ADB to Expand Support for Turkmenistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), established in 1966 and owned by 68 members, is dedicated to promoting prosperity, resilience, and sustainability across Asia and the Pacific. Turkmenistan became an ADB member in 2000 and since benefitted from already $636 million worth of investments for its energy and transport infrastructure, such as the North-South Railway Project and the ongoing National Power Grid Strengthening Project. ADB assists Turkmenistan in strengthening its institutional capacity for forming and implementing evidence-based policy and facilitates the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

Vice-President of the ADB Shixin Chen reportedly visited Turkmenistan in June 2023 to meet senior officials of the country and discuss preparations for the new partnership strategy for Turkmenistan. The strategy includes measures for private sector development, developing human capital with the focus on women and girls, and tackling climate change. The bank is willing to help Turkmenistan to address its methane emissions, improve energy efficiency, develop renewable energy capacities, and establish a long-term climate change strategy.

According to ADB, the new strategy for 2024-2028 will help the country to diversify its economy and increase its resilience and competitiveness, while positioning the country as a trade and transit hub. The plan includes support for small and medium-sized enterprises, public-private partnerships, digital technologies, solar energy development, and water management.

As part of his program, Mr Chen visited the grid strengthening project, and also traveled by rail from Asghabat to Dushak. The bank is also currently examining possibilities to modernize Turkmenabat-Mary-Ashgabat-Turkmenbashi railway.In the country fact sheet from September 2023, the bank highlights the operational challenges in the country. “Development operations in Turkmenistan are affected by limited domestic capacity in ensuring full compliance with multilateral banks’ processes for project initiation, preparation, approval, and implementation; and limited use of international standards such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)”.

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