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New Year Address By Saparmurat Niyazov To People Of Turkmenistan

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Dear compatriots! My Dear Nation!

...The outgoing year of 2004 was very favorable one for the Turkmen people and for all residents of Turkmenistan. It raised our country's international prestige. Deepening its roots, our policy of neutrality yielded marvelous fruits. We have established mutually beneficial relations with all countries of the world, be it big or small, far or near.

At present, we have trade relations with over 60 countries. Many offices and representations of the UN and other authoritative international organizations are headquartered in Ashgabat. They do a lot of work and deal with issues of regional importance in our capital. A dialog on disputable issues is conducted here in a peaceful manner. Regional problems are solved through negotiations. The continuous process of strengthening mutual understanding and trust between states is under way. The scale of this work in Ashgabat has risen considerably over the last years. We are really happy about this.

Our economic cooperation with foreign countries is steadily growing. Trade with foreign countries exceeds US$ 7 bln. This is very high and exemplary rate. Here is some eloquent data: the number of people living in Turkmenistan reached 6,650 mln, up 4% on the year.

The policy of our state is aimed at ensuring worthy life for the people, setting up the most favorable conditions for them. Turkmenistan has prioritized and been consistently pursuing a policy of establishing such atmosphere in the country that every citizen of the country can work, take rest, freely move and express his views.

Thanks to God, we have livened up to obligations and achieved goals we set before ourselves. In 2004, our GDP growth rate was 21% year-on-year due to honest and scrupulous work of our people. This means that we have produced the additional amount of goods worth over Manat 20 trillion.

In total, we have produced goods worth US$ 19 bln. This is a great success. Industry, construction sector and agriculture have demonstrated high growth rates, ranging from 18 to 21 percent.

We have also succeeded in production of oil. We have produced 10,100 mln tons of oil for the first time in 25 years. Oil revenues exceeded US$ 100 mln, taking into account an increase in oil prices at the world market.

Besides, we have extracted 58 billion cub. meters of natural gas.

We receive big revenues from gas exports to Ukraine and Russia. Power engineering grew 12%, which is an important component of Turkmenistan's exports. We supply electricity to Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. We have also achieved high rates in production of other goods.

Agriculture also developed at a considerable rate. Sheep stock accounts for 15,5 mln heads and cattle stock amounts to 2,150 mln heads. Grain growers, tenant-farmers harvested 2,844 mln tons of Turkmen wheat (Ak bugdai) this year.

For the first time Turkmenistan produced 170 thousand tones of rice.

Dear compatriots!

Speaking about cotton growing and the need to increase production of cotton, we have to admit that we have been somewhat careless, not solving the task on bringing up real land-owners and on water economy. That is why we put to discussion issues on land and water use at the XV session of Halk Maslahaty. At that session, we adopted a decision to set up the Agricultural Joint-Stock Company. Any citizen can take land and do what is up to his liking and ability on it. He can also join the newly established company. It is up to our farmers to decide. We will give them the right to decide for themselves as to whom and in what quantities they should sell their production - cotton, wheat, rice and etc. At the Halk Maslahaty, we promised them that we would completely solve this issue soon. Now, we take necessary steps in this direction. Certainly, we have problems too, but we succeed in solving them.

The most important thing, and I want to emphasize it, is that Turkmenistan attained food independence. We have built independent, sovereign state so that Turkmen citizens can safely live in their homes, work and earn enough to live a prosperous life.

On the whole, I will reiterate it, Turkmenistan's economic growth was 21%. It enabled us, as I have already mentioned, to raise trade turnover with foreign states to US% 7 bln. In retail trade, we have sold goods worth over US$ 6 bln. Out state, thanks to God, is getting stronger day by day, and this is the result of selfless work of our consolidated people.

The standard of living will be steadily rising. Wages of our citizens will be regularly increased. As was promised earlier, a decree on the 50% wage rise to workers was issued in 2004. It will be effective starting January 1, 2005.

I admire our people's special talent of preserving peace and tranquility at home. They are as courageous as no one in the world. In the Night of Omnipotence, we pardoned some 9,000 convicts. Since then, no one in Turkmenistan has committed a crime. It shows that all of 9,000, once back to their families, have repented before God and started a peaceful and constructive life. I am fond of our people and feel proud of how they work and rest with pleasure. Our grandiose holidays and festivities, already familiar to every Turkmen, clearly prove this.

We should preserve our unity in the future to strengthen the foundation of our sovereignty. Our country should be unshakably strong and have firm foundations. Our country should prosper year by year. We were not mistaken calling the XXI century the golden age of the Turkmen people. The results of our development in the past four years of the 21st century have been evidence of that.

Dear compatriots!

Even babies that are still lying in their beds have contributed to our success in 2004: they encouraged their mothers and fathers with their happy laughter to commit good deeds. The success of our state is made of the collective successes of school children, elderly people, fathers and mothers and the entire population of Turkmenistan. This is our common success. Never before had the Turkmen state achieved such impressive labor victories. Beginning 2000, the economic growth rates have been no less than 20%. The Turkmen people should be really proud of it!

I will not recite all new facilities that have been built. You are perfectly aware of it. I will just recall the largest facilities among those under construction. These are "Dostluk" water reservoir, the cement plant in Baharly district, the Tejen fertilizers plant. Their total cost is around US$ 1 bln. 996 facilities are being built in Turkmenistan and its capital, Ashgabat. Their construction will be continued in 2005. The total cost of these new facilities exceeds US$ 6 bln. We realize our great potential and really take pride in it.

Over 80 foreign construction companies work in Turkmenistan. Professionalism of our native construction organizations is enhancing. However, our construction workers' skills are yet to be improved as compared to mastership of foreign specialists. At the same time, our constructors' self-reliance got stronger. They work well and earn good money. God willing, we will enlarge the scale of construction works in the near future and turn it into the most profitable sector in Turkmenistan. I want to underline it once again that our successes are the collective success of all - farmers, workers, government servicemen, oil, gas and chemical industry workers, fishermen, stockbreeders, tenant-farmers and all those who work. Taking this opportunity, I want to sincerely congratulate my dear and beloved compatriots on these great achievements. I thank you for your heroic work in 2004.

We are approaching 2005. God willing, it will also be favorable for Turkmenistan in all respects. We have already announced our plans for 2005. Our domestic production should grow by 20% and we expect that our population growth will be some 300,000 people by the end of 2005. We are paying a particular attention to this issue because care of the people is in the centre of the state policy. New-born babies, school children, students, military servicemen, workers of various sectors of the national economy - all of them are sons and daughters of our state. Our state takes constant care of them and will further support them, encourage them in their high aspirations and establish favorable conditions for this.

We have a clear understanding of our high ideals and tasks. We have every condition in place to achieve and fulfill them. Availing myself of this opportunity, I congratulate my beloved Turkmen people, all citizens of Turkmenistan on the approaching New Year. May festive mood never leave your homes in 2005! I wish your families happiness and prosperity!

May every Turkmen citizen and every Turkmen family have a happy life and live without grief and poverty, and be proud of their country and nation.

I once again cordially congratulate you on the New Year!

May 2005 bring good luck, peace and welfare to every one of us! Let us be more united and consolidated!

Happy New Year to all of you, my dear compatriots!

Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan

Based on the text provided by the Turkmen state news service, Turkmendowlethabarlary).

Translated and Published at