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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 6,010 7,672 4,000 110
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,120 1,200 950 131
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Turkmenistan


Area ( 


ethnic groups 
Turkmens 77%
Uzbeks 9.2%
Russians 6.7%


Turkman Manat

Saparmurat Niyazov

Update No: 296 - (26/08/05)

Turkmenistan is a pariah nation, as anyone who knows anything about it will realise. It has an absurd and tyrannical dictator in charge of it, President Sapamurat Niyazov. Once somebody is isolated, they are diplomatically worth courting - for then they will really appreciate one's support.

Niyazov and new British envoy discuss relations 
This seems to be the latest idea of the UK Foreign Office, which was previously cosying up to the adjacent tyranny in Uzbekistan, sacking its forthright ambassador, Craig Murray, for telling the truth too openly. Not for nothing are FO types proud of being diplomatic. 
The Turkmen President recently received the credentials of the new Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Peter Roderick Butcher, quoted the Turkmen news service (TDH) as saying. One can be sure that he was chosen for his powers of discretion.
During the meeting, both sides discussed a wide range of issues related to various aspects of overall Turkmen-British relations and prospects for their further development. In this context, the sides stressed the importance of joining efforts in ensuring security and sustainable peace, in combating terrorism and drugs that are posing threats to the entire world community.
Special attention was paid to issues of economic cooperation. The interlocutors noted with satisfaction the high level of bilateral relations and highly rated the work of such large British companies as Burren Energy and Dragon Oil, who are heavily investing in Turkmen onshore and offshore Caspian oil resources. That is the rub.

Turkmenistan and China strengthen cooperation
The British are not overly squeamish about the Turkmen regime. Nor, of course, in the slightest degree are the Chinese. An official Chinese delegation led by Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi wrapped up its two-day visit to Turkmenistan on July 20th, New Europe reported. 
The meeting between the two sides was fruitful and confirmed the friendly and promising nature of the bilateral relations, Wu said after meeting Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. "Regardless of changes in the international climate, we regard Turkmenistan as a friendly state and a reliable partner, headed by the leader who is not only a politician-strategist but also an economist," Wu said. "We had very fruitful talks and look forward to their continuation next year during President Saparmurat Niyazov's visit to our country."
For his part, Niyazov underlined the good dynamics of economic partnership between the two countries. The Turkmen leader stressed that the Chinese side provide a lot of help in such spheres as the repair of old oil wells in the country's western region, establishment of new textile productions, and cooperation in transportation and communication. "We have pragmatic and mutually beneficial cooperation. This cooperation is free of any political or other motives and, thus, it has a great future," Niyazov said.
While commenting on the business nature of the Chinese delegation's visit, Niyazov urged the heads of state and private enterprises in the delegation of the PRC to cooperate with their Turkmen colleagues in order to direct the partnership to a new level. China will give a 200m yuan soft loan to Turkmenistan (24m Euro) under an intergovernmental agreement signed in Ashgabat.

US general in town
Even the US is becoming interested in Turkmenistan as a possible partner. A top U.S. general says that he has assured Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat Niyazov that the American military is in the Central Asian region to help bring stability to Afghanistan.
General John Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command, told reporters after meeting with Niyazov in Ashgabat on 23rd August that the United States is not seeking to confront any other countries in the Central Asian region. 
Uzbekistan's government recently asked U.S. forces to leave a base in Uzbekistan within six months, while Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have come under pressure from Russia and China to demand that the U.S. set a date for a troop withdrawal from bases there. 
The U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat said Abizaid also held talks with Turkmenistan's defence minister and the border-service commander. 

Turkmenistan to hold international scientific forum
An international exhibition and a scientific conference dedicated to the 14th anniversary of the country's independence and the 10th anniversary of the state health programme "Saglyk" (Health) will be held in the Turkmen capital from October 17th-19th 2005, reported recently. President Niyazov has issued a resolution to this effect. 
According to the document, these events aim at "promoting greater international community awareness of the successes achieved in the field of national healthcare and medical science, the expansion of cooperation and a sharing experience in this direction."

Turkmenistan eyes Ruhabat industrial development
President Niyazov takes a personal interest in projects involving foreign firms. He discussed prospects for the development of the industrial sector being formed in Ruhabat district at a recent meeting with members of the cabinet of ministers, with authorities from Ahal region, with officials from a number of ministries and organisations, and with managers of some foreign construction companies operating in the country and the district in particular, New Europe reported recently.
It has a multipurpose structure, consisting of enterprises of a number of different branches of the economy. Plants on the production of facing materials from marble and on production of velvet will complement this infrastructure in future.
Construction of a polyester pipes plant has entered the final stage. It will be in full use shortly; its production line will start operating by the end of this year, one month ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, Niyazov made a number of serious claims on this company, demanding it to eliminate defects committed during the implementation of several projects. While commenting on the issue of landscaping and planting trees and gardens, Niyazov reminded the participants that two million more saplings should be planted in the suburbs of Ashgabat in the coming season within the framework of the programme "Gok Gushak" (Green zone). 
The issue of the vital cotton harvest campaign was discussed. Good yields are expected practically in all regions, Niyazov said, adding the announcement of the start of construction of a new ginnery which is to be commissioned in one year.
Ruhabat has become one of the industrial centres of the region supplying its production not only to different regions of Turkmenistan but also to the world market. Its agricultural sector is also successfully developing. Besides, investments have been channelled into this sector.
The company Gap Inshaat, is handling the construction of the largest children's amusement park in the capital, Ashgabat, "which is to be a Turkmen version of the famous Disneyland. The project, worth US$50m, is underway in Ashgabat. The Turkmen Ministry of Education has ordered it to be called "the World of Turkmen Fairytales," not a bad term for the ideology of the regime itself. 
The project is financed at the expense of the state reserve fund. The construction of the park is to be completed in one year. 



Turkmen grain growers report record grain harvest 

Three million tonnes of grain was brought to Turkmenistan's grain bins, a record harvest for the former Soviet republic, the national institute of state statistics and information reported recently.
Grain growers are yet to harvest 100,000 tonnes to fulfil the task for this year set by the Turkmen President, Sapamurat Niyazov.
Commenting on the success made by the Turkmen grain growers, the state news agency (TDH) noted that Turkmenistan has met its grain needs for the sixth year on end. "It is for the fifth time that grain harvest exceeds two million tonnes in Turkmenistan," the agency said. "It means the country has secured a sufficient reserve of grain which will make it possible for Turkmenistan to export grain to the world markets in the coming years," it added.

Turkmenistan to purchase 1,000 Belarus tractors 

Turkmenobahyzmat association for agricultural services has signed a contract with Belarus Minsk tractor plant for the purchase of 500 units of Belarus 1221 tractors and 500 units of "Belarus 80X" tractors totalling US$13,125m and US$5,540m, reported recently. 
Turkmenobahyzmat also signed a contract with Belarus Minsk tractor gear plant for the purchase of 500 units of "PLN 4-35 P-2 T" ploughs amounting to US$755,000. A consignment of Belarus tractors and ploughs will arrive in Turkmenistan by December 31, 2005.



Turkmenhowayollary gets one more Boeing 

US aircraft manufacturer Boeing supplied a new airliner for 120 passengers to Turkmenistan, New Europe reported recnelty.
This is the sixth such aircraft which has arrived at the Ashgabat airport from the building plant in Long Beach, California. There are now 14 Boeing aircrafts of this type in the air fleet of State national service Turkmenhowayollary (Turkmen air lines). The medium range aircrafts of this modification have been produced since 1999 meeting all international standards. They are fitted with the same equipment as the Boeing 777. They are equipped with Rolls Royce - BMW engines. They can cruise at 800 km/hr and make non-stop flights up to 2800 kilometres. Boeings-717s are mostly used for domestic destinations in Turkmenistan but they can also be pressed into service for regional international flights.



Turkmenistan produces more oil and gas in H1 

Turkmenistan produced 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 4.8 million tonnes of oil in the first half of the year, according the national institute of state statistics and information. Gas output rose 3.4 per cent, oil output increased 1 per cent year-on-year, reported. 
According to the ministry of oil and gas industry and mineral resources, the lagging behind in the output of gas that continued since the start of the year was overcome in June. According to the data, 23.9 billion cubic metres of gas were exported, up 2.5 per cent on the same period of 2004. At present, Ukraine, Russia and Iran are the main consumers of Turkmen natural gas. Turkmenistan sells gas to these countries at a uniform price of US$44 per 1000 cubic metres.



Ashgabat and Tehran to strengthen relations 

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad sent a letter to his Turkmen counterpart Saparmurat Niyazov expressing gratitude for congratulations on his election as the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, reported recently, citing the press service of the Turkmen leader. 
"The fraternal and friendly relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkmenistan are exemplary in the region," Ahmadinezhad said. "I am confident that bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas will be further expanded and developed." He stressed that strengthening of the Iranian-Turkmen relations will benefit both countries.



Turkmenistan H1 foreign trade surplus rises 47.5% 

Turkmenistan's foreign trade surplus grew 47.5 per cent year-on-year to 854.3m Euro in the first half of the year, the national state statistics and information institute told Interfax News Agency reported recently. 
Exports grew 24.4 per cent year-on-year to 2.514bn Euro and imports rose 15.1 per cent to 1.657bn Euro. Turkmenistan's foreign trade turnover grew 20 per cent year-on-year to 4.174bn Euro in the first half. Russia accounted for 13.6 per cent of imports, or 226.5m Euro, Ukraine for 12.4 per cent, or 205.9m Euro and the United States for 10.6 per cent or 175.2m Euro.





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