Since the first years of independence, Turkmenistan began to
develop its fuel and energy complex (FEC) [Diagram]. The share of FEC production in the whole industrial production
amount in 1994 was 49.3% against 25.8% in 1990. At present the share of FEC is 55.6% of the industrial production in the
The industry, which share accounted for 32.95% of GDP in 1998, is dominated by mining activities, based
on exploiting the rich natural resource base. Oil refineries, and also chemical industry
enterprises are mainly located in western and eastern regions close to the mineral
Turkmenistan faces considerable changes in a variety of agro-processing
industries. Food and light industries include meat, fish, vegetable and fruit canneries,
wineries, dairy, textile, cotton processing, clothing and other plants.
Agriculture, one of the main sectors in the Turkmenistan economy, was contributing
20.0% to the GDP in 1998. The country is a large
producer and exporter of cotton-fibres. Cotton cultivation, cereals, vegetable and melons are
common throughout the country. Grapes and gardening are highly developed in the south and
southeast. The most important agricultural crops include cotton and wheat. Food production and other types of light industry, exploit the main industrial crop - cotton.
Livestock is also an important agricultural industry, based on extensive
opportunities for grazing. Karakul sheep-breeding activity is the most widely spread
traditional branch of the Turkmenistan livestock husbandry. Akhalteke and Yomud horses
breeding is traditional in Turkmenistan since ancient times.
The geographical characteristic of the country influenced the development of the
Turkmenistan transport system. The most part of freight transport is dominated by road and
railway sector. The railway transport is playing major importance at present for transit
transportation to CIS countries and exit of
Turkmenistan to the world railway systems of Europe and Asia. The total length of railways
in 1998 was 2392.5 km. The inter-continental Trans Asian main railway was completely
formed in 1996, when the new railway Tedzhen-Sarahs-Meshkhed (Iran) was put into
operation. Road and air transport is very important for those areas distant from railways
and water routes. The total length of hard surfaced road in 1998 was 13.597 thousand km.
The international airport complex, which has been erected in Ashgabat has allowed to open
new air routes between Europe and Asia.