This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 11/3/2017

Large scale reforms to improve infrastructure in the road, railway, maritime, and air transportation sectors of Turkmenistan are underway. Since 1992, the volume of freight transportation in Turkmenistan has increased in all sectors, particularly by road. Between 2011 and 2015, the government planned to complete upgrades to the Turkmenbashy – Ashgabat – Mary – Turkmenabat – Farap road running from the Caspian Sea to the Uzbek border and the Dashoguz – Ashgabat road crossing the country from north to south; it only partially completed both projects as of the end of 2016. Construction of the 564 km Turkmenbashy – Ashgabat highway, which is expected to be the first toll road, is underway and expected to be completed by 2018. Road upgrades are badly needed across the entire country. In March 2017, the Government of Turkmenistan reported the overall length of motor roads in Turkmenistan is 13,737 km, of which 6,540 km are of national importance, and 2,280 km are of international importance.
The international railway Uzen–Gyzylgaya–Bereket–Etrek–Gorgan, also known as the North-South Railway (NSR) or the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran Railway, was commissioned in 2014. The NSR connects the Kazakh and Iranian railway systems through Turkmenistan. The new railway is expected to transport 10 million tons of goods annually. President Berdimuhamedov has also announced plans to construct a high speed railway connection between the city of Balkanabat in the western Balkan province and the city of Turkmenabat in the eastern province of Lebap through the Karakum desert. In November 2016, the Turkmen and Afghan Presidents opened a single-track rail linking Atamyrat, Turkmenistan to Akina, Afghanistan. A planned expansion will extend this line into Tajikistan to create the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan Railroad (TAT). TAT is expected to boost the flow of goods from Central Asia to Afghanistan by reducing both the cost of shipping and transit time. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had planned to finance the Afghan and Tajik sections of the railway; however, at the end of 2015 ADB suspended its support for construction of the TAT indefinitely because of the security situation in Afghanistan.
In 2013, Turkmenistan commenced the construction of an international seaport in Turkmenbashy, on the Caspian Sea shore. The project includes the construction of ferry, passenger and container terminals, as well as ship repair facilities. Planned ferry routes would connect Turkmenbashy (Turkmenistan), Baku (Azerbaijan), Enzeli (Iran), Aktau (Kazakhstan) and Olya (Russia). These new services should increase cargo traffic in the region and help attract tourists from the Caspian states to the Awaza national tourism zone. The seaport project is expected to be completed in 2017. To contribute to the further development of Turkmenistan’s merchant marine fleet, by 2020 the government plans to purchase three oil tankers, one liquefied gas tanker, two car/passenger ferries, four port tugboats, one derrick vessel, one dredging vessel, and environment protection and emergency rescue vessels. It is expected that the capacity of the seaport will almost triple and reach up to 30 million tons per annum.
Turkmenistan Airlines (TurkmenistanHowaYollary or THY) is the state-owned primarily passenger carrier, made up of Boeing aircraft. In 2013-2014, Boeing delivered three new Boeing 737-800 passenger planes. In September 2016, Turkmenistan received one of the Boeing 737-800 planes ordered in 2014. In 2016, U.S. Department of Commerce figures indicate the United States exported USD 54,675,515 in aircraft and parts to Turkmenistan. According to the National Program for the Development of Civil Aviation of Turkmenistan for the period 2012-2030, the number of new aircraft in THY’s commercial fleet will increase from 20 to 39. Turkmenistan Airlines added new international flights to Kuala Lumpur and Riga, before cancelling them indefinitely. New flights to Milan and Doha were announced, but never started. Luxembourg’s Cargolux started freight transportation via Turkmenbashy. The government constructed new airports in the cities of Ashgabat (2016), Turkmenbashy, and Mary and started constructing a new airport in Turkmenabat and a new runway at the Dashoguz Airport. Turkmenistan also plans to reconstruct existing airports in Mary, Balkanabat (Balkan province), Magdanly (Lebap province), Gazachak (Lebap province), Urgench (Dashoguz province), Khazar (Balkan province) and Garabogaz (Balkan province).
In addition to Turkmenistan Airlines, international airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, S7, Belavia, Fly Dubai, Cargolux and China Southern Airlines operate international flights servicing Turkmenistan. However, a number of airlines are cutting back the number of flights as a result of the poor economic situation. The government expressed an interest in joining the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) in 2013 but at present is not an IATA member.
The Commercial Maritime Code of 2008 regulates commercial navigation, and addresses freight transport, passengers transport and their baggage to a foreign port, emergency operations, and accidents with other ships. In addition, it includes provisions on crew certification, state registration of ships and ship ownership titles, sea traffic control systems, maintenance of seaways, and environmental protection.
Leading Sub-Sectors
Road, railway and port construction and maintenance consultation services; specialized transportation machinery; and solutions to create logistics centers.
Apart from road construction, there are also opportunities to supply airport navigation equipment, specialized machinery for transporting cement, water, or flour, as well as garbage trucks, street cleaners, cement mixers and dump trucks.
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Turkmenistan Design and Construction Trade Development and Promotion