndrome -- where those who stand out by
achieving too much success get cut down (or run out of
business) -- does still occur in Turkmenistan, but much less
than during the Niyazov period.

-- Leases that are renewed on a yearly basis present a major
barrier to liberalization of the agriculture sector because
no one wants to invest capital in projects under these
short-term conditions, including farmers and bankers.

-- EBRD is discussing holding a seminar on microfinance with
UNDP and the government. McKain said that this project would
be productive because -- like many governments emerging from

ASHGABAT 00000110 002 OF 002


a command economy -- Turkmenistan tends to consider lending a
"dirty business."


5. (C) COMMENT: Progress is taking place in Turkmenistan --
but according to the Turkmen time frame. Exposure to other
ways of thinking through expanded U.S.-funded capacity
building programs, English programs, and exchange programs
for the budding local entrepreneurial community would be
valuable contributions to improving the business climate. A
local business council could also contribute to improving
business conditions in Turkmenistan. END COMMENT.
MILES