Turkmenistan has sufficient reserves to mitigate effects of pandemic - IMF
BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 25
By Jeila Aliyeva - Trend:
Turkmenistan has ample reserves and a relatively low public debt stock, which leave some room for accommodative policies, which can help mitigate the adverse effect of the crisis on the economy without jeopardizing longer-term sustainability, Natalia Tamirisa, IMF Mission Chief for Turkmenistan told Trend.
“Turkmenistan has put in place strict administrative restrictions on social gatherings as well as local and international travel,” added Tamirisa.
She said that while energy commodities play a central role in the Turkmen economy, the relatively low reliance on tourism and other contact-intensive sectors, as well as remittances, mitigates the adverse impact from the pandemic compared to other countries in the region.
“While there has been no official incident of COVID-19 in Turkmenistan, the economy is still subject to the adverse effects of the pandemic – including through deteriorating sentiment, volatile financial conditions, social distancing, restrictions on domestic and international travel, and global supply disruptions,” noted Tamirisa.
“We advise the authorities to prioritize the strengthening of the healthcare system. Increased targeted social assistance is also needed to shield the most vulnerable from the adverse economic effects of the crisis. Accommodative policies should be maintained until the recovery firmly takes hold,” added she.
Tamirisa said that in the interim, countries that invest in their healthcare capacity and take timely and effective administrative measures will be better poised to minimize the human cost of the pandemic. Similarly, countries that have fiscal and monetary policy space are well-advised to use that room to contain the economic fallout.
“Turkmenistan, in this regard, is better placed to effectively respond to the negative health and economic consequences of the crisis,” she said.
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