Turkmenistan - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges

Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e., things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.

Last published date: 2020-10-15
  • Lack of consistent, transparent business legislation and sanctity of contracts.
  • Laws and regulations are subject to frequent change and contradictory interpretation by various government agencies and officials.
  • The judicial branch operates under direct instruction from the executive.
  • Corruption is pervasive and endemic at all levels of the business stream.
  • Qualified employees, particularly those with English language skills, are scarce.
  • Turkmenistan’s labor force generally lacks knowledge of standard Western business practices.
  • The Agency for Protection from Economic Risks, under the Ministry of Finance and Economy, holds a wide mandate to vet foreign companies before issuing licenses allowing operation in Turkmenistan.
  • The economy appears to have been in recession or stagnant since the last quarter of 2014 when global hydrocarbon prices fell.
  • Foreign businesses in Turkmenistan face steep barriers to collecting on bills owed by government ministries.
  • Companies face tight foreign exchange controls.
  • Turkmenistan’s visa procedures are exceptionally cumbersome and time-consuming.
  • Unreliable internet access and slow download and upload speeds can hinder business. The Government of Turkmenistan regularly blocks certain mainstream websites and private companies’ Virtual Private Networks (VPN).
  • Most industry is controlled by the government and formal communication (e.g., the transmission of documents) is slow, as it typically must be conducted  via diplomatic notes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.