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Turkmenistan strategy

Over the years the Bank has been concerned with Turkmenistan’s slow progress towards multi-party democracy, pluralism and a market-based economy in keeping with Article 1 of the Agreement Establishing the Bank. In March 2010 the Bank adopted a “calibrated strategic approach” for Turkmenistan, which introduced political and economic benchmarks against which reforms could be measured and the Bank’s operational response more finely tailored. This increased the Bank’s flexibility and enhanced its ability to match the scale and scope of operational responses to changes in the economic, business and political environment of the country.

Strategy (282KB - PDF)

Report on the invitation to the public to comment (56KB - PDF)

Local language translation (703KB - PDF)

While the Bank was unable to deploy the full range of its investment tools under the calibrated approach given the limited progress in reform, it nevertheless expanded private sector operations in the corporate and financial institutions sectors, engaged in targeted policy dialogue, fostered coordination among IFIs and donor organisations, and strengthened its reputation as a prominent agent of transition to a market economy.

Overall, the progress with reforms during the past strategy period has been slow. Some progress was made on three of the four economic benchmarks, but no substantial progress was registered on the three political benchmarks contained in the calibrated Country Strategy, although some positive steps were noted. At the same time, there was no clear evidence of regression.

The current circumstances in Turkmenistan warrant the continued application of a calibrated strategic approach, incorporating political and economic benchmarks to gauge the country’s progress (or regress) against its key Article 1 commitments and adjusting the Bank’s operational response accordingly. During the Strategy period, the Bank will monitor the following political and economic benchmarks:

In the political sphere:

  • Progress toward genuine political pluralism and meaningful political accountability, including strengthening checks and balances in the political system, registration of independent political parties, free functioning of NGOs and civil society groups, and even-handed application of the rule of law.
  • Substantial progress in increasing media freedom and freedom of expression.
  • Significant progress in improving the country’s overall human rights record, including the release of political prisoners and lifting restrictions on the freedom of movement.

In the economic sphere:

  • Increased space for the establishment, operations and growth of private sector companies in a competitive environment.
  • Significant reduction of arbitrary and distortionary state intervention in the economy, including through price controls, uneconomical tariff setting, and directed lending.
  • Strengthening market-supporting institutions and development of the legal and regulatory framework for operation of privately-owned firms across various sectors of the economy.
  • Improving public finance transparency in line with best international practice, building on positive progress made in the previous Strategy period.

For the new Strategy period the Bank will closely monitor developments against these political and economic benchmarks. Where progress against these benchmarks is noted, the Bank will be able to consider a wider range of investment activities in Turkmenistan. Conversely, if regress is noted against these benchmarks the Bank will further limit the scope of its engagement, particularly outside the private sector.

Last updated 3 September 2014