By Kamila Aliyeva
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to ensure the stability of the financial system, investment activity and stability and purchasing power of the national currency, the manat.
The Turkmen government reported that President Berdimuhamedov noted the necessity of increasing the export volumes and currency reserves.
The main tasks before the financial sector include maintaining inflation at a level that does not exceed the specified parameters, and providing domestic economy with necessary funds by regulating the money supply and controlling its circulation.
In early 2015, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan set an official exchange rate of 3.50 manat for $1, which is still maintained. The previous exchange rate of 2.85 manat for $1 remained unchanged from 2008.
Turkmenistan, Central Asia's biggest gas exporter, has earlier restricted access to foreign currency for local companies and individuals in response to a sharp fall in export revenues.
Turkmenistan, according to the report of British Petroleum (BP), has the fourth largest natural gas reserves in the world and at this stage sells raw materials to China and Iran. Russia, a traditional buyer, stopped purchasing Turkmen gas in 2016.
In March, the IMF recommended Turkmenistan to improve the business and regulatory environment to support the further development of the private sector in order to maintain dynamic, sustainable and comprehensive growth in difficult external conditions.
In 2017, Turkmenistan is expected to continue to be influenced by the effects of low hydrocarbon prices and the economic slowdown in China (its main export market).
Public investment is likely to be revised downwards. Some projects in the hydrocarbon sector, especially those linked with transporting gas (TAPI pipeline - Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) are expected to remain a priority, sustaining activity, especially in the construction sector.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz