The Economic Activity of Turkmenistan
The world’s 4th largest reserves of natural gas and oil resources belong to Turkmenistan, which is also the word’s 10th largest producer of cotton. With natural gas reserves estimated at 3.6 to 6.7 million cubic meters and a prospect potential of 21 trillion cubic meters, gas production in the country has become a most dynamic and promising sector of its economy. The cooperation of China in the construction of pipelines for natural gas export will help boost to a large extent gas production in the country which is controlled by Turkmenistan Natural Gas Company under the government’s Ministry of Oil and Gas. The country’s oil reserves , estimated at 700 million tons, are found in the fields of Kuturdepe, Balkanabad, and Chekelen near the Caspian Sea. A big portion of oil produced by the Turkmenistan State Company, also a government firm, is refined in the Turkmenbashy and Seidi refinery outlets being exported to Europe through the Caspian Sea. Among the country’s export partners are the United States, Turkey, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Germany, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Equally important to the economy is the cotton industry, with 50% of the irrigated land planted to cotton, and employing 14 cotton processing plants to increase its capability to process cotton that is locally produced.
The construction industry does not do much for the economy as there is a few government building and private housing projects. Neither the banking nor the insurance industries play a good part in economic development despite having 12 national banks overseen by the Central Bank of Turkmenistan and the government monopoly of the insurance industry.