On 19 May 2022, the OECD, in co-operation with the Government of Turkmenistan and with the financial support of the European Union, held an online workshop on adapting investment and export promotion strategies for Turkmenistan. The workshop was organised as part of the OECD Policy Component of the EU Central Asia Invest initiative, bringing together public sector representatives from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and the OECD.
Mr Serdar Dzhorayev, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan, opened the event by expressing his appreciation to the OECD for its continued support in creating the necessary framework conditions to lead private sector growth in Turkmenistan. He noted that four meetings, three national and one regional, have been conducted within the scope of this project, which led to useful discussions and result-oriented outputs. Drawing attention to Turkmenistan’s goals of expanding economic integration and the on-going discussions regarding accession to the World Trade Organisation, Mr Dzhorayev stated that Turkmenistan looks to continue its path on improving its investment and export promotion framework. He emphasised the relevance of these topics considering the uncertainties present in today’s markets. Finally, Mr Dzhorayev drew attention to Turkmenistan’s recently completed development plan until 2032 and the mid-term forecast for 2022-2028, which seek to integrate Turkmenistan in regional and global markets through special investment mechanisms, export-oriented initiatives, and digital projects.
Ms Amélie Schurich-Rey, Economist in the OECD Eurasia Division, proceeded to provide an overview of the key functions of export promotion institutions. Focusing on policy-making and soft services, she presented support items on export promotion strategy design and evaluation, marketing and outreach, and the provision of consulting and skills to export goods and services. Ms Schurich-Rey also provided best practices for export promotion from Germany, Moldova, and France.
Mr Nurzhan Abylkhaiyr, Director at KazakhInvest’s Investment Promotion and Marketing Department, presented how KazakhInvest positions itself to potential and existing foreign investors. He detailed the underlying framework conditions that make Kazakhstan an attractive destination, the competitive advantages of the country and some of the key investment results achieved, as well as the tools used to support investors.
Ms Galina Romanova, Head of the State Finances and Economic Policy Department within the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan, launched a lively exchange during the open discussion session. Ms Alida Tuyebekova, Managing Director of KazakhInvest and Mr Abylkhaiyr shared how Kazakhstan attracts investors through a stable and comprehensible legal framework, tax relief, state support through grants or facilities provided, and the exemption from import duties. Participants discussed specific industries such as renewable energy and the need to differentiate among industry sectors. Mr William Tompson, Head of the OECD Eurasia Division, moderated the discussion and cast light on OECD experience on these matters, drawing attention to the fact that investment conditions determine the ultimate success in quantity and quality of foreign investments. As a final sharing of good international practice, Ms Schurich-Rey and Ms Tuyebekova talked about the importance of aligning import and export agencies, which possess complementary knowledge and tools.
Concluding the workshop, Mr Dzhorayev emphasized the importance of attracting investments to stimulate the economy. He thanked KazakhInvest and the OECD for their contributions to improving the country’s legislation and expressed his wish to see a continued political co-operation and active dialogue with the OECD.