Turkmenistan suggested considering the possibility of developing a Special Program of Expert Exchange of Experience in Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic in the CIS. The proposal was announced at the 86th meeting of the CIS Economic Council, held on Tuesday, June 30th, in a video conference format. Its main topics were the socio-economic situation of the CIS countries and collective measures to minimize the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic,
The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economics Muhammetgeldy Serdarov informed colleagues about the measures taken in the fiscal and monetary sectors to mitigate the influence of external factors on the economy of Turkmenistan.
According to him, external geopolitical risks and a sharp decline in hydrocarbon prices are already having a certain impact on the flow of revenues to the country’s budget and on the development of a number of industries, including the oil and gas sector.
The official stated that the country’s food security is ensured mainly through domestic production. In the past 10-12 years, Turkmenistan has been actively expanding investments in the agricultural sector and the creation of processing industries. This made it possible to fully provide the country’s population with domestic food.
Understanding the seriousness of the situation in the world caused by the pandemic of the coronavirus infection, Turkmenistan is fully aware of the need to ensure the stability and sustainability of trade and economic relations between states in these conditions, and the viability of transport links.
In close cooperation with the CIS member states and the neighboring countries, Turkmenistan is working to ensure that these ties are not broken and reliable schemes of mutual deliveries and transit traffic on the Eurasian continent are maintained. Today, this allow to ensure the normal mode of functioning of transport corridors along the East-West and North-South lines.
At the same time, violation of trade relations affects the schedule of deliveries of products for industrial purposes. Serdarov said that in this regard, the government is taking a number of measures aimed at reducing costs and finding sources of financing for strategically important industries where the import of machinery and equipment is needed.
Active work is underway to increase electricity exports to the countries of the region, including Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. Over 4 months of this year, electricity exports doubled compared to the same level last year.
In the face of a possible deterioration in the external economic situation and a decrease in external demand, Turkmenistan continues to diversify its economy. It stimulates the creation of import-substituting and export-oriented industries, which allows for stability in the economy and employment of the country’s population.
In the current difficult conditions in the CIS region, a sense of brotherhood, mutual support and common solidarity are more important than ever before. Chairman of the CIS Economic Council, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan Jamshid Kuchkarov drew the attention of the meeting that the International Monetary Fund last week revised its forecasts towards a further decline in the global economy from the initial mark of minus 3% to minus 4,9%.
This year, in some countries of the CIS, GDP is projected to decrease by 1.5% to 7.7%, and inflation to increase by`s 0.8% to 12.6%, which means reaching critical values over the past few years.
Against this background, according to Kuchkarov, the issues of uninterrupted supply of the population of the CIS countries with necessary food products, medicines, medical devices, as well as the minimum necessary income level in the context of the ongoing pandemic remain relevant.
The solution of these tasks requires strengthening the coordinated interaction of relevant ministries and departments, including in the field of transport, customs regulation, phytosanitary and veterinary services, and others.
The meeting participants agreed that in order to achieve macroeconomic stability, ensure uninterrupted operation of economic sectors, and provide effective social support to the population, it is necessary to preserve all the mechanisms of trade, economic, transport and communication interaction in the CIS.