30 years of independence: structural reforms, diversification and digitization of the economy

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30 years of independence: structural reforms, diversification and digitization of the economy

For three decades of independence, Turkmenistan has successfully implemented the reformation of specialized part of national economy of big multi-national country into self-sustained national model of the economy, which is dynamically developed according to global trends. Today, Turkmenistan is among the first hundred states by the GDP volumes per capita, the indicator which shows the level of economic development of the country, outpacing the majority of its regional neighbors in the IMF and WB ratings. In the result of stable economic growth, which is successfully preserved from the beginning of the independence, the World Bank has awarded Upper Middle Income Country Status to Turkmenistan in 2012.

Owing to high share of savings, Turkmenistan carried out active investment policy from the first days of independence in order to reduce material dependence to move from resource economy to industrial, resource and diversified economy. Not only certain super modern facilities provided with equipment and technologies from the leading world manufacturers but entire branches have been opened. Textile industry working on local material resources has been established almost from the beginning. Such facilities as Turkmenbashy Textile Complex in Ashgabat are the biggest in Central Asia. The complex has been put into operation in 2000 and cost 116 million US dollars at that time.

For the last decades, the country has made first steps in establishment of such new for national economy industries as metallurgy, ore mining, petrochemical industries, ship building, electronic industry. The first in the country metallurgic plant oriented to production of construction metal works has started working in Ovadan-depe in 2009. In 2017, Turkmenistan has opened Garlyk Ore Mining Complex, the first facility for production of potassium fertilizers.

Big projects have been implemented for processing of oil and gas, among which the first in the country unique GTL Plant, which first in the world started the production of liquid fuel from natural gas in industrial volumes, is worth to be mentioned. Electronic industry, which production is represented by local computers, smart TVs, smartphones, mono blocks, routers, split ACs, various LED lamps, is one of the youngest branches of Turkmenistan’s economy. The future plans provide further expansion of popular line of electronic production oriented not only to local but also to foreign market.

Turkmen entrepreneurs have started to dominate in construction market of the country, trade, agricultural complex, service sphere and other branches for the years of independence. Today, numerous private livestock complexes, textile facilities, household and computer equipment, building material and polymeric production complexes work in the country. According to time requirements, local entrepreneurs open small production facilities for processing of used plastic, paper, polyethylene, rubber, wood and production of various commodities from recycled material.

In 2021, it is planned to take measures for further support and stimulation of entrepreneurship, privatization of state-owned facilities and enterprises, opening of joint stock ventures, increment of the share of private sector in the structure of the economy of the country, development of securities market. Specifying objectives for the current year, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted: “We continue reorganization of the economy on the principle of market relations. At the same time, we are heading toward significant increment of the share of private property and entrepreneurship, elimination of barriers and limitations in their development, by thus reducing the role of the state in the economy”.

New opportunities are made in the country for implementation of entrepreneurship activity, legal and financial support of the business, taxation system is improved, process of registration of businessmen and licensing of their activity is simplified. Partnership between the state and private sector, which has been formed in the last years, is new occurrence for national economy of the independence epoch.  

Ogulgozel Rejepova

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