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  • Country Context



    Population, million


    GDP, current US$ billion


    GDP per capita, current US$


    Life Expectancy at birth, years


    Turkmenistan is located at the center of the Eurasian continent and has been classified as an upper-middle-income country since 2012. It borders Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and, to the west of the country, the Caspian Sea, which offers abundant natural resources of gas and oil deposits.

    Turkmenistan’s gas reserves are estimated to be the world’s fourth largest, representing about 10 percent of global reserves. In addition to cotton and natural gas, the country is rich in petroleum, sulfur, iodine, salt, bentonite clays, limestone, gypsum, and cement—all potential inputs to chemical and construction industries.

    Although in July 2019 Turkmenistan signed a five-year contract with the Russian Federation to supply natural gas, the resumed volumes will be significantly lower than three years ago, making China the largest market for Turkmenistan’s hydrocarbon exports. Additionally, the country is in the process of constructing the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline. Gas exports to other regions through gas swap mechanisms would help diminish the risk of overreliance on a single client.

    Tight administrative controls and the public sector’s dominant role in economic activity have hindered private sector development. Despite the growth of the private sector’s share in segments of the economy, public sector and state-owned monopolies continue to govern the economy and the formal labor market. Apart from the hydrocarbon sector, foreign direct investment (FDI) remains limited.

    Opening the economy, improving the business regulatory environment, accelerating the corporatization and privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and investing more heavily in human capital would be vital to boosting private sector development and achieving medium- and long-term national development goals.

  • Strategy

    The World Bank and Turkmenistan

    The latest strategy for Turkmenistan, the Country Engagement Note (CEN) FY16–17, focused on deepening collaboration in such areas as financial sector development and improved macroeconomic statistics. In non-lending operations, the World Bank Group (WBG) has been sharing the relevant international knowledge, experience, and best practices in areas critical to Turkmenistan’s growth agenda and its attempted integration into the global economy.

    Funded by the Government of Turkmenistan and supplemented by the Bank’s other Advisory Services and Analytics, the knowledge-based Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) program—the cornerstone of the CEN—was prepared to support and be consistent with the Government’s strategic priorities.

    The Government and the WBG are currently in the process of identifying potential areas for expanding cooperation to help Turkmenistan implement additional reforms and overcome obstacles impeding the country’s socioeconomic development potential.

    Key Engagement

    During 2016–18, the WBG and the Government of Turkmenistan implemented the second RAS agreement, which was an integral part of the CEN for Turkmenistan.

    The RAS program was designed to support business model reform and corporate governance in the banking sector, the development of a credit reporting system, the administration of national risk assessments with regard to money laundering and terrorist financing, and the strengthening of macroeconomic statistics. The entire program under the agreement was managed, delivered, and supervised by the WBG in line with international best practices.

    Currently, the WBG and the Turkmen authorities are discussing potential areas to be included in a new RAS agreement to continue supporting Turkmenistan’s development objectives, as stated in the National Program for Social and Econmic Development, through the transfer of global knowledge and expertise and capacity-building activities.

    Recent and ongoing World Bank support is focused on such areas as the development of a welfare-monitoring system, support for a regional water and climate agenda, and technical assistance for the hydrometeorology committee.

  • Projects

    Since 1992, at the request of the Government, the Bank has prepared a number of studies and extended three loans to Turkmenistan.

    Other 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.



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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Ashgabat, +993 12 487450
UN Building, 21 Archabil Avenue, 744036, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Almaty, +7 727 377-8220
Central Asia Regional Office: 41A Kazybek bi Street, 4th Floor, 050010, Almaty, Kazakhstan