Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan announce new privatisation drives

By bne IntelliNews November 19, 2012

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Both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have made concrete moves towards privatisation of state enterprises in the coming year.

On November 17, the Turkmen government announced that President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has approved a privatisation programme for 2013-2016.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan announced the day before that it has set up a new privatisation committee, with Aziz Abdukhakimov, former acting chairman of the committee on management of state property, appointed to head it.

The Turkmen programme sets out procedures, plans and deadlines for a three-phase privatisation programme due to start in the new year. The second and third phases will take place in 2014-15 and 2016 respectively.

Ashgabat plans to privatise state enterprises in a range of sectors including construction, transport and communications, Deputy Prime Minister Annamuhammet Gochyev announced, according to Turkmenistan.ru. A second list of strategically important enterprises that will remain in state hands has also been drawn up. The next step will be to pass legislation to allow the privatizations.

The drive is part of the Turkmen government's plans to develop and modernise the economy. Ashgabat plans a gradual transition to a market economy and the integration of the country into the global economy, a government statement said.

Berdymukhaemdov "noted that privatization will contribute to further enhancement of the Turkmen economy's competitiveness, efficiency and profitability of industrial production, as well as the dynamic development of private entrepreneurship in the country."

In Uzbekistan, the government announced that the state committee for state property management and the state committee for de-monopolisation and development of competition would be merged to create the new state committee on privatization, demonopolization and development of competition

The committee will be responsible for developing measures to enable privatisation, introducing new methods of privatisation and introducing measures for anti-monopoly regulation. Tashkent announced in May 2012 that it planned to sell off around $500m of state owned assets over the next two years.

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