According to expert Aronsky, last year the country exported more goods than it imported.
The authorities of Turkmenistan pay special attention to the development of trade relations with other countries. The focus is made on increasing export volumes and expanding the production of import-substituting products. The topic was raised by the head of the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan, a member of the Coordination Council of the International Union of Economists in an interview to CentralAsia.news.
Since 2015, Turkmenistan has been implementing a state program to increase export volumes with a total value of about 6.1 billion US dollars and a state program for the production of import-substituting products with a total value of 176 million US dollars.
The program focuses on the development of national enterprises and the production of products that are competitive in the domestic and world markets. The investments in the implementation of both programs are carried out by the private sector of the national economy.
And today, these programs are quite successfully implemented even in the context of global economic crises, caused first by the general macroeconomic situation, and then by the coronavirus pandemic. For example, in 2020, food imports decreased by 24% compared to the previous year due to the replacement of several imported food products with products of local agricultural producers.
Decrease in foreign trade turnover
Due to the increase in domestic production, the foreign trade turnover of the country has been declining in recent years for objective reasons. The policy of diversification in the economy, pursued almost from the first days of independence of the state, the creation of new industries and a significant increase in the processing of raw materials within the country and the supply of finished products to the external market, the cost of which is several times higher than the raw materials themselves, is already yielding impressive results.
Due to the adaptation of the world economy to work amid the coronavirus pandemic, the situation with the demand for energy resources in the markets is rapidly changing for the better for us, and the prices for these resources are growing significantly.
Therefore, it can be expected that the balance of payments of the foreign trade balance for 2021 will be significantly better than in 2020, although even then it was positive (that is, more goods were exported than they were imported).
Increase in local production
In general, it can be noted that the consistently pursued policy in the field of import substitution and increasing the volume of exports of products, despite the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, makes it possible, even in difficult conditions for the global economy, to increase production, and for certain goods, such as, for example, tomatoes shown in the EAEU statistics, achieve a noticeable increase in export volumes.
It should be mentioned that Turkmenistan actively cooperates with the CIS countries in trade. Thus, the trade turnover between Turkmenistan and Tatarstan last year amounted to 107 million US dollars. Ashgabat buys ambulance helicopters and Kamaz trucks from Kazan.
The volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan and Russia increased by 40%. Last year, the corresponding figure reached 1 billion US dollars.
Ashgabat actively cooperates with Tatneft, Kazan Helicopter JSC, KER-Holding. At the end of March, Rospotrebnadzor and the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan signed an agreement on cooperation in the implementation of international health regulations.
The oil company «Lukoil» will actively participate in the development of the large Turkmen-Azerbaijani field «Dostluk» in the Caspian Sea. The Russian company Vozrozhdeniye has been successfully operating in the road-building market of Turkmenistan for more than 10 years, and it has already launched more than 20 infrastructure facilities in the country. In July, the holding started the 2nd stage of construction of mudflow protection structures in Ashgabat.
A Logistics Center of Turkmenistan will soon be established in Astrakhan. The Trade House of Turkmenistan was registered in Kazan on March 11 this year.
The authorities of the Central Asian country intend to expand trade with the Volga-Kama region of the Russian Federation, industrial cooperation with St. Petersburg, interaction with Udmurtia in livestock, poultry, and veterinary medicine.
Over the past year, Turkmenistan and Russia have sent each other humanitarian aid several times. On an annual basis, Turkmen students go to various cities of the Russian Federation to get higher education.
Turkmenistan also extensively cooperates with the countries of Central Asia. Thus, the Turkmen and Kazakh authorities intend to expand the volume of cargo transportation between the Aktau International Sea Trade Port and the Turkmenbashi International Sea Port.
In April, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in the capital of Turkmenistan. He said that the volume of trade between the countries has increased more than 3 times in recent years. In 2020, the corresponding figure reached 530 million US dollars. The states have created 150 joint ventures. Countries also interact in education.
Ashgabat intends to expand trade and economic ties with Kyrgyzstan. At the end of June, the head of the republic, Sadyr Japarov, arrived in Turkmenistan. He took part in the Turkmen-Kyrgyz economic forum. As part of the event, businessmen of the two countries signed agreements for the supply of Turkmen goods to Bishkek in the amount of 28.5 mln US dollars. The first consignment of the corresponding cargo has already been delivered to Kyrgyzstan. Turkmenistan also intends to help the republic in exporting goods to Afghanistan.
Ashgabat pays special attention to the development of trade and economic relations with other CIS countries. In the first half of June, Turkmen businessmen took part in a conference of the Commonwealth countries. The speakers spoke about the work of the national chambers for the development of foreign trade relations and interaction in the region.
Turkmenistan imports engineering products from Belarus. These are road, construction and agricultural machinery, urban passenger and municipal transport, tractors, trucks, and buses. A service center for Belarusian equipment operates in Ashgabat.
On January 21, Foreign Ministers of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan Rashid Meredov and Jeyhun Bayramov signed a memorandum of understanding between the governments on joint exploration, development of the Dostluk hydrocarbon field in the Caspian Sea.
The Central Asian country is also actively cooperating with international companies. During a meeting with the Turkmen leader director of ARETI Igor Makarov announced that he intends to transfer funds to the account of the Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Charitable Fund for Assistance to Children in Need of Guardianship.