(MENAFN - AzerNews) By
The Asian Development Bank's (ADB) Board of Directors has endorsed a 5-year Country Partnership Strategy for Turkmenistan to support regional cooperation and economic diversification during 2017-2021.
The Bank announced that the document is ADB's first full Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Turkmenistan since the country joined ADB in 2000.
Turkmenistan has made important progress in recent years and achieved upper middle-income status, said Sean O'Sullivan, Director General of ADB's Central and West Asia Department.
'ADB will work with the government and people of Turkmenistan to build on this progress by enabling the country to diversify its energy markets, improve its regional transport connectivity, and diversify its non-hydrocarbon economy," he added.
Turkmenistan is the 12th largest natural gas producer in the world, with the 4th largest natural gas reserves, and the 10th highest oil producer in the Asia and Pacific region—the country's economy has grown rapidly. However, highly concentrated export basket and export markets have made the economy vulnerable to changes in commodity prices. Turkmenistan's national development strategy aims to shift to a growth model based on economic diversification, innovation, and sustainable development, with greater regional cooperation., according to the ADB
The CPS provides three main avenues of support: hydrocarbon market diversification and energy trade promotion; diversification of the non-hydrocarbon sectors through transport infrastructure investments to improve market connectivity, and supporting private sector development, including small and medium-sized enterprises; and knowledge work on economic diversification and reforms.
ADB will also support knowledge work on economic diversification and economic reforms. Regional cooperation and integration, particularly within the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC), which Turkmenistan joined in 2010, is a priority area of the CPS.
Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.