Economy in Turkmenistan

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Economy—overview: Turkmenistan is largely desert country with nomadic cattle raising intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and huge gas and oil resources. One-half of its irrigated land is planted in cotton making it the world's tenth largest producer. It also possesses the world's fifth largest reserves of natural gas and substantial oil resources. Until the end of 1993 Turkmenistan had experienced less economic disruption than other former Soviet states because its economy received a boost from higher prices for oil and gas and a sharp increase in hard currency earnings. In 1994 Russia's refusal to export Turkmen gas to hard currency markets and mounting debts of its major customers in the former USSR for gas deliveries contributed to a sharp fall in industrial production and caused the budget to shift from a surplus to a slight deficit. The economy bottomed out in 1996 but high inflation continued. Furthermore with an authoritarian ex-communist regime in power and a tribally based social structure Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its inefficient economy. In 1996 the government set in place a stabilization program aimed at a unified and market-based exchange rate allocation of government credits by auction and strict limits on budget deficits. Privatization goals remain limited. Turkmenistan is working hard to open new gas export channels through Iran and Turkey to Europe but these will take many years to realize.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$12.5 billion (1996 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -0.3% (1996)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3 000 (1996 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 18%

industry: 50%

services: 32% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 992% (1996 est.)

Labor force:

total: 2.34 million (1996)

by occupation: agriculture and forestry 44% industry and construction 19% other 37% (1996)

Unemployment rate: NA%


revenues: $521 million

expenditures: $548 million including capital expenditures of $83 million (1996 est.)

Industries: natural gas oil petroleum products textiles food processing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 3.95 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 9.204 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 2 013 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: cotton grain; livestock


total value: $1.7 billion to states outside the FSU (1996)

commodities: natural gas cotton petroleum products textiles electricity carpets

partners: FSU Hong Kong Switzerland US Germany Turkey (1996)


total value: $1.5 billion from states outside the FSU (1996)

commodities: machinery and parts grain and food plastics and rubber consumer durables textiles

partners: FSU US Turkey Germany Cyprus (1996)

Debt—external: $400 million (of which $275 million to Russia) (1995 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $10 million (1993)

note: commitments $1 830 million ($375 million drawn) 1992-95

Currency: 1 Tukmen manat (TMM) = 100 tenesi; Turkmenistan introduced its national currency on 1 November 1993

Exchange rates: manats per US$1—4 070 (January 1997) 2 400 (January 1996)

note: government established a unified rate in mid-January 1996

Fiscal year: calendar year

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