Economist Valentin Trapeznikov noted the effectiveness of the strategy for the development of the young Turkmen state.
On September 27, in an interview to CentralAsia.news, an observer of the Turkmen economy Valentin Trapeznikov said that three decades of state independence of Turkmenistan were full of colossal successes in the socio-economic development of the country. In this analytical article, he focused only on the most significant of them.
Oil and gas complex
The flagship of the country’s industrial development is still the oil and gas complex (OGK). Its potential has grown significantly over the years of independence. New gas pipelines were built. They made it possible to diversify the directions of the export of hydrocarbon raw materials. This is, first of all, the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, with three operating lines and it is planned to build a fourth, which will pass through the territory of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and China. It will increase the total capacity of the gas pipeline to 85 billion cubic meters per year.
Two lines of the gas pipeline to Iran with a total capacity of up to 20 billion cubic meters were also put into operation.
In addition, gas supplies to the Russian Federation are carried out via the Central Asia — Center gas pipeline.
The construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline with a design capacity of up to 33 billion cubic meters, designed to ensure the supply of Turkmen gas to the countries of South Asia, is under active implementation.
Foreign companies are actively involved in the extraction of oil and gas resources of Turkmenistan. Such well-known international companies as the Chinese CNPC, the Italian «Eni», the Malaysian «Petronas», the Emirati «Dragon Oil», and «Mitro International» (British Virgin Islands), «Buried Hill» (Cyprus), ARETI (headquartered in Geneva), and others operate on the terms of production sharing agreements onshore and on the Caspian shelf of our country. Their total investments in the oil and gas complex of Turkmenistan amount to tens of billions of US dollars.
Much attention is paid to the deep processing of oil and gas resources. Comprehensive modernization of the Turkmenbashi Complex of Oil Refineries has turned it into an ultra-modern industrial giant that produces about 40 types of petrochemical products, including the production of polyethylene and polypropylene.
In recent years, such industrial giants as a gas chemical complex for the production of polymers in Kiyanly and the world’s first plant for the production of synthetic gasoline from natural gas in the Ahal province have been commissioned.
The most important priorities of the industrial and innovative development of Turkmenistan include the electric power industry, the infrastructure of which has been supplemented by the Seydi thermal power plant, Ashgabat, Dashoguz, Ahal, Avaza, Balkanabat, Lebap, and Darvaza state power plants over the three decades of independence.
In addition, in 2018, the largest Central Asian high-tech combined cycle power plant with a capacity of 1,574 MW began operating on the territory of the Mary HPP. And in early September, in the Lebap province, another new gas turbine power plant with a capacity of 432 MW was commissioned.
Perspective projects of power supply of new social and industrial complexes based on the use of solar and wind energy are also developed.
Over the years of independence, the infrastructure of the chemical industry, including high-tech industrial enterprises «Marykarbamid», «Garabogazkarbamid», «Tejenkarbamid». Association «Garabogazsulfat», Turkmenabat Chemical Combine, iodine plants «Hazar», «Balkanabat», «Bereket» and other enterprises have grown significantly. The range of industry products includes mineral fertilizers, iodine-bromine, and sulfate-chloride industries, plastic products, caustic soda, coagulants for water treatment, and a wide range of household chemicals.
The leading sectors of the economy of Turkmenistan include the practically reborn textile industry, in which more than 70 enterprises, including large textile complexes, silk processing enterprises, garment factories, and other production facilities currently operate. About 80% of the manufactured products are supplied to the external market. More than 30 enterprises annually realize export to dozens of countries around the world for hundreds of millions of US dollars.
Development of the electronics industry
The domestic electronic industry has received a powerful impetus for development, including a variety of areas — the production of computer equipment, complex specialized software systems, various types of household appliances, measuring instruments, and much more. The industry is focused on internal and external regional markets.
The years of independence are also characterized by the intensive development of the construction industry. The construction of high-comfort housing has become widespread, the infrastructure of educational, medical, health resort, and sports buildings and structures has been almost completely updated. The largest Olympic village, which has no analogues in the Central Asian region, has been built in the capital.
The production of building materials is steadily expanding, the range of which almost completely meets the needs of both state and private construction companies.
Transport and Logistics
The infrastructure of the transport industry has undergone large-scale changes. The railways Tejen-Serakhs-Mashhad, Ashgabat-Dashoguz, Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran, Turkmenabat-Kerki, Kerki-Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) Akina-Andkhoy (Afghanistan), as well as unique railway and road bridges across the Amu Darya were built.
New bus station complexes were put into operation in Ashgabat and the regions of Turkmenistan. The construction of the Ashgabat-Turkmenabat and Ashgabat-Turkmenbashi highways, as well as a highway to Kazakhstan in the Balkan province, is underway.
In the capital and provincial centers, unique new airports have been built and existing airports have been reconstructed. They are of international importance and receive aircraft of all types and carrying capacities. The Ashgabat airport is capable of serving up to 2,000, and the air terminal complexes in Balkanabat, Dashoguz, Mary, Turkmenabat, and Turkmenbashi are capable of serving 500 to 800 passengers per hour. In the current year, the international airport in Kerki was commissioned, airports are being built in small towns.
Water transport has been developed intensively. The largest international seaport in the Caspian Sea was built in Turkmenbashi, the shipyard «Balkan», designed to repair existing and build 4-6 new ships per year was put into operation. The sea pier in Bekdash was also reconstructed.
The economic potential of Turkmenistan that has grown over the years of independence contributes to an increase in its role both in the regional and global dimensions. An independent country is ready to provide its energy, industrial, and transport capabilities to both neighboring states and the rest of the world.