Ashgabat, November 2, 2014 – On November 1-2, the Government of Turkmenistan jointly with the World Bank Group organized a high-level conference on Monetary Policy, Competitiveness and Economic Growth, which coincided with the Turkmen Manat day – anniversary of introduction of the national currency of Turkmenistan.
The event was attended by high-level officials from the Government of Turkmenistan, including Cabinet of Ministers, Central Bank and a number of Ministries, such as Finance, Economy and Development, Railway Transportation, Communication, Education, Labor and Social Protection. Representatives from the private sector and other development partners also attended the event. The World Bank Group was represented by the World Bank Chief Economist for the Europe and Central Asia region; IBRD and IFC Regional Directors for Central Asia; several Managers of Global Practices and technical experts. The conference also benefitted from knowledge of international experts, who were invited as speakers and panelists.
The main objective of the two-day conference was to acquaint the Turkmen officials with the global knowledge and experience. The conference also allowed the representatives of the World Bank Group and development partners to learn from the authorities about the strategic directions of the Government of Turkmenistan in the areas of economic development and diversification, and to exchange views on how the World Bank Group and other development partners could further assist the authorities with the reform agenda.
The conference focused on a wide range of topics pertaining to economic competitiveness and growth. Over two days, the sessions explored important issues and brought global knowledge and international examples in areas such as allocative and operational efficiency in public spending; development of banking financial services; policy tools for enhancing competitiveness; skills development and innovation in support of competitive industries; links between connectivity and competitiveness; and approaches to competitive and resilient agro-food industry. The sessions were facilitated and delivered by experts from the World Bank Group, as well as representatives of the Turkmen Government, IMF, EBRD and other partners.
“This high-level event is a result of close engagement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the World Bank Group, especially during the past two years”, said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia. “The World Bank Group teams worked hard to ensure that Turkmen partners benefit from the extensive global experience in the areas of competitiveness and economic growth as these topics are important for the Turkmenistan development agenda. We hope that the ideas discussed will help Turkmenistan to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons with increasing participation of the private sector. That will be necessary if Turkmenistan is to achieve higher living standards, ensure employment opportunities for a rapidly growing population, and become more economically integrated with the rest of the world.
This conference is part of the ongoing Interim Strategy of the World Bank Group and Turkmenistan for fiscal years 2014-15. 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 provision of analytical and advisory services in the areas jointly identified by the government and the World Bank Group. This approach reflects the findings of extensive consultations with key stakeholders, including the government, private sector representatives, civil society organizations, development partners, and others.