On 4 December 2020, the OECD organised an EU-supported capacity-building webinar for the government of Turkmenistan as part of the EU Central Asia Invest initiative.
The event was an opportunity to discuss ongoing and future reforms to improve business registration and SME regulation in Turkmenistan. The webinar was conducted as part of the OECD Policy Component of the EU Central Asia Invest initiative, with the capacity-building themes based on analysis undertaken by the OECD in 2019-20. The event brought together senior policy-makers from Turkmenistan with experts from Poland and Georgia.
Opening the session, Minister of Finance and Economy Muhammetgeldy Serdarov underlined the deepening of co-operation between the OECD and his government during what has been a challenging year. The Minister noted that work was already underway to improve business registration procedures, particularly through the application of digital technologies, and expressed his hope that OECD experience would help his government in this endeavour. H.E. Mr Ruiz Alonso, Ambassador of the European Union to Turkmenistan, reiterated the need for SMEs to play a greater contribution to the country’s economy post-COVID, and noted the importance of addressing policy barriers to private sector development.
Mr Luke Mackle, Policy Analyst at the OECD Eurasia Division, presented an overview of the impact of the crisis on Turkmenistan’s economy, before outlining some of the key recommendations for Turkmenistan from the Improving the Legal Environment for Business in Central Asia report. Mr Mackle focussed in on two of the key priority areas for reform: improving and simplifying business registration procedures, and consolidating and rationalising the regulatory framework for business activities.
Ms Martyna Wieczorek, Senior Expert at the Ministry of Economic Development, Labour and Technology of Poland, led the first of two substantive capacity-building sessions. This first session was dedicated to Poland’s experience in simplifying its regulatory framework for SMEs, and Ms Wieczorek talked the participants through each of the country’s steps in achieving this. Ms Wieczorek concluded the first session by addressing a number of questions from the government representatives.
Ms Mira Khardziani, Head of the International Public Law Department at the National Agency of Public Registry of Georgia, led the second capacity-building session on the topic of business registration and the creation of a unified, one-stop-shop. Ms Khardziani explained how the institutional setting for the one-stop-shop had been established, with the current business registration services having evolved from the country’s successes in property registration.
Concluding the webinar, Minister Serdarov repeated his gratitude for the OECD’s organisation of the event, for the EU’s support, and for the participation of the various experts. The minister noted that he was confident that the OECD experience and that of its non-member partners was extremely valuable to his government as they plan their reform agenda for the coming years.