Turkmenistan improved its position in the “Index of Economic Freedom 2022” and took 165th place out of 177

Turkmenistan ranked 165 out of 177 places in the "Index of Economic Freedom 2022", which was published by the American research institute The Heritage Foundation.

Experts studied the economic situation in 184 countries based on 12 indicators grouped into four groups: the rule of law, the effectiveness of public administration, the size of the state apparatus and market openness.

Turkmenistan scored 46.2 points out of 100 in the rating.

The authors of the report note that Turkmenistan ranks 38th among 39 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and its overall score is well below the regional and global averages.

Over the past five years, economic growth in Turkmenistan was observed in 2017-2019, which slowed down significantly in 2020 and recovered in 2021. The five-year trend of “sluggish” economic freedom continues.

The experts added several points in the "freedom of work" and "freedom of investment" indicators, but noted a deterioration in the "rule of law" category. In general, since 2017, Turkmenistan has lost 1.2 points and is among the most “repressive” countries in the world. It is noted that comparing government spending and taxation in this harshly authoritarian economy is largely meaningless.

In 2020, the country's economy grew by only 0.8%.

The authors of the report recall that Turkmenistan is the most closed and authoritarian country in the world, and the presidency of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov , who has been in power since 2007, has not brought any success in the field of political, social or media freedom. The economy is still dominated by state monopolies and is based on agriculture, significant oil reserves and the fifth largest natural gas reserves in the world.

All land is owned by the government, and ownership of other real estate is limited. The nominally independent judiciary is fully subordinate to the president, who appoints and removes judges at his discretion. Judges are poorly trained and open to bribery. Corruption is rampant, and anti-corruption laws are generally not enforced.

It is noted that government spending over the past three years amounted to 13.5% of total GDP, the budget deficit averaged 0.2% of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 31% of GDP.

Regarding business, it is said that the big business that exists is usually conducted jointly with the Turkmen government. Foreign companies complain that the government delays their payments and the labor code is not respected.

In the 2021 ranking, Turkmenistan ranked 167th with 47.4 points.

As for the neighbors in the region, in the current study of 2022, Kazakhstan is in 64th place, Kyrgyzstan is in 116th, Uzbekistan is in 117th and Tajikistan is in 147th. Russia took 113th place.

The top five were North Korea (3 points), Venezuela (24.8), Cuba (29.5), Sudan (32) and Zimbabwe (33.1).

Singapore (84.4), Switzerland (84.2), Ireland (82), New Zealand (80.6) and Luxembourg (80.6) scored the highest.

Seven countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Liechtenstein were not included in the ranking due to hostilities or lack of reliable data.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan