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05.08.04á11:20

ANYTHING BUT A PRIVATE BUSINESS...
TURKMEN STATE SUPPORTS DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

According to reports of Turkmen statisticians, a private sector's share in the country's economy grows fast. With the constant and targeted support of the state, local businessmen steadily fill up the gaps in the market that an owner could have hardly done before.

There is only one precondition: such strategic sectors of the economy as the oil and gas complex will be kept under the full control of the state, although a process of its privatization is not far away.

At the same time, Turkmenistan has made great strides in setting up private ownership in the production, trade and service sectors over the last ten years of independent development.

According to the government, the process of privatization in the country became a basis for setting up a private sector in the economy at the initial stage of reforms. At that time, virtually all facilities of trade and food sector, social services for the population and part of the industrial enterprises switched to the private sector of the economy. A process of reformation of the state ownership is still on.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Information, over 53,000 private entrepreneurs with a license and a registration number and over 14,000 enterprises, making up 79% of the total number of registered legal entities in the country, were registered in the private sector of the economy in 2003. Out of 14,000 enterprises registered in the statistical record of business structures, 12,000 are private enterprises.

As a whole, the private sector of the economy produced 47% of Turkmenistan's GDP in 2003.

The development of entrepreneurship and the increase in the household production led to a 29% growth in the private sector's gross production in 2003 year on year and made up 39% of the country's total GDP. This sector has a largest share in the fields of trade, agriculture and industry. These sectors account for 90% of the private sector's gross production.

The private sector already plays a major role in some sectors of the economy. In particular, it has totaled 99,7% of the agricultural production. Meeting demands of the domestic market for fruits and vegetables improved considerably in 2003 thanks to the private businesses alone. They account for 86% of vegetables, 87% of melons and gourds, 85% of fruits and berries, 98% of potatoes and 34% of rice.

Stockraising and poultry industry are virtually fully in private hands. The private sector accounts for over 94% of cattle, 81% of sheep and goats, 72% of camels, 67% of horses and practically all poultry stock - 99%.

As in previous years, a major increase in retail turnover of the country, with a growth rate of 138% in 2003 year on year, has been achieved due to intensive work of the private sector.

At present, the private sector has a share of 33% in the total amount of wholesale trade.

The state sector of the economy retains leading positions in the gross industrial production in 2003. At the same time, a private sector's share in this field rose to 43,5% in 2003 against 41,3% in 2002.

The state sector dominates in the gross production of different services (education, healthcare, housing, communications, transport and other) as well as in the gross amount of construction and assembly works. The private sector in these fields has 22,5% and 35,2% shares respectively.

As President Saparmurat Niyazov, who is, by the way, the honorary chairman of the Association of businessmen of Turkmenistan, has regularly emphasized in his addresses, the development of the private sector of the economy is the state business. That is why the government is set to continue taking constant care of it. All the more so, a growth in the private sector directly affects such spheres of public life as market saturation, employment of the population and enhancing its well being.

Viktor KRYMOV

(Based on the reports by the National Institute of Statistics and Information of Turkmenistan).

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