The development of the economy of Turkmenistan is carried out based on the national and state programs designed for the short and long-term periods. Today, Turkmenistan has a diversified, multifunctional economy represented by enterprises of the electric power industry, chemical, petrochemical industries, oil and gas production, oil refining industries, mechanical engineering and metal-processing, facilities for the production of building materials, light and food industries.
Macroeconomic results of 2020 were the visual evidence of financial stability, stable dynamics of growth in all sectors of national economy of Turkmenistan, including social sphere. The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has noted that “despite the coronavirus pandemic spreading in the world, which led to the decline of the world economy, the closure of the state borders, diminishing of business contact, Turkmenistan has retained its foreign policy and economic activity.”
It is planned to allocate more than 240 billion manats for the socio-economic development of the country in 2018-2024.
The growth of the gross domestic product of Turkmenistan at the end of 2020 was 5.9 percent, including 3.3 percent in the industrial sector, 15.1 percent in trade, 4.7 percent in the transport and communications sector.
At the same time, salaries, pensions, government benefits and student scholarships are funded in a timely and full manner. In accordance with the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan, the salaries of employees of institutions financed from the Budget, self-sustained enterprises and non-governmental organizations, as well as pensions and state allowances, students’ scholarships have been increased by 10 percent.
Among the main events of 2020, the start of implementation of the “Program for Development of Foreign Economic Activity of Turkmenistan for 2020 – 2025” and the completion of the tasks outlined in the new edition of the “National Program of the President of Turkmenistan on the transformation of social conditions of the population of villages, townships, cities of etraps and etrap centers” and the “Program on the Enhancement of the Employment Sphere and the Creation of New Working Places for 2015-2020” are worth to be mentioned.
Turkmenistan actively develops its external economic relations with other countries. Today, Turkmenistan has foreign trade relations with more than 100 countries of the world.
The enhancement of financial accountability system is the main coordinating instrument for the establishment of mutually beneficial cooperation with various states of the world and the attraction of foreign investments to the country’s economy.
As in previous years, Turkmenistan pays great attention to the expansion of cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and others. In this regard, Turkmenistan has acquired the status of an observer in the World Trade Organization. This will serve as favorable condition for the development of trade and economic relations of the country at the regional and international levels.
In the country under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, impressive reforms are being implemented 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.
On October 30, 2020, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made a video statement at the International Forum on Northern Economic Cooperation, which was held in Seoul in the format of a videoconference.
The head of state shared his vision of creating new plans and strategies for integrated development on the Eurasian continent and added, "In Turkmenistan we call this the revival of the Great Silk Road, thereby emphasizing the historical continuity of the unique relations between the peoples living here and the states located along it."
In recent years, traditional industries have developed significantly: the oil and gas complex, power generation, agriculture, construction, transport and communications. At the same time, work is underway to form new sectors of the economy: the chemical industry, the textile industry, the construction materials industry, telecommunications and other high-tech areas.
As part of the work carried out to implement the "Program of the President of Turkmenistan for the socio-economic development of the country for 2018-2024", special programs were created aimed at further development of the above-mentioned industries in the midterm period.
Possessing high proven reserves of natural gas in the world, as well as taking into account the peculiarities of its geographical location, Turkmenistan pursues a policy of diversifying its international cooperation, in particular, in the energy sector, based on equal access of partners to sources of Turkmen hydrocarbons and means of their delivery. This implies the creation of a multivariate transport and pipeline infrastructure to bring Turkmen energy resources to international energy markets.
Together with partners, the country continued the construction of the gas pipeline along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) route. The construction of the TAPI gas pipeline on the Turkmen territory is being carried out in accordance with the approved schedule.
On August 31, 2020, the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding on the provision of a land for the implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project on Afghan territory was held in Kabul.
On September 30, 2020, in the city of Kabul, a solemn ceremony of signing a number of significant documents was held to facilitate the further implementation of joint infrastructure projects between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, in particular, the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, electric and fiber-optic communication line Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan (TAP) and construction of railways.
As a result of the practical steps taken, the share of foreign investments in the Turkmen economy is steadily growing from year to year, and the number of joint ventures is increasing. Turkmenistan is interested in projects for the outputting of its energy resources in the European direction. Simultaneously with the geographical one, the structural diversification of the energy sector of Turkmenistan is being consistently carried out through the creation of new, primarily processing industries based on hydrocarbon raw materials. Taking into account the unique geographical location of this region, Turkmenistan pays attention to the joint implementation of international transport projects in Central Asia and the Caspian basin area.
The energy system of Turkmenistan is connected with the combined energy system of Central Asia and is capable of exporting significant volumes of electricity to Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Tajikistan and other countries of the region. The potential of the country's energy industry is constantly increasing: new power plants and power lines are being built, and existing energy facilities are being reconstructed and modernized. By 2024, the total volume of electricity produced in the country will be increased to 33 billion kilowatt-hours.
Turkmenistan has great opportunity for the development of the chemical and petrochemical industries associated with integrated use of the resources of already developed deposits and the industrial development of new deposits of chemical raw stock.
According to the interstate agreements, the capacities of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline are being gradually increased. The 11th anniversary of the launch of this world's largest energy pipeline was on December 2020.
One of the most ambitious investment projects related to increasing the resource base of the industry is the industrial development of the world's largest gas field “Galkynysh”, which is estimated at almost 27 trillion cubic meters when compared to the fields such as “Yashlar” and “Garakyol”.
At the moment, there are over 40 wells in the operating fund of the field, whose area is more than 4 thousand square kilometers, the flow rate of each of them, on average, is equal to two million cubic meters of gas per day.
Along with this, determined activities are being carried out to diversify the oil and gas industry, build large industrial facilities specializing in the processing of hydrocarbon raw materials, including those related to petro-chemistry, gas chemical and chemical industries, and electric power.
The commissioning of the world's first plant for the production of synthetic gasoline from natural gas in the Akhal velayat was a significant event. The opening ceremony of the unique gas chemical complex was held in June 2019 with the participation of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The industrial complex was included in the Guinness Book of Records as "The world's first plant for the production of gasoline from natural gas", and was also awarded the Certificates of Innovative Technologies by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the "Green" Environmental Protection Fund (USA).
According to the Program of the country's socio-economic development for 2019-2025, work will continue to create science-intensive 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 a number of large facilities.
In the future, new gas chemical complexes are planned to be built in each region of Turkmenistan, including for the production of polyethylene and polypropylene, rubber and polystyrene, polyvinyl acetate, methanol, etc. The implementation of above mentioned plans will help to accelerate the rate of industrialization of the country, increase the competitiveness and export potential of the national economy.
In general, the implementation of the country's socio-economic development strategy for the coming years and its most important component - the oil and gas industry - will significantly strengthen the economic power of Turkmenistan.
The high investment activity of the economy has led to the rapid growth of the construction complex of Turkmenistan. In addition to large-scale state construction projects for industrial, recreational, cultural purposes, such as the development of the Avaza National Tourist Zone, an extensive housing construction is underway in the country.
Within the framework of relevant 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 regions, including institutions of education, healthcare, culture, residential buildings, and infrastructure facilities.
The 19th international exhibition "My White City of Ashgabat" held on May 25, 2020, showed the achievements of Turkmenistan in the field of urban planning, architecture and the creation of urban infrastructure, as well as demonstrated opportunities for future cooperation. More than 70 representatives from Turkmenistan and foreign countries showed the production capabilities, manufactured products and the type of work performed. Among them are lots of firms and companies, as well as private entrepreneurs, who play an important role in the development of the construction industry in Turkmenistan.
The opening ceremony of the resort complex with the participation of the President of Turkmenistan along the coast of “Altyn Köl” (Golden Lake) located in the northern part of Ashgabat is among the notable events of 2020. For further development of this recreation area in the future, it is planned to build a number of two-floor cottages with high comfort, playgrounds and sports grounds, as well as outdoor pools and water parks and other relevant facilities.
On November 10, 2020, a large complex of social and cultural facilities, built as part of the 16th phase of the development of the country's main city, was commissioned. Within the framework of a large-scale project, six 48-apartment and ten 72-apartment twelve-floor residential buildings with improved comfort and planning were built, new roads with a total length of over 5.5 kilometers were laid with the necessary technical systems, underground pedestrian crossings and passenger transport stops.
In addition, the shopping and entertainment center “Gül Zemin” was also built there, and the center of the roundabout was ornamented with the original monument “Türkmen alabaý” (Turkmen Alabai dog). It should be noted that 2020 was a significant year in the promotion of this unique breed of dog. Thus, on the territory of the Ak Bugday district of the Akhal region, a complex of buildings of the economic society “Türkmen alabaý itleri” (Turkmen Alabai dogs) was opened, and a modern clinic and premises for keeping pets were built in the city of Anew. At the moment, according to the instructions of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the construction of the Quarantine Center in the Ahal region, as well as nurseries for the dogs in the Balkan, Dashoguz, Lebap, Mary regions and the city of Ashgabat continues.
The implementation of a grandiose project for the construction of a residential complex in the northern part of the capital will become the realization of the "Smart City" concept of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
According to the Program of Socio-Economic Development of Turkmenistan for 2019-2025, the share of construction in the total GDP in seven years will increase to 11.5 percent. Investments in fixed assets will amount to 229.3 billion manat. During this period, it is planned to put into operation 289 objects, including 36 - after reconstruction and modernization.
In addition, within the framework of the National Rural Program in the regions of Turkmenistan, the following will be built: 13 hospitals, 20 health houses, 163 preschool institutions, 201 secondary schools, 16 houses of culture, 11 water treatment plants, 13 sewage treatment plants, as well as residential buildings with a total area of 1896, 4 thousand square meters. In the electric power industry, it is planned to commission 7 objects in the next seven-year period.
So, the rapid growth of the country's production potential, including in the construction industry and the electric power industry is a vivid example of the successful implementation of large-scale transformations.
Turkmenistan attaches particular importance to the development of the transport and communication system (railways and highways, sea and river ports, pipeline transport) as the most important component of the infrastructure that ensures the sustainable development of the entire economy of the country.
Turkmenistan is turning into the largest international transit, transport and telecommunication corridor of world importance. In this context, the dynamic development of the sphere of transport and communications serves to form new socio-economic conditions, expand business and mutually beneficial cooperation, relations of friendship and brotherhood, both with neighboring countries and with all interested countries and nations of the planet.
Large-scale international projects in the transport sector initiated by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov are designed to give a significant impetus to regional and interregional economic cooperation.
Today, Turkmenistan acts as one of the largest international transit centers for railway transportation along the North-South and West-East routes.
According to the decision of the head of state at a meeting of the Council of Elders held in October 2017, about 1.3 billion manat of capital investments will be directed to the development of the domestic space sector and improvement of its activities in 2018-2024.
The main tasks of the country's agro-industrial complex are the maximum satisfaction of the population's needs for food, provision of the processing industry with raw materials, an increase in production efficiency and the formation of new economic relations, and the consistent strengthening of food security.
Today Turkmenistan is fully self-sufficient in basic foodstuffs. Currently, the country produces a wide range of high-quality products competitive in the external market, providing domestic food abundance and allowing to effectively solve the problems of import substitution, increasing the export positions of Turkmenistan.
Over the years of independence, an export-oriented textile industry equipped with modern high-tech machinery has been created in Turkmenistan, over 60 textile complexes and enterprises equipped with the most advanced and high-performance machinery have been built and put into operation. Currently, about 80 percent of the manufactured textile products are exported to the countries of the European Union, the USA, Canada, Russia, Turkey, Hungary, China, the Baltic countries, Ukraine and other countries.
In 2020, Turkmenistan was elected to two important UN bodies: the UN Commission on Social Development for the period 2021-2025 and the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development for 2021-2024. This is a vivid evidence of international support for the measures taken by the Government of Turkmenistan for the stable growth of the national economy.