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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: 300 - (01/01/06)

Bulletin on a buffoon
Turkmenistan's president, Sapamurat Niyazov, does not have a sense of humour. Dictators rarely do, so it seems. He has obviously not quite realised that he has become an international laughing stock.
He has just ordered construction of a university to be named after his book Rukhnama, which is held to be a sacred text in this ex-Soviet republic. The university is to be completed in 2010 in the capital, Ashgabat. 
In Rukhnama, meaning "the book of the soul," the autocratic leader dispenses moral guidance for citizens of the Central Asian nation. He regards it as a work of sublime wisdom, superior to the Bible, the Talmud or the Koran, no less!
It is mandatory reading for every Turkmen in schools and workplaces. Convicts must take an oath involving the book upon their release from prison. Children swear by it everyday on coming to school. 
Nazarbayev has obviously never read Orwell's 1984. It would be interesting to know what the Turkmens would be thinking about it all in a hundred years' time.

Ashgabat, Tehran discuss prospects of cooperation
Nevertheless, serious affairs of state have to proceed. In December President Niyazov, received Iranian foreign minister, Manuchehr Mottaki, who arrived in Ashgabat on a one-day visit. The head of the ministry of foreign affairs of Iran passed on a message sent by Iranian President, Mahmud Ahmedinezhad, to Niyazov, in which the leader of the neighbouring state invited the head of Turkmenistan to pay an official visit to Iran. This is one country he can be sure of visiting without being dispatched to The Hague.
During the talks with Mottaki, both sides discussed the priority areas of Turkmen-Iranian economic cooperation taking into context good dynamics of cooperation in other fields as well. It was recalled that the growth in trade turnover between the two countries amounted to US$1bn a year.
The prospects of expanding cooperation in the oil and gas sector, the issue of participation of Iranian firms in projects on modernisation of Seydi oil refinery and projects on setting up polyethylene production there were also discussed. Noting the high quality of Turkmen liquefied gas, Mottaki expressed Iran's readiness to increase the purchase of this fuel.
Partnership in road construction projects, where Turkmenistan and Iran had experience of cooperation was considered as promising area of mutually beneficial cooperation. Iranian specialists have completely reconstructed the Ashgabat-Geoktepe-Archman road. Mottaki expressed hope for further expansion of partnership in this sector and other economic fields.
He said that Iran intends to strengthen the relations of respect and friendship with its good neighbour and is willing to participate in various joint projects on the most favourable terms for Turkmenistan.
Both sides also exchanged views on the positions held by both countries on drawing up the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Niyazov and Mottaki reaffirmed their mutual desire to resolve this issue as soon as possible based on mutual consent and in the interests of all littoral states. During the one-day visit, Mottaki also held talks in the ministry of foreign affairs of Iran and visited the Ashgabat office of Iranian car-building company "Iran Hodro," accompanied by a delegation of Iranian businessmen and members of Parliament, where he also met with Iranian businessmen working in Turkmenistan.

Cabinet discusses 2006 budget 
Turkmenistan started formally the process for compiling the annual budget 2006 at the first cabinet session held on November 18, reported. 
Turkmen President Sapamurat Niyazov as executive head of the government led the session. It was evident from Niyazov's speech that the budget for 2006 would not differ much from the past but more attention would be paid to oil extraction and export. Housing construction, expansion of rail and road network, improvement of refining capacity, strengthening of industrial base and growth of cultural activities would be given due space in the next budget.
According to the procedures in Turkmenistan, budget debate is initiated in a cabinet session and then it takes one or two more sessions to finalise the draft document. The draft budget is then sent to the parliament for approval. 



Russia, Turkmenistan to expand cooperation in space 

Turkmen President, Sapamurat Niyazov, on November 28th met with a Russian delegation led by Vladimir Abdreev, director general of the International Space Company KosmoTras and head of the company's ground infrastructure department Rushan Kadirov, reported. 
During the talks, Niyazov said that Turkmenistan is willing to expand cooperation with Russia in peaceful use of space. However, Abdreev said there was great potential for mutual cooperation in areas such as geological exploration, cartography and other spheres. KosmoTras, that has placed Turkmen flag, state symbol and Ruhnama, the moral and spiritual code penned by Niyazov, into space, offered a set of possibilities for mutual cooperation. Both sides also had an interesting exchange of ideas on the issues of further development of cooperation. The Russian delegation put forward a number of proposals concerning future partnership. Niyazov expressed interest in these proposals and stressed them as a signatory of the international programme of peaceful exploration of outer space. Niyazov stressed the need to adhere to peaceful exploration of space and said that his country would like to cooperate with Russia keeping in view the national and regional interests.

Niyazov meets German businessmen 

Recently a round-table meeting was held in Ashgabat between Turkmen President Sapamurat Niyazov and German businessmen led by the chairman of the Committee for Economic Cooperation with Eastern European countries, Baltic states and CIS of the Association of German Industrialists, chief adviser to the board chairman of Daimler Chrysler company, Klaus Mangold, New Europe reported.
The Turkmen side was represented by heads and senior specialists of relevant state bodies, including the ministries of trade and consumer cooperation, agriculture, textile industry, oil and gas industry and mineral resources, energy and industry, Central Bank and State concern Turkmenneft. The meeting focused on the issues of Turkmen-German trade-economic cooperation. Niyazov acquainted the German delegation on the major areas of the republic's social-economic development and the most important projects that should be implemented, reported. Niyazov even urged the German side to draw up a proposal on participation in construction of a mint. Among such joint projects that were commissioned in September this year are the unit on hydro fining of diesel fuel at the Turkmenbashi oil refinery and gas compressor station at Korpeje oil field. Representatives of German companies also showed interest in taking part in development of the resources of another unique natural reserve of Turkmenistan, Garabogaz bay. Niyazov also worked out a number of proposals regarding Turkmen-German partnership in the power industry. In fact, construction of a power station near Dashoguz and an aluminum plant were cited as promising projects. Cooperation in the field of sun energy was also considered an area of interest. Turkmen-German meetings have become traditional in recent years. During the current round of the constructive dialogue organised in association with the ministry of trade and consumer cooperation of Turkmenistan, the sides discussed some results of the long-term trade-economic cooperation. 





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