French company CIFAL interested in cotton growing development in Turkmenistan

French company CIFAL is interested in cooperation with Turkmenistan in the field of agriculture, particularly cotton growing, Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper reported on Saturday.

According to the newspaper, this issue was raised during a meeting of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov and CEO of CIFAL, Gilles Remy, held in Ashgabat.

"The French company has identified the agricultural are and particularly the cotton industry as one of the vectors of mutually beneficial partnership, since production of the Turkmen cotton is one of the most competitive in the global market," the report says.

CIFAL has been operating in Turkmenistan for about 20 years. It also operates in such areas as the fuel and energy sector, industrial and civil construction, communications, electronics, consulting and expert services.

According to the report, Remy stated during the meeting that his company will make all effort to achieve the objectives on enhancing the partnership.

Cotton sowing in Turkmenistan started in late March in a 550,000 hectare area.

Considering soil and climate conditions, especially valuable fine-fiber cotton will be sown in two provinces of the country, Mary and Akhal velayats.

Some 1.235 million tons of cotton was collected last year, 12.6 percent more than in 2011. There are 36 cotton mills in the country.

Cotton is the main raw material for the domestic dynamically developing textile industry. Turkmenistan also exports raw cotton to China, Russia, Britain, South Korea, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Singapore, Ukraine and the Baltic countries.

During the years of independence, Turkmenistan invested over $1.65 billion in the reconstruction and modernization of the existing textile enterprises, with $300 million or 18 percent accounting for foreign investments.