BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 17
By Amina Nazarli - Trend:
Turkmenistan has a strong capacity to substitute imports and could become an exporter of a number of commodities in the future, Head of EBRD Resident Office in Turkmenistan Fatih Turkmenoglu told Trend.
"It is a young and dynamic economy with a lot of potentials. Energy and labor costs are much lower than in the other countries in the region," he said.
Turkmenoglu noted that the EBRD brings more than financing to Turkmenistan, wishing to explore potential cooperation opportunities in the financial and infrastructure sectors.
"This could result in a wide range of business opportunities and may bring best international practices and technologies to Turkmenistan," he said.
In his words, the EBRD portfolio consists of private-sector deals, and each one of the Bank’s projects are a success story.
"While the Turkmens are one of the oldest nations in the world, the state of Turkmenistan is a young country so are private Turkmen companies. Local private businesses are on average 3 to 5 years old. Their annual turnovers are generally less than $10 million, so we can describe them as small businesses," he explained. "On one hand, we help expand the production capacity of these companies through the EBRD loans, on the other hand, we identify development needs of these companies and provide tailor-made advisory services to enhance corporate governance of these companies. Such advisory activity is funded through grants. Our business advisory services team provides free advisory services to Turkmen companies in areas such as stock management, quality standards, export, human resources, marketing, branding, etc."
Overall, the activities of the Bank in Turkmenistan, according to Turkmenoglu, are aimed at the support of the national economy in terms of the enhancement of the country’s export capacity, the substitution of imports, and the creation of jobs.