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: 2022-08-08
  • 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.  


  • 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 Virtual Private Networks (VPN). 


  • Most industry is controlled by the government and communication is slow, as it typically must be conducted  via diplomatic notes to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.