The Turkmen economy continued strong growth performance in 2012, expanding by 11.1 percent. High growth performance sustained over an extended period of time led to a steady increase in income levels and moved the country to an upper middle-income status (GDP per capita exceeded $6,000 by the end of 2012). Preliminary outcomes of the annual economic developments demonstrate that the Turkmen economy remains resilient to the global uncertainties stemming from the Eurozone crisis.
The government maintains a large portfolio of social transfers and budget subsidies. Currently, all 17 subsidies have a universal character and are guaranteed until 2030, after which time the government may decide to move to a more targeted public social transfer policy.
Social indicators have showed improvements commensurate with the country’s economic performance. According to the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan, wages and salaries have increased by 11.2 percent during 2012 compared to 2011. After adjusting for inflation, the real rate of wage increase still make up 6 percent.
The Government’s National Socio-Economic Development Program for 2011–2030 and the National Rural Development Program focus on inclusive economic growth while preserving economic independence, modernizing the country’s infrastructure, and promoting foreign direct investment.
In July 2013, the Interim Strategy Note (ISN) for Turkmenistan was discussed by the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank Group. The ISN prepared jointly by the World Bank Group and the Government of Turkmenistan serves as a platform for cooperation for the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) with Turkmenistan to support reforms in the country for the period from July 2013 through June 2015.
The purpose of the Interim Strategy, which does not involve lending, is to assist the government in addressing selected priority issues related to the country’s development goals through the provision of analytical and advisory services in the selected areas identified through extensive consultations with key stakeholders, including the government ministries and agencies, private sector representatives, civil society organizations and development partners.
The ISN consists of two components:
first, a reimbursable services program, financed by the government and focused on macroeconomic statistics, financial sector development, and private sector development. This program is arranged, managed, and supervised by the World Bank Group.
second, complementing the reimbursable services program, a set of strategic analytical studies undertaken by the Bank and IFC on economic diversification, investment climate, privatization, and WTO accession. These studies will be financed by the World Bank Group and implemented in line with standard internal procedures for analytical and advisory services.
The World Bank Liaison Office in Ashgabat, established in 1996, is providing operational support for the ISN implementation and responsible for enhancing communications with the government.
Since 1992, at the request of the Government, the Bank prepared a number of studies and extended three loans to Turkmenistan.
Recent Bank activities in Turkmenistan included the Statistical Capacity Building Project, the Civil Society Fund Program, which is now being transformed into a Global Partnership for Social Accountability Program, the Avian Influenza Control and Human Pandemic Preparedness and Response Project.
At the Government’s request, the Bank also provided advice on a number of issues, including but not limited to, national wealth funds, an Accounting and Auditing Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC), the modernization of the Hydromet agency, the anti-money-laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legal framework along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), transport and logistics issues, and international experience in the ports sector.