The Economy of Turkmenistan

The Economy of Turkmenistan

Turkmen Economy

Economy - overview: Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and sizeable gas and oil resources. One-half of its irrigated land is planted in cotton; formerly it was the world's 10th-largest producer. Poor harvests in recent years have led to an almost 50% decline in cotton exports. 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. Privatization goals remain limited. From 1998-2005, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, total exports rose by an average of roughly 15% per year from 2003-08, largely because of higher international oil and gas prices. A new pipeline to China, set to come online in late 2009 or early 2010, will give Turkmenistan an additional export route for its gas. Overall prospects in the near future are discouraging because of widespread internal poverty, a poor educational system, government misuse of oil and gas revenues, and Ashgabat's reluctance to adopt market-oriented reforms. In the past, Turkmenistan's economic statistics were state secrets. The new government has established a State Agency for Statistics, but GDP numbers and other figures are subject to wide margins of error. In particular, the rate of GDP growth is uncertain. Since his election, President BERDIMUHAMEDOW has sought to improve the health and education systems, unified the country's dual currency exchange rate, ordered the redenomination of the manat, reduced state subsidies for gasoline, increased internet access both in schools and internet cafes, ordered an independent audit of Turkmenistan's gas resources, and created a special tourism zone on the Caspian Sea. Although foreign investment is encouraged, numerous bureaucratic obstacles from the NYYZOW-era remain.


GDP - real growth rate: 10% (2008 est.) 11.5% (2007 est.) 9% (2006 est.)

GDP - per capita:

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 10.7% industry: 38.8% services: 50.4% (2008 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.6% highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)

Distribution of family income - Gini index: 40.8 (1998)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

Labor force: 2.089 million (2004 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 48.2% industry: 14% services: 37.8% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate: 60% (2004 est.)

Budget: revenues: $1.393 billion expenditures: $1.42 billion (2008 est.)

Industries: natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing

Industrial production growth rate: -0.1% (2008 est.)

Electricity - production: 12.83 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

Electricity - consumption: 9.584 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - exports: 1.34 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 180,400 bbl/day (2007est.)

Oil - consumption: 107,400 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Oil - exports: 40,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - imports: 5,283 bbl/day (2005)

Oil - proved reserves: 600 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Natural gas - production: 68.88 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 19.48 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 49.4 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 2.832 trillion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Agriculture - products: cotton, grain; livestock

Exports: $9.887 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities: gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber

Exports - partners: Ukraine 51.3%, Iran 18.5%, Turkey 5% (2007)

Imports: $5.291 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners: UAE 14.3%, Russia 11.6%, Turkey 10.3%, China 9.1%, Ukraine 8.7%, Iran 7%, Germany 6.5%, US 5.6% (2007)

Debt - external: $1.4 billion note: some estimates put this figure as high as $5 billion (2004 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:


Currency code:

Exchange rates: Turkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar - 14,250 (as of 1 May 2008 est.)

Fiscal year:

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