Turkmenistan assigned to Upper Middle Income Country status by WB

Turkmenistan assigned to Upper Middle Income Country status by WB

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Oct. 15 /Trend H.Hasanov/

Turkmenistan is assigned to Upper Middle Income Country Status by the World Bank (WB), a message of WB Vice-President on Europe and Central Asia Filipp Le Ueru to Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedow says.

"Allow me to congratulate you and the Government of Turkmenistan with assignment of Upper Middle Income Country Status, according to the classification of the World Bank. This is due to the high stability of economic growth, successfully maintained for more than a decade," the message says.

The development of new partnership strategy between World Bank group and Turkmenistan is in process.

The partnership strategy is developed in accordance with the outcome of the meeting held on May 28, 2012, and, according to WB representative, is designed to promote, "achievement of goals on further welfare improvement of Turkmen people due to implementation of initiatives to diversify and modernize the economy, accept challenges linked with climate change, and improve the professional education."

The World Bank is cooperating with the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan and other ministries and departments.

"Let me take this opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the World Bank's support for development and reforms in your country. Wish you and the Government of Turkmenistan success in the implementation of planned reforms, aimed to the progressive development of the country's economy", Ueru noted.

Turkmenistan has significant natural gas reserves and is one of the key players in the energy market in the Caspian region. At the same time, the government adopted a policy of diversification of the national economy by increasing oil and gas refining industry, textile,growth of electricity export.

In their recent report International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted that direct economic spillovers to Turkmenistan from the euro area crisis are likely to remain limited.

IMF noted that the economy performed well in 2011 and the first half of 2012. Increasing gas exports to China and a surge in public investment enabled a strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 14.7 percent in 2011.

With record growth in gas export volumes and prices, and a surge in oil prices, export revenue surpassed the pre-crisis level.

The current account swung into surplus, and official reserves remained at a comfortable level, supporting the stability of the manat. Headline inflation increased from 4.8 percent (end-of-period) in 2010 to 5.6 percent in 2011, but moderated to 3 percent in June 2012.

In 2012−13, real GDP growth is projected to remain strong, at about 8 percent. Greater hydrocarbon exports would strengthen the external position further. Inflation is expected to remain in single digits.

IMF says fiscal policy was somewhat loosened in 2011 as the non-hydrocarbon fiscal deficit widened by one percentage point to 48 percent of the non-hydrocarbon GDP, but is projected to improve slightly in 2012−13.

High levels of public investment, while aiming at increasing productive capacity, continues to pose challenges to public finance management.

Developing a dynamic private sector as envisaged in the national development program will require improving governance and the business climate and increasing the role of the private sector in resource allocation in the economy.

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