Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Economy of Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated areas, and huge gas and oil ranked 4th in the world. Regarding agriculture, the two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Turkmenistan is among the top ten producers of cotton in the world. From 1998-2005, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, total exports rose by an average of roughly 15% per year from 2003-08, largely because of higher international oil and gas prices. As in the Soviet era, central planning and state control pervade the system, and the Niyazov government (in power 1991–2006) consistently rejected market reform programs. The state subsidizes a wide variety of commodities and services. Since his election in 2007, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow unified the country's dual currency exchange rate, ordered the redenomination of the manat, reduced state subsidies for gasoline, and initiated development of a special tourism zone (Avaza) on the Caspian Sea. Since 2009, Turkmenistan maintans the fixed exchange rate of 1 United States Dollar to 2.85 Turkmenistan manat