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Turkmenistan has made some progress in transforming its economy but remains one of the least reformed countries in the region. The overarching transition challenges include developing the private sector supported by a well-functioning financial system, increasing economic openness through international economic integration, and commercialising municipal utilities and infrastructure. In response to these challenges, the Bank will concentrate its activities in the private sector in following strategic areas:
Supporting private sector development. Turkmenistan’s economy continues to be characterised by pervasive state intervention and state ownership. Although the number of private entrepreneurs and companies is growing, the private sector remains small and closely regulated by the state. In response to these broad reform challenges, during the next Strategy period the Bank will continue to focus its activities in Turkmenistan on supporting private sector development, both directly and indirectly via local partner banks. The Bank will provide financing to privately-owned companies outside the oil and gas sectors, focusing on food processing and distribution, logistics, transport services, packaging, furniture, and hospitality. To support the development of effective and sustainable financial intermediation to the private sector, the Bank will prioritise strengthening the financial sector to enable it to fund the economy by introducing market-oriented principles, and will launch a new banking framework agreement with existing and potentially new partner banks to channel funds to private sector MSME clients.
Promoting international integration. To support enhanced integration of Turkmenistan’s economy into the global economy, the Bank will seek opportunities to attract much-needed FDI by investing alongside foreign strategic investors, and will promote cross-border trade through the Trade Facilitation Programme with eligible partner banks. The Bank may consider supporting regional transport operations, particularly for projects with a sound business rationale and which are integrated into the CAREC transport corridors or the EU-TRACECA programme.
Laying the foundations for future reforms. In some sectors, particularly energy efficiency, power and municipal services, reforms have been insufficient to enable the Bank to engage fully. The Bank will therefore limit its activities in these areas to selective and targeted policy dialogue, as requested by the authorities, to promote the adoption of reforms leading to market-based solutions to the challenges in these sectors.
The Bank’s activities in addressing these challenges will continue to be guided by its mandate and its adherence to the principles of Article 1, and the Bank will continue to calibrate its engagement with the Turkmen state and public sector based on progress or regress against the political and economic benchmarks, including in the annual Country Strategy Updates. In addition, the Bank will continue to apply sector-specific criteria in relation to its engagement with public entities and will ensure that no investment operations will provide a direct financial benefit to the country’s central government authorities.
Last updated 3 September 2014