Caspian and Central Asian Ministers meeting at annual regional telecoms summit and exhibition in Istanbul Turkey

The annual gathering of Caspian Telecoms Ministers and State telecoms directors is taking place in İstanbul on the 14-16 April 2003, at the Caspian Telecoms Exhibition and Conference and hosting by representatives of the newly-elected Turkish Government including Binali Yildirim, new Minister of Transport and Telecommunications as well as Omer Arasıl, new Chairman of the Turkish Telecommunications Authority and Mehmet Ekinalan the newly-appointed President of Turkey’s State telecoms company Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş.
Ministers and senior figures from the Ministries of Telecommunications from the Caucasus and Caspian region including Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyz Republic and Georgia will meet to discuss regional co-operation and socio-economic development through investment into the national and regional telecommunications networks. State delegations will participate alongside high-level delegations from the European Commission, the UNDP’s ICT programme, the World Bank, the International Telecommunications Union and the EBRD, as well as senior representatives of the leading regional and International telecommunications and IT companies.
Ministers will discuss a variety of telecommunications issues with counterparts in the region, including the development and modernization of regional satellite, cellular and fixed-line networks. Ministers and deputies will be accompanied by heads of the State Telecommunications Companies who will be promoting a variety of investment opportunities to global telecommunications companies interested in the little developed yet potentially vast Caspian and Central Asian telecommunications market.
Most of the Caspian region and Central Asian States have partially privatised or at key stages in the privatisation process of their National Telecommunications companies and have been emphasizing their steadfast commitment to attracting large-scale foreign capital. The Caspian and Central Asian communications network is underdeveloped and still consists mainly of outdated equipment some dating from the Soviet era. The importance of well designed telecommunication infrastructure is recognized in Central Asia as one of the key factors for economic and social stability of the region and the sector is being prioritized. Digitization of the network and expansion of capacity and penetration into rural areas is desperately needed in areas where fixed line penetration is as low as 4 lines per one hundred inhabitants.
Investment in Internet technology in Turkey and the Caspian is also expected to be high on the agenda of subjects under discussion as the region begins to adapt to the latest trends in the convergence of telecommunications and IT systems. Caspian and Central Asian States have been slow to embrace the technology and many still censor and restrict Internet usage, however, the industry is still recording annual growth rates of 150%, and with a huge reserve of potential subscribers, has massive further growth potential.
Turkish telecommunication associations TESİD, TÜTED, TELKODER and TID declares that, this global organization is a good opportunity both for their members and regional states for sharing their experiments, establishing new partnerships and making new investments on the developing telecom infrastructure of Caspian region as well as meeting with the senior figures of the global communication companies.

Profile of the Participants
National and regional telecommunications network companies, cellular and fixed-line network operators, satellite communication operators, global telecommunication companies, fibre optic cabling production companies, Internet Service Providers, IT companies, cable and satellite TV operators, cellular phone producers, investment foundations and banking, law and telecom consultancy companies, regional communication Ministries and communication peripheral suppliers.

Turkey & Caspian Region Main Highlights
Turkey and the surrounding region is surrounded by 75% of the world's discovered oil & gas reservoirs in the Caspian, Middle East and CIS
Huge investment & growth potential in the regional telecoms industry - potential in fixed lines, cellular markets, satellite subscribers in the region
Caspian region and in particular Kazakhstan will be the gateway and ICT bridge between Europe and Asia
Huge untapped growth markets – population of more than 80 million based in the Caspian and Central Asian region
Exclusive announcements and updates to be made at Caspian Telecoms 2003 Conference only
Kazakhstan: Announcement of Demonopolisation and Liberalisation of telecoms market in 2003 with $1 billion investments into telecoms sector approved by the Government / Announcement of New Mobile Licenses to be introduced in 2003 including CDMA.
Turkey: Liberalisation of Turkey's telecoms market and Privatisation of Turk Telecom to be announced in 2003.
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan: Privatisation Announcement Plans of 51% shares of Uzbek telecom / 51% shares of Kyrgyz Telecom and Georgia Telecom / New Tenders and National Program of Investment into the IT sector in Uzbekistan with more than 110million Euro to be invested by EBRD.
Turkmenistan: Announcement of ICT study and planned modernization of Turkmenistan’s telecoms network and fibre-optic cable projects.
Georgia: Privatisation of 51% of Georgian Sate Operator Telecoms Georgia – Commerz Bank and Lebouef, Lamb, Greene & MacRae retained as advisors.
Azerbaijan: More than $900 million to be invested in Azeri telecoms industry; $3 billion project - Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline with demand on telecoms technologies and packages / Updates on Azerbaijan planned IP telephony sector development.
Tajikistan: Privatisation of Tajikistan's telecoms networks / New Tenders to be announced by newly-appointed Minister of Communications.
Iran: Liberalisation of Iran's telecoms market - Keynote Announcement by Minister of Communications on Telecoms Rebuild Tenders / Major tenders for telecoms / Turnkey switching and infrastructure projects.
Afghanistan: Announcement of major telecom infrastructure rebuild and other long-term ICT projects.

Caspian Telecoms 2003 Conference Facts
1. More than 300 Regional, International, Turkish and CIS Delegates from 50 countries world-wide already registered at Caspian Telecoms 2003 Conference.
2. Sponsors and Potential Investors from Major global Telecom Corporations - operators and equipment providers Alcatel, CBoss, Eutelsat, Gantek, Hughes, Fintur, Intelsat, Intracom, Iskratel, Kazakhtelecom, Nera Networks, Patton Electronics, Turkcell among many others.
3. Support and Participation of Official VIP Delegations headed by the Ministers and Heads of National Telecom Corporations of 14 countries in the region: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Russia, Iran, Turkey and for the first time - Armenia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Afghanistan.
4. Participation of Heads of State Telecom Corporations including Kazakhtelecom, Kyrgyztelecom, Uzbektelecom, Turkmentelecom, Aztelecom, Georgia Telecom, ElektroSvyaz of Georgia, Tajik Telecom, SvyazInvest and Rostelecom, TCI of Iran, Turk Telecom, Armentel, Ukrtelecom and BTC.

Participation and support of RCC,OPIC, UNDP, EBRD, World Bank, More than 50 regional and International telecom and ICT industry publications reporting from Caspian Telecoms Conference & Exhibition

Caspian Telecoms 2003 Exhibition
1. 1st International and Regional Telecommunications and Information Technologies Exhibition for Turkey, the Caspian region and CIS
2. More than 200 exhibitors from 25 countries world-wide including CBoss, ControlWire, Corning, Hesfibel, Golden Telecom, Inmarsat, Intersputnik, Thales Antennas, ETK Kablo, TurkCell, Turk Telecom
3. National Stands from Israel, UK Group, Turkey, National Telecom Corporations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, USA Group, and others
4. 10,000 International trade visitors and ICT specialists from Turkey and all over the region of the Caspian region, Central Asia and the Caucasus.