Turk­men leader or­ders gov­ern­ment to di­ver­sify en­ergy-de­pen­dent econ­omy

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

The pres­i­dent of en­ergy-rich Turk­menistan said in com­ments broad­cast Satur­day that his en­ergy de­pen­dent coun­try has been hit hard by low oil prices and he urged the gov­ern­ment to di­ver­sify the econ­omy.

In a rare ad­mis­sion of the exSoviet na­tion’s eco­nomic trou­bles, Pres­i­dent Gur­ban­guly Berdy- mukhame­dov said the coun­try needed to boost earn­ings and urged of­fi­cials to cut spend­ing.

“The prob­lems of the world econ­omy have had a neg­a­tive im­pact,” Berdy­mukhame­dov told gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials at a cabi­net meet­ing Fri­day, although the com­ments were only aired on state tele­vi­sion Satur­day.

“Th­ese dif­fi­cul­ties are in­creas­ingly af­fect­ing our coun­try, (and) to a cer­tain ex­tent are sti­fling eco­nomic growth.”

“In such con­di­tions we are forced to trans­form our eco­nomic poli­cies,” he told the cabi­net meet­ing, urg­ing of­fi­cials to re­vise the state bud­get.

Ef­forts have been made to boost do­mes­tic in­dus­tries not re­lated to oil and gas, he said, adding that ex­ports from th­ese in­dus­tries only amounted to US$1 bil­lion.

He de­manded that the gov­ern­ment in­crease this fig­ure to US$5 bil­lion by 2020.

“Our coun­try has rich re­serves of nat­u­ral re­sources,” Berdy­mukhame­dov said.

“In this re­gard, I be­lieve that we can cre­ate a lot of en­ter­prises able to pro­duce high-qual­ity prod­ucts no worse than the im­ported prod­ucts we are now us­ing hard cur­rency to pur­chase.”

The gov­ern­ment of the Cen­tral Asian coun­try does not typ­i­cally make public com­ments about the coun­try’s eco­nomic prob­lems.

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