IMF Staff Concludes Staff Visit to Turkmenistan
November 14, 2019
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. This mission will not result in a Board discussion.
- Turkmenistan continues to pursue an investment-led growth strategy underpinned by import substitution and export promotion policies, directed concessional lending, and related broad exchange controls on international transactions and payments.
- Developing the private sector and diversifying the economy away from hydrocarbon exports requires stepping up reforms to ease administrative control, opening the economy to competition, and improving transparency.
- Increasing healthcare and education spending and targeting it better toward achieving human development outcomes is essential for nurturing talent and creating opportunities for all citizens.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Ms. Natalia Tamirisa
visited Ashgabat during November 5-12, 2019 to assess recent developments
and discuss economic and financial policy priorities with senior government
officials, representatives of the business and financial sectors, and the
At the end of the visit, Ms. Tamirisa issued the following statement:
“Economic growth continues to be driven by both the hydrocarbon and
nonhydrocarbon sectors. External balances remain in surplus, buoyed by
exchange controls in line with import substitution and export promotion
objectives. Under current policies, economic growth is expected to moderate
over the medium term as hydrocarbon production stabilizes. Risks are tilted
to the downside and include lower-than-expected hydrocarbon prices and
returns on past investment, rising external financing costs, and
“Significant overvaluation and foreign currency rationing are among the
factors that weigh on private investment and competitiveness of
nonhydrocarbon exports. Achieving sustainable economic growth requires
improving the competitiveness and convertibility of the manat. Adjustment
should be carefully sequenced to ensure macro-financial stability and
supported by measures to protect the vulnerable.
“Reducing the footprint of the state and opening the economy to competition
are important to promote economic efficiency and market development.
Alongside, phasing out directed cheap credit would help steer financial
resources to the most productive use and would help create a market-based,
more efficient financial system. Prudential oversight should be
strengthened in tandem to maintain financial stability.
“Steps to improve the efficiency of public spending are needed to increase
its impact while saving public financial resources. Higher, and better
targeted, spending on health and education is crucial to foster human
development and improve inclusiveness. Stronger economic policy frameworks
and transparency would help ensure sound decision-making and improve access
“The IMF team is grateful to the authorities and other stakeholders for
their warm hospitality and insightful discussions. The team stands ready to
support the authorities in their efforts to strengthen capacity, including
in public finance and debt management, monetary and exchange rate
operations, and national accounts, price and external statistics. The next
Article IV Consultation mission is scheduled for March 2020.”
IMF Communications Department
PRESS OFFICER: Randa Elnagar
Phone: +1 202 623-7100Email: MEDIA@IMF.org