By Nigar Abbasova
The growth rate of Turkmenistan's gross domestic product exceeded the level of 6 percent from January to May 2016.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made the remark during the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, further mentioning that despite the observed growth of the global economy the process is going on very slowly and subjected to risks.
Turkmenistan also recorded growth in the economic spheres that are not related to the fuel and energy, the increase accounted to 2.2 percent as compared to the same period in 2015.
GDP in Turkmenistan slowed to 6.5 percent in 2015 compared to 10.3 percent in 2014 due to declining natural gas export and lower public investment. Russia bought just 4 billion cubic meters of gas in 2015 compared to 40 billion cubic meters in 2008. The county stopped importing gas from Turkmenistan in 2016.
Turkmenistan is currently engaged in the increase of the export volume of locally-manufactured products.
The European Bank for Reconstruction of Development (EBRD) forecasts that Turkmenistan's GDP growth will reach the rates of 6.5 percent and 7.1 percent in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The country seeks to achieve the diversification of national economy and has already taken steps for the promotion of such industries as textile, petrochemicals and building materials.
Turkmenistan has abundant reserves in the energy resources and plans to diversify the routes of gas deliverance. Being the forth in the world in terms of the volume of natural gas reserve the country is considering the European market as one of the most promising areas of gas supply. Being the richest country on natural gas in Central Asia, Turkmenistan currently exports a large amount of gas to China, and the figures range between 30-45 bcm.
Turkmenistan’s exports also include gas, oil, cotton, polymers, textiles and vegetable products. The country’s two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 7% of GDPand employs nearly half of the country's workforce.
The top export destinations of Turkmenistan are China, Turkey, Italy, the UK and Germany. The top import origins are Turkey, Russia, China, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
The Government’s National Socio-Economic Development Program for 2011–2030 and the National Rural Development Program are focused on the sustainable economic growth while preserving economic independence, modernizing the country’s infrastructure, and promoting foreign direct investment.
Nigar Abbasova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @nigyar_abbasova
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