Turkmenistan - Economic sectors

Turkmenistan's economy is dominated by state control of agriculture and industry, legacies of Soviet economic developments and regional links. The CIA World Factbook indicated that agriculture accounted for 25 percent of GDP and industry for 43 percent in 1999. Given that about 44 percent of the population is involved in agriculture, Turkmenistan has attempted privatization schemes, but with little success. Moreover, Turkmenistan, which has never opted for a market economy, continues Soviet-like systems with multiple exchange rates , state orders, and regulated prices, making expanded trade with neighboring states extremely difficult.

The best option for Turkmenistan to restructure its economy, and to develop some sort of sustainable growth, appears to be its ability to market and sell its natural resources, in particular natural gas. The absence of infrastructure, however, raises doubts about Turkmenistan's ability to do so at the pace necessary for economic expansion. Since transportation and export problems have caused problems throughout Turkmenistan's entire economy, especially for the international trade of its energy resources, establishing new markets and routes for trade

is of crucial importance. Foreign investment in Turkmenistan has been substantial, although due to the political environment it has decreased almost 70 percent since 1995. In 1992 investment was US$11 million, peaking in 1995 at US$233 million, but falling to only US$62 million in 1998.

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