on December 6 at 19:00, an official reception in honor of the Creative Central Asia Team 2019, organized by the Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador Mr. Hugh Philpott, was held at the UK Ambassador’s residence. Ambassador Mr. Hugh Philpott gave an exclusive interview to the special correspondent of Turkmenportal.
- Mr. Ambassador! Before you, the Creative Central Asian forum didn’t invite Turkmenistan to the exhibition. According to your initiatives, Turkmenistan’s companies firstly participated in the Creative Central Asia 2019 forum. How was it difficult?
- Before I came to Turkmenistan, I didn’t know much about Turkmenistan and I was busy with my job, but I was an ex creative Central Asian forum last year. And I took to Tajikistan for the first time. I said to the people: “Look, why Turkmenistan is not here, it is a big country, they do some great things?” and they said: “Oh, nobody will come from Turkmenistan”. I said it is nonsense, we need to ask them. So, they share then the invitation came for four people only. In the end, we sent 12 or 13 people. Because I met and interviewed many very interesting people full of creativity in different sectors: they were in digital companies, high-technology companies, artists, jewelry makers, painters – very different people, but it was very clear to me that there existed a strong creative center. And why is it important, because this is a huge sector of the economy, and makes a lot of money. And it is growing, particularly people working in creative activity in digital media, in creating apps, games, programs for computers and television, media, phone all of these things. So, we need to recognize it, first of all, we need to support it, we need also to see how it helps and benefits the other sectors, for example, I was at the oil and gas conference, and many of these oil and gas companies use video films, and use graphics. Who makes those, who do that work? Companies that create those and the most important that these products need to be high quality, they need to be inventive, they need to catch your eyes and catch your attention. So, not only this sector on its own, but there is also a sector that supports other sectors. And they very good at it, and my experience, I have seen some of the best creative work here, compared to what I have seen in other places in Central Asia. So, this a good competition. So, for me in my time, I will be supporting in whatever way I can and tonight we’ve had a really good event and introduced to a lot of good people who will perhaps work together, will perhaps share a common goal, so develop this part of the economy in Turkmenistan, and it is good for me, from the United Kingdom, because it means that we have even more business partners to work with in the future.
- Turkmen society very much appreciates your hyper-active actions, and how do you evaluate Turkmenistan and Great Britain relations today?
- We have very good relations at the moment, which I am very pleased about. We cooperate well in oil and gas sector and there is more space where we could move into; we work well in political relations in United Nations and International Forum, but I want more you know, I want more, because I think you have got ton of people here who could work well with talented people of my country to make even stronger your economy and also economy of my country. So, it is good, but we can do more, we can do better.
- In a previous interview, Mr. Kakajykow told us about the academic relations of the UK and Turkmenistan. What would you comment about the academic relations of our countries?
- Academic relations are good, I will very much like to see in the future more, I would like to see more connections on the level of schools, universities, but we have good connections at the moment, but there is a room to improve this, and I will do everything in my power to improve that.
- Your excellency, you have told that you are only three months in Turkmenistan and living here for three months how do you find Turkmenistan? What particularly you liked and didn’t like. Now Turkmenistan is developing the digitalization of economy and differentiation of economy, how do you evaluate these approaches?
-My time in Turkmenistan has been a joy to me. I think this I would like to give advice to Turkmenistan I would say that Turkmenistan should embrace new technologies, they should welcome new technologies. I would say that Turkmenistan could use new technologies very usefully in order to make the world understand Turkmenistan better, I would say I have met some of the nicest people that I have met so far in the world, here in Turkmenistan and that a great joy to me. I am having good meetings with the government, I mean being government and running a country is a big job, it is not easy. So, sometimes you can do things that people do not like, and sometimes you can do things that people do like, but so far people that I have met and also my very good meeting with His excellency the President I am very happy that there is a good vision forward the future of Turkmenistan will be and I am here with my country to do what we can in order to be part of that future as well and to be a good partner in future.