flag Turkmenistan Turkmenistan: Trade Profile

Foreign Trade in Figures

The Government of Turkmenistan closely monitors all foreign trade through the State Commodities and Commodity Exchange. The country's trade policy aims to develop export markets for gas, petroleum products, electricity, and cotton. Tariffs are relatively low in Turkmenistan, yet non-tariff barriers hinder trade. The total value of exports and imports equals 33% of GDP (according to the latest data available from the World Bank). In 2022, the country’s main imports comprised electrical machinery and equipment (23.1%), nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery, and mechanical appliances (15.3%), vehicles (7.9%), articles of iron or steel (5.6%), plastics and articles thereof (3.4%). On the other hand, exports were led by mineral fuels (accounting for 89.5% of the total), fertilizers (4.8%), and cotton (1.9% - data ITC). In 2020, WTO members agreed to grant Turkmenistan observer status in the organization. Market access remains very limited, and trade continues to be hampered by low productivity, limited access to financial services, high transport costs, and underdeveloped infrastructure and quality management.

In country terms, in 2023, the main export partners were China (74%), Turkey (12.8%), Greece (7.9%), and Ukraine (1.7%); whereas the main import origins were Turkey (33.3%), China (32.0%), Germany (7.1%), Japan (5.8%), and Italy (4.1% - data ITC). Despite the ongoing and planned diversification of its markets, Turkmenistan's exports are generally dependent on a single large market (China) and continue to be dominated by a single product (natural gas), making the economy vulnerable to fluctuations in world prices, beyond its control. In this context, a pipeline project for China (which became operative in April 2022) and the pipeline proposed by Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI), could more than double the gas export capacity. After Russia's decision in early 2016 to suspend its gas imports from Turkmenistan, China became the key customer of the country and now accounts for nearly three-quarters of its gas exports. However, Russia resumed gas imports from Turkmenistan in 2019 after a three-year hiatus.

Turkmenistan's trade balance has a structural surplus. According to the WTO, exports of goods totaled USD 13.2 billion in 2022 (an increase of 40.9% year-on-year), with imports decreasing to USD 3.2 billion (-19.2% y-o-y). According to official government data, Turkmenistan increased its natural gas production by 6.9% and its exports by 12.6% in January-December 2023.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 2,9923,2334,0223,2513,482
Exports of Goods (million USD) 10,6056,4929,37713,4259,917
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 4536n/an/an/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2018n/an/an/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 2518n/an/an/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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Trade Compliance

International Economic Cooperation
Member of CIS - Commonwealth of Independent States
Useful Resources
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
You can contact the Patent Department by Email.

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Latest Update: May 2024