On May 2, 2018 in the Avaza Congress Center (Turkmenbashi city) the International Forum "The Great Silk Road - towards the New Frontiers of Development" was held.

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov delivered a welcoming speech. Opening the meeting, President of Turkmenistan expressed profound gratitude to all participants for accepting the invitation to attend the International Forum “The Great Silk Road - Towards the New Frontiers of Development” and the opening of the Turkmenbashi International Seaport.  

We are truly delighted to see high-level representatives of many countries, ministers, heads of international organizations, prominent diplomats, political and public figures from different corners of the world; such broad participation can quite rightly be viewed as a sign of respect for Turkmenistan, said the head of state.

Noting that in 2018 Turkmenistan celebrates the slogan “Turkmenistan - the Heart of the Great Silk Road”  President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that throughout many centuries the territory of our country served as a crossroad of Eurasian routes, the meeting point for cultures, civilizations, customs and traditions. And today, at the new phase of our history, we revive timeless values of the Great Silk Road and do this together with our friends and likeminded allies all over the world.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed his confidence that the substantive dialog on the role of the Great Silk Road will promote a better understanding between the countries, convergence of positions and development of innovative schemes and models of partnership in the long term.

In his speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov outlined Turkmenistan's priority positions in the issues of international partnership in the transport and communications sector.

One of the most important activities in reaching these goals is ensuring successful integration of the region into international ties and creating a relevant transport, transit and communication systems. This implies the construction of an extensive, integrated, incorporated transport and communication infrastructure that will cover continental Eurasia and provide access to marine terminals of the Black and Baltic Sea, South and South-Eastern Asia and the Middle East.

This project also involves connecting to the transport infrastructure in southern and eastern directions, creating links to such powerful economic centers as China, India, Pakistan, countries of Asia-Pacific, said the President.

One of expected outcomes of implementing this strategy is creating a network of intermodal transport and logistics centers. New transports corridors help expand the service market in this sphere which in turn requires active marketing and foreign economic policy, optimized tariffs with countries along international transport corridors and a flexible system of tariff preferences, said the President of Turkmenistan.

The President of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association, Mr. Babar Badat, also addressed the forum with a welcoming speech.

At the end of the plenary session of the International Forum "The Great Silk Road - towards the New Frontiers of Development", the Avaza Declaration was adopted.