PRIVATE SECTOR ADJUSTS PRIORITIES
The exhibition and conference held in Ashgabat in March demonstrated the great achievements of the private sector of the national economy. The events were organized by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan (UIET) on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the UIET establishment.
The UIET currently accounts for over 24 thousand representatives of the private sector operating in almost all sectors of the national economy. As President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted in his message to the forum participants, "the exhibition ... is clear evidence of the special role that the private sector plays in diversifying the national economy, innovative development of all sectors and regions of the country, creating modern import-substituting industries and strengthening the export potential."
As the head of state emphasized in his message, the state "will continue providing support to entrepreneurs, paying great attention to the economic growth, improving market relations and accelerated development of the private sector".
It is no coincidence that the key feature of the exhibition was the contribution made by entrepreneurs to increasing import substitution and strengthening the country's export potential, as well as developing innovative industries. Small and medium-sized businesses demonstrated the way they respond to the government's call for establishment of a competitive economy.
More than 200 exhibitors presented their stands in the exhibition hall of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, including individual enterprises and business companies specializing in agriculture, food and processing industries, construction, production of building materials and electrical equipment, IT technologies, trade, tourism, education, services, transport and logistics.
Small and medium-sized businesses are growing in all regions of the country. Large enterprises and business entities are implementing large-scale national projects both in the capital city and provinces, offering jobs for the population.
The forum demonstrated the capacities of the private sector in implementing the Concept of the Digital Economy in Turkmenistan for 2019-2025. For example, the Closed Joint-Stock Company "IT-Park" aims to develop innovation-oriented small and medium-sized businesses, strengthen ties between science, producers and investors, access international markets of innovative products and develop digital infrastructure in the country as a whole.
"Trkmen-Tranzit" private company presented projects on development of websites as well as "smart city" and "smart terminal". Center for Progressive Technologies and other companies presented their solutions for the introduction of digital systems.
The private sector increasingly contributes to the development of the electronic and electrical industries of the national economy of Turkmenistan. The exhibition presented stands by the domestic manufacturers of electronic payment terminals and educational computers, tablets, routers and other popular high-tech products.
At the same time, the construction activities of local entrepreneurs were traditionally widely represented at the exhibition. In this area, the private sector is involved in the implementation of big contracts as part of state programs, including those related to building infrastructure in Ashgabat, the Avaza National Tourist Zone, cities and villages of the country, construction of roads, hydraulic and other facilities. Members of the UIET implement multimillion-dollar construction projects, build residential and park areas. The largest government contracts include the construction of the Ashgabat-Turkmenabat highway, the new administrative center of Akhal province and facilities of Ashgabat City.
Broad representation of logistics and freight forwarding companies, whose operations are of particular importance in the context of large-scale international projects in this area, was another distinctive feature of the exhibition. They presented their capacities in transporting heavy goods by using new technologies.
A number of stands at the exhibition were devoted to one of the priority areas of economic development, namely the establishment of import-substituting industrial enterprises that use local raw materials. Entrepreneurs increase their contribution to the new sectors of the economy related to exploration of mineral resources of the country. In 2020, many enterprises engaged in the chemical production that is being developed on the basis of natural resources, including underground iodine-bromine waters, potash ores and salt water of Garabogazgol Bay.
Large private enterprises launched the production of synthetic detergents and disinfectants, dietary salt, dyes, waterproofing materials, aerated concrete slabs. These products are not only sufficient to meet the domestic demand. They are also exported abroad.
Private companies also work on investment projects for production of caustic soda and soda ash, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, sodium sulfate and other chemical products from local natural and mineral resources.
Private enterprises operating in the industrial segment demonstrated their achievements in manufacturing paper products, ceramic tiles, basalt fiber, pipes, bricks, reinforced concrete structures, expanded polystyrene, expanded clay, dyes, electrical cables, curbs and tiles, dry mixes, as well as oil and air filters, batteries etc.
No less interesting were the stands advertising consumer goods manufactured through the use of modern technologies. For example, Turkmen company "Chigildem" presented a brand new product at the exhibition - a six-burner gas stove as a good option for big families and large kitchens. If earlier the company imported stoves from Turkey, now it manufactures their own products using Turkish technology. "Chigildem" has been producing 2, 3-, 4- and 5-burner stoves, as well as ovens and hoods for about 6 years now.
The newly established private company "UMAK" launched the production of Turkmenistan's first transportation vessels from high-strength composite materials. At the exhibition, the company presented boats for small water basins and coastal waters. Their varieties are designed for individual fishing, boat trips or fishing companies.
"Turkmen Senet" company moved to manufacturing a new product this year. They launched a line for production of the nonwoven fabric from local polypropylene produced by the Turkmenbashi oil refinery. This product is now widely used in the medical industry. It is used for production of face masks and medical clothes, bed sheets for hospitals. In the near future, the company plans to expand the range of products and export them to Turkey and Russia.
In recent years, the share of private producers in ensuring the country's food security has grown markedly. Large agricultural enterprises, plants for production and processing of poultry, livestock, fish, vegetable and melon crops and fruits demonstrated their capacities at the exhibition. They adopt international experience and advanced technologies to improve their work.
Turkmen entrepreneurs produce a wide range of fruit and vegetable concentrates, juices, mayonnaise, baby food, ice cream, canned products, fish delicacies, yoghurts, sausages, a variety of confectionery and snack products.
"Nurly Medan" private farm implemented a hatching poultry project for the first time ever in Turkmenistan. It enabled the farm to put production of broiler chicken meat and eggs to an industrial scale. The same farm, in cooperation with a foreign partner, moved to production of animal fodder that was imported in the past.
Food safety is controlled by "Hil Standart" private company established by the UIET. This is Turkmenistan's first laboratory for food safety expertise. The quality of their services has been acknowledged by international accreditation according to ISO/IEC17025: 2017.
Turkmenistan's private businesses continue penetrating into new market segments and mastering new technologies that make it possible to enhance the competitiveness of agribusiness and meet the demand of the population for a variety of environmentally friendly products. The high quality of their products is confirmed by the international ISO and HACCP certificates.
The development of export potential of Turkmen businessmen, attraction of best international practices and foreign investments are facilitated by the activities of Trading Houses in China, the United Arab Emirates, Austria, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Afghanistan and China.
The urgent tasks facing the business community in line with implementation of the State Program on Socio-Economic Development of Turkmenistan for 2020-2025 were discussed at the conference as part of the UIET forum. The conference participants exchanged views on business issues, identified the most promising areas for greater investment and innovation processes, production of import-substituting products and increasing exports of domestically produced goods.
Beginning 2020, Turkmenistan's private sector increased industrial production by 11 percent and production of agricultural and food products 2.1 times. In general, a number of large projects have been implemented over 12 years since the UIET establishment, which is evidence of the success and viability of the public-private partnerships.