9 Oct 2017 18:48

Turkmenistan expecting 6.2%-8.2% annual GDP growth in 2018-2024

ASHGABAT. Oct 9 (Interfax) - Turkmenistan is expecting 6.2%-8.2% annual GDP growth in 2018-2024, according to a presidential program of social and economic development for the period, presented at a session of the Council of Elders of Turkmenistan, state media reports say.

Presenting the program, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said some economic and political events had a negative impact on Turkmenistan's economic growth, which had slowed due to the geopolitical situation, a drop in oil and gas prices, insufficient economic development in that are trade and economic partners of Turkmenistan, fluctuation of foreign currency exchange rates, instability of securities on stock markets and other reasons.

The program sets the task of mobilizing all resources and opportunities for the stable growth of national economy and rapid transition to market relations, particularly fast development of non-governmental segments of the economy. Establishment of joint ventures and joint stick companies, development of stock exchanges and securities markets were also stipulated.

The program states that industry will account for 33% of GDP, construction - 14% and agriculture - 10.9% in 2018-2024. Transport and communication branches will reach 9.1%, trade - 12% and services - 21%.

"Fulfillment of these objectives will create fully fledged conditions for a considerable increase of the export potential as well as enabling the establishment of import substitution manufacturing facilities in all regions of the country," Berdimuhamedov said.

Berdimuhamedov said that since Turkmenistan gained independence, natural gas, drinking water, electricity and salt were provided free of charge to the population. The main goal of granting unprecedented privileges in those years was to create favorable conditions against the background of a difficult economic situation in the world and the adaptation of citizens to the conditions of a market economy.

Today, in Turkmenistan, incomes are increasing from year to year, and a large number of jobs are created. In this regard, the Turkmen leader "supports and considers expedient the introduction of payments for the provision of public services, proposed by the Council of Elders, with a view to more rational and careful use of natural resources."

Deep integration of the country's economy into the system of market relations requires careful, rational, economical and highly efficient use of national wealth. Systematic increase of incomes of the population and improvement of labor employment now presents an opportunity to for certain payment for social privileges which earlier were given free of charge.

Turkmenistan's GDP grew 6.2% in 2016. International financial organizations predict 6.4% growth in 2017 and 2018.