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The Central Asian Economies in the Twenty-First Century$
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Richard Pomfret

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182216

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182216.001.0001

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(p.125) 6 Turkmenistan
The Central Asian Economies in the Twenty-First Century

Richard Pomfret

Princeton University Press

This chapter assesses the national economy and transition strategies of Turkmenistan. Among all the former centrally planned economies, Turkmenistan has regularly ranked last by transition indicators measuring speed of reform or degree of economic liberalization. Indeed, apart from the cotton and gas exports, Turkmenistan remained the most closed and least reformed of the Central Asian countries during the 1990s and early 2000s. In the years after independence, Turkmenistan could sell its cotton on world markets, and like Uzbekistan benefited from buoyant world cotton prices until 1996. Exacerbated by falling output, cotton export revenues declined sharply; like Uzbekistan but with a delay, Turkmenistan imposed draconian forex controls in 1998. After the 2014–2016 collapse in energy prices, Turkmenistan was left in a vulnerable position, facing lower global energy prices, to which the government responded by reducing subsidies on basic goods and strengthening exchange controls.

Keywords:   national economy, Turkmenistan, economic liberalization, cotton exports, gas exports, forex controls, energy prices, cotton prices

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