Turkmenistan became a member of IFC in 1997, and since then IFC has undertaken a number of initiatives toward the development of an investment program. IFC has opened a liaison office, carried out numerous missions to develop potential Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) projects, and worked to build capacity in the financial sector. However, given the difficult business environment, IFC's activity to date has been limited.
For a 1999 advisory program developed for Garashsyzlyk Bank, we conducted a review of the legal and regulatory environment for leasing and created an advisory services program to help develop this sector. At the request of the government, IFC and EBRD jointly completed a major study of the oil-field services sector, which helped to identify opportunities for private investment.
Going forward, IFC will continue to look for investment opportunities in the financial and SME sectors, and we also plan to provide advisory services to support reform of the regulatory frameworks in these areas.