The economic growth of Turkmenistan is carried out based on the national and state programs for short and long-term periods. Today, Turkmenistan has the diversified, multifunctional economy presented by enterprises of power industry, oil and gas production, oil-processing, chemical and petrochemical field, mechanical engineering and metal-processing, objects for producing building materials, light and food industry.
Macroeconomic results of 2019 were visual indication of financial stability, stable dynamics of growth in all sectors of national economy including social sphere.
For the social and economic development of the country in 2018-2024 it is planned to allocate more than 240 billion manat.
The growth rate of Turkmenistan’s GDP in the year of 2019 made up 6.3 percent including 4.1 percent in industry, 14.2 percent in trade and 10.1 percent in transport and communication sphere. According to the experts of International Monetary Fund, this indicator is one of the highest in the world and the highest among Central Asian countries.
At the same time, the size of wages has increased. All the wages, pensions, welfare payments and students’ stipends were financed timely and in full volume. According to the President’s Decree, the salaries of personnel of the entities financed from the Budget, self-sustained enterprises and non-governmental organizations as well as pensions and state allowances, students scholarships were increased on 10 percent.
Adoption of the Programme of social and economic development of the country in 2019 – 2025 and Programme of development of foreign economic activity of Turkmenistan in 2020 – 2025 as well as start of realization of the Concept of transit to digital economy in 2019 – 2025 are worth to be mentioned among the main events of 2019.
It is also important to note the importance of the First Caspian Economic Forum, which was successfully held in August 2019, in the framework of which the Caspian Exhibition of Innovative Technologies and the International Motor Exhibition “Türkmen sährasy-2019” were organized.
The 83rd session of the Economic Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which was held in Ashgabat on September 13 under the chairing of Turkmenistan in the CIS in 2019, is another important event of the last year.
Turkmenistan actively develops its foreign economic relations with other countries. Today Turkmenistan has foreign trade relations with 119 countries of the world.
Improvement of financial reporting is the main coordinating instrument for the establishment of the cooperation with different states of the world and attraction of foreign investments to the economy of the country. In this context, it is necessary to mention the adoption in December 2017 of a Resolution, according to which all entities and organizations (excluding crediting institutions) regardless of the ownership were assigned to implement international accounting and financial reporting standards from January 1, 2019. In the result, 2018 has been marked with the development of the infrastructure of electronic banking, growth of non-cash payments, increment of banks capitalization, crediting of medium and small entrepreneurship, provision of new banking production.
Same as in previous years, Turkmenistan pays great attention to the expansion of the cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and other.
At present, in the country, under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, grandiose reforms are under way in the framework of the national and state programs, which are aimed at the diversification of the national economy and at the achievement of innovative character.
Trade is one of the most dynamically developing sectors of the national economic sectors, most clearly reflecting the changes in the national economy, including its trends in the transition to market relations.
A segment of the national trade sphere, by which one can judge the trends of its development, the state of the domestic market and the export opportunities of Turkmen manufacturers, was presented on April 13-14 at the Exhibition Fair “Trade and Services – 2019.”
The Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs celebrated its 11th anniversary by traditional festive events. On the occasion of this date, on March 16-17, an Exhibition-Fair showcasing the products of Turkmen private manufacturers was held in the building of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan. One of the important events dedicated to the date of the Union’s formation was the opening on March 14 in Ashgabat of the first Laboratory Center for Food Safety Expertise in Turkmenistan.
On June 16, a celebration was held in the city of Dubai (UAE) on the occasion of the opening of a specialized store of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan. Located in the Dubai Marina Shopping Center, it offers customers national rugs, textiles and souvenirs.
Traditional sectors have considerably grown over the recent years: oil and gas complex, power engineering, agriculture, construction, transport and communications. At the same time, a lot of work is being carried out for the formation of new sectors of the economy: chemical, textile and building materials industries, telecommunications and other high-tech spheres.
Special programs worked out such as the “National program for socio-economic development of the country for 2018-2024.” They were targeted at the further enhancement of the above named branches for medium-term prospect.
Possessing the world's fourth confirmed natural gas reserves, as well as taking into account the peculiarities of the geographical location, Turkmenistan implements the policy of diversification of its international cooperation, particularly in the energy sector, on the basis of an equal partner access to the sources of Turkmen hydrocarbons and their means of delivery. This involves the creation of multivariate transportation pipeline infrastructure for the export of Turkmen energy resources to the international energy markets.
The country, along with the traditional routes, and with its partners launched the construction of its gas pipeline on the route of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI). The construction of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas line on the territory of our country is carried out according to the schedule. On February 23, 2018, the construction of this gas pipeline on the Afghan territory was launched.
As a result of practical measures, the share of foreign investments to Turkmen economy steadily grows every year and number of joint ventures is increased. Turkmenistan is highly interested in the projects on export of its energy to the European direction. Along with the geographical diversification, the structural diversification of the energy sector of Turkmenistan is being gradually implemented through the creation of new, primarily, process industries, based on hydrocarbon raw material. Turkmenistan believes that the joint implementation of international transport projects in Central Asia and the Caspian basin are also important, taking into account the unique geographical location in the region.
The power system of Turkmenistan is associated with the combined power system of Central Asia and is capable of exporting large amounts of electricity to Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and other countries in the region. The potential of the energy industry in the country is constantly increasing: the construction of new power plants and power lines, the reconstruction and modernization of existing power facilities. By 2024, the total volume of electricity produced in the country will be increased to 33 billion kilowatt-hours.
Turkmenistan has great opportunities for the development of different sectors of chemical and petrochemical industries, including the use of resources of already developed fields and industrial development of new deposits of chemical raw stock.
On March 31, 2017, during the visit of the President of the Republic of Belarus to Turkmenistan, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko took part in the solemn ceremony of commissioning a mining and processing enterprise for potash fertilizers, built in Garlyk in Lebap province.The construction of a mining complex on the production of potash fertilizers, symbolizes the birth of new mining branch for the Turkmen economy, based on the vast resource base. Thus, Garlyk deposit of potassium salts is capable to produce fertilizers in the volume of 1-1.5 million tons annually and in the future that figure will reach up to 4 millions.
In accordance with interstate agreements, the power of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline is gradually increasing. In December 2019, it was 10 years since the launch of this world's largest energy highway.
One of the largest investment projects related to strengthening the resource base of the industry is the industrial development of the world's largest gas field “Galkynysh,” the reserve of which together with the “Yashlar” and “Garakyol fields,” are estimated at almost 27 trillion cubic meters.
At the moment, the field’s operating fund with an area of more than 4 thousand square kilometers has over 40 wells, each of which has an average production rate of two million cubic meters of gas per day.
The “Turkmennebit” state concern is preparing to begin construction of the first exploratory well with a projected depth of 6,500 meters on the prospective area of South Uzynada. This structure is located next to the Uzynada field, recently discovered in the Caspian coastal zone.
In March 2019, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the “Turkmennebit” State Concern and the ARETI International Group of Companies concerning the cooperation in the development of this field.
Along with this, purposeful activities are being carried out to diversify the oil and gas industry, as well as to build large industrial facilities specializing in the processing of hydrocarbon raw materials, including those related to petrochemistry, gas chemical and chemical industries, and the electric power industry.
In this regard, the landmark event was the commissioning of the world's first plant for the production of synthetic gasoline from natural gas in the Akhal velayat. The opening ceremony of this unique gas chemical complex took place in June 2019 with the participation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The industrial complex is included in the Guinness Book of Records as “The First-ever Plant for the Production of Gasoline from Natural Gas,” and is also awarded the Certificate “Innovation Technologies” of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Certificate “Ecologically Clean” of the Environmental Protection Fund (USA).
In accordance with the “Program for the Socio-Economic Development of the Country for 2019-2025,” the work will continue on the formation of high-tech industries based on the latest, highly efficient and environmentally friendly technologies and know-how. In the oil and gas sector, it is planned to build and modernize more than 20 large facilities.
In the future, it is planned to build new gas-chemical complexes in each region of the Homeland, including the production of polyethylene and polypropylene, rubber and polystyrene, polyvinyl acetate, methanol, etc. The implementation of outlined plans in the given sphere will help accelerate the pace of industrialization of the country, increase competitiveness and export potential of the national economy.
In May, the 10th International Gas Congress of Turkmenistan (TGC-2019) was held in the Avaza National Tourist Zone, in which about 450 delegates from 30 countries took part. Among them are representatives of more than 100 oil and gas companies, reputable international organizations and financial institutions, domestic and foreign ministries and departments, research centers.
Traditionally, the International Exhibition and Conference “Oil and Gas of Turkmenistan” (OGT) serves as an effective platform for exchanging experience and promoting international cooperation in the energy sector. In October 2019, the forum was held for the 24th time, gathering distinguished scientists and experts, representatives of government agencies and authoritative organizations, leading foreign companies and relevant departments from Europe, Asia and America in Ashgabat.
In general, the implementation of the country's socio-economic development strategy for the coming years with its most important component - the oil and gas industry - will significantly strengthen the country's economic power.
The investment activity of the economy has led to the rapid growth of the construction industry of Turkmenistan. In addition to large-scale public construction projects, industrial, recreational, cultural facilities, such as the creation of the Avaza National Tourist Zone, the large-scale construction of dwelling houses are being carried out within the National program for the reform of social and living conditions in villages, towns, cities, districts and etrap centers for the period up to 2020.
Within the framework of the consistent programs, construction of industrial and social facilities is being carried out in all regions of the country. From 2019 to 2025, it is planned to build and modernize objects for various purposes in the country's provinces, including institutions of education, health, culture, residential buildings, and infrastructure facilities.
Achievements and perspectives in urban construction sphere, architecture and formation of urban infrastructure in modern Turkmenistan were visually demonstrated at XVIII International exhibition “White city of Ashgabat” on May 25 – 26.
100 representatives of local and foreign companies as well as ministries and departments of the country took part in the review. Leading partners of Turkmenistan Bouygues, NATA, Gap Inşaat, Rönesans, Altkom, Interbudmontazh presented models of construction facilities, innovative development and technologies including in such directions as water supply and lighting, road construction, active leisure industry and other.
Ground breaking ceremony of administrative centre of Ahal Velayat in Gyoktepe etrap, which took place in April, 2019 with participation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, is among remarkable events of the year.
New city, which is built in picturesque valley, is designated for more than 70,000 people. It is planned to build more than 400 cottages and multi-storey apartment buildings, 10 kindergartens for 320 children each, 19 schools for 720 students. In addition, elementary and secondary specialized schools and two art schools are planned to be built.
It will have a network of medical facilities including the Centre of Mother and Child Health Protection and other facilities. It is planned to build the Ruhiyet Palace, drama theatre, circus and museum, two modern sport complexes in velayat centre. At the same time, it is planned to build International Equestrian School with hippodrome, training grounds, stables and arena as well as Scientific and Production centre of this profile.
Construction of large-scale social and production complex of new type in the area of Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake has been launched in Balkan Velayat in May last year with participation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Project of construction of mining and metallurgic facility for industrial processing of iron ore, which deposits have been discovered near Gyzylgaya settlement, Turkmenbashy etrap, Balkan Velayat, will be developed according to the order of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Initial estimates of reserves are 70 – 75 million tons per year. This raw material is used for production of cement.
Orientation to innovative development through study of advanced world practice and introduction of progressive technologies are the main line, which determined the character of International exhibition Turkmenstroy 2019, which was held in Ashgabat in August.
The forum has gathered representatives of national and foreign companies, enterprises and companies, business and entrepreneurs working in this sphere from Russian Federation, France, Germany, Austria, PRC, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece and other countries.
Digital management systems, robotized and intellectual networks, all of these would be put as a basis of organization of functioning of Ashgabat city, which model was the main exhibited of the review. Conference “Development of Construction Industry of Turkmenistan” has also been held under the forum.
According to the Programme of social and economic development of turkkmenistan in 2019 – 2025, the share of construction in total volume of the GDP will increase up to 11.5 percent for seven years. Investments to the main capital will be 229.3 billion manats. It is planned to put 289 facilities including 36 after reconstruction and modernization in this period.
In addition, 13 hospitals, 20 clinics, 163 kindergartens, 201 schools, 16 cultural houses, 11 water treatment facilities, 13 sewage facilities as well as 1,896.4 square meters of living will be built in the region under National rural programme. 7 facilities are planned to be commissioned in power energy sphere in coming seven-year period.
In general, the outcomes of 2019, which were summed up at extended session of the Cabinet of Ministers on February 7, indicate positive tendencies in investment and construction activity.
Therefore, rapid growth of production potential of the country including in construction industry and power energy are bright indicators of successful realization of large-scale changes.
Turkmenistan attaches great importance to the development of transport and communication system (railways and roads, sea and river ports, pipelines) as an essential part of infrastructure for the sustainable development of the country’s economy.
Turkmenistan is turning into the world's largest international transit-transport and telecommunication corridor of global importance. In this context, the dynamic development of the sphere of transport and communications serves the formation of new socio-economic conditions, the expansion of business and mutually beneficial cooperation, of friendship and brotherhood, both with neighboring countries and with all interested countries and nations of the world.
Large-scale international projects in the transport sphere initiated by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov are designed to give a significant impulse to regional and interregional economic cooperation.
Turkmenistan is one of the largest international transit centers of railway transportation by the corridors of “North-South,” “West-East”.
According to the decision of the Head of the State at the session of the Council of the Elders in October 2017, 1 billion 300 million manats will be invested to the development of national space sphere and improvement of its activity in 2018 – 2024.
The main objectives of the country’s agricultural sector is to meet food demands of population, provide processing industry with raw materials, increase production efficiency, form new economic relations and consistently strengthen food security.
Today Turkmenistan is fully self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs. At present, the country produces a wide range of high-quality products which are competitive in the foreign market, providing domestic food abundance and effectively solving the tasks of import substitution, increasing the export position of Turkmenistan.
In 2019, Turkmenistan's exports increased by 4.6 percent compared to 2018, exceeding 9 billion manat. The volume of exports to foreign countries exceeded 11 billion 200 million US dollars.
During the years of independence export-oriented textile industry with modern high-tech equipment was created in Turkmenistan, 60 textile complexes and enterprises with the most advanced and efficient equipment were built and commissioned into operation. Currently, about 80 percent of manufactured textile products are exported to the European Union, the USA, Canada, Russia, Turkey, Hungary, China, the Baltics, Ukraine and other countries.
It is necessary to note the fact that election of our country to three UN structures – Science and Technologies Committee for Development in 2017-2020, Commission on Population and Development in 2016-2020 and Social Development Committee in 2017-2021 at the session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is a bright evidence of international support of the measures taken by the Government of Turkmenistan for stable growth of national economy and adaptation to unfavourable external conditions.