Taking the Temperature of Turkmenistan’s Economic Meltdown
Berdymukhamedov extolled 2017 as a year of unprecedented success for Turkmenistan, but his boasting rings hollow on many fronts.
In his year-end address to the nation, Turkmenistan’s president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, brimmed with enthusiasm.
He extolled 2017 as a year of unprecedented success, featuring “massive transformations” and glorious achievements, and predicted the coming 12 months would be marked by a “bountiful harvest and prosperity.”
Berdymukhamedov’s message was the same a couple of days earlier, during the weekly Cabinet meeting. He forecast growing natural gas export volumes, new successes in the government’s import-substitution agenda, containment of the already-small deficit and only moderate inflation. The 10 percent increase in state salaries and pensions won’t just be on paper, he said.
“We do not have any problems with the payment of salaries,” Berdymukhamedov said.
The boasting is hollow on pretty much all fronts, however.
Even the International Monetary Fund, which typically relies heavily on official data and issues highly circumspect health bulletins on Turkmenistan’s economy, betrayed muted concern in November after a delegation traveled to the country.
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