EBRD keeps Turkmenistan's 2023 GDP growth forecast at 6.5%, 7% in 2024
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is maintaining its estimate of Turkmenistan's GDP growth for 2023-2024 at the same level it had forecast in February and May, the bank's September Regional Economic Outlook review said, Azernews reports, citing Interfax.
This year, the EBRD still expects the country's economy to grow 6.5%, and next year by 7%.
Economic growth in Turkmenistan in H1 2023 reached 6.2% YoY and was "widely supported by increased government spending and rising gas exports," the review said. In addition, wages increased, which led to the expansion of retail trade and trade turnover.
Praising the country's import substitution policy, the EBRD noted growth in industry and agriculture against the backdrop of increasing domestic demand. Investment growth of 24.6% was also recorded in H1 2023.
The opening of new air routes to strengthen ties with potential trading partners has led Turkmen Airlines to more than triple its cargo traffic, the EBRD said. Cargo turnover at the Turkmenbashi international seaport also increased 2.3 times in H1 of this year. "The recent inclusion of this port in the 'green' list and its international EcoPort certification will be a good pretext for the transit attractiveness of the country," the bank said.
Meanwhile, the country is benefiting from windfalls from gas exports in the short term, but over-reliance on one export product (gas) and one gas market (China) poses a serious vulnerability, the EBRD said.
As per Turkmenistan's socio-economic development program, GDP growth for 2023 is envisaged at 6.5%. The country's authorities expect economic growth of at least 6.7% per year over the 2024-2028 period.
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