Strengthening the Trade Capacity of Turkmenistan


In recent years, there has been a large number of developments in the economy of Turkmenistan that have a positive impact on strengthening trade capacity of the country. In particular, dynamically developing companies successfully competing in the domestic market and exporting products abroad have been established. A number of investment projects has been implemented in the territory of Turkmenistan, which have created new jobs. Impressive results have been achieved in certain sectors of country’s economy, for example, in the construction sector. Several other sectors, such as textile and chemical industry, demonstrate potential for growth. Economic governance system is being formed based on both state-owned and private enterprises.

According to the Presidential Programme for Socio-Economic Development for 2019-2025, import substitution and export diversification should be the top priorities for strengthening the competitiveness of a national economy in the coming years. In addition, there are two key government programmes being currently implemented in the country, which promote economic diversification: 1) on production of import-substituting goods, and 2) on increasing the production of export-oriented goods. At the same time, the successful realization of the established goals faces several systemic challenges reflecting both global trends and domestic barriers to the development of country’s trade capacity.

What is the project about

The objective of this project between UNDP and the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of Turkmenistan is building trade capacity of the country through the development of human capital in order to increase the competitiveness of national staff and transform human  intelligence into the leading factor of economic growth and national competitiveness, diversification of export and increasing the share of higher-value added products in export composition, and lowering the share of import in the national economy.

In this regard, the following project components have been identified: 1) strengthening institutional and personnel trade capacity; 2) building capacity to formulate and implement trade-related policy measures; and 3) strengthening the applied scientific research capacity and improving the quality of education.

UNDP’s assistance strategy on formulation and implementation of a set of measures to build trade capacity of Turkmenistan consists of the following three components.

Component 1: “Strengthening institutional and personnel trade capacity” includes:

1.     measures to develop human capital with a view to enhance competitiveness of national personnel and transform human intellect to the leading factor of economic growth and national competitiveness;

2.     increasing the efficiency of using trade regulation instruments specified by the existing international agreements of Turkmenistan; in order to consider the relevance of legal framework as one of the necessary instruments of successful implementation of objectives to reduce import dependence and diversify export in the current international conditions; drafting the model agreements covering the issues of trade and economic cooperation. This subcomponent also includes the analysis of Turkmenistan’s participation in the international multilateral and regional organizations dealing with economic issues;

Component 2: “Building capacity to formulate and implement trade-related policy measures” includes:

1.     analysis of regulatory and procedural barriers in the markets of the third countries, which prevent access of Turkmenistan products to foreign markets;

2.     formulation and implementation of a set of measures aimed to ensure the effective access of export of Turkmenistan to foreign markets, including introduction of organizational and economic mechanisms of formation of integrated distribution system, which can ensure effective promotion of export of national products;

3.     strengthening the strategy to promote goods to foreign and domestic consumer markets, which will be based on the marketing approach to business-processes and client-oriented relationship with consumers, as well as introduction of trademark registration system (branding);

Component 3: “Strengthening the applied scientific research capacity and improving the quality of education” includes:

1.     measures aimed at creating conditions for collaboration between the Research Institute of National Product Turnover under the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations and international scientific community to access new knowledge and opportunities for cooperation in the priority research areas.

2.     measures aimed at enhancing the efficiency of knowledge generation areas (fundamental and applied science) and increasing the practical significance of scientific researches with a view of strengthening competitiveness of economic sectors of Turkmenistan, including building trade capacity of the country.