ASHGABAT (TCA) — U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Assistant Administrator for Central and South Asia, Javier Piedra, visited Turkmenistan as part of his first official visit to Central Asia. Piedra visited Turkmenabat and the capital Ashgabat to see first-hand how USAID programs are benefiting Turkmenistan by strengthening the investment climate and supporting the private sector in the country, the US Embassy in Ashgabat said on June 14.
In Turkmenabat, Piedra met with a group of entrepreneurs to discuss U.S. efforts to help improve the investment climate in Turkmenistan. In Ashgabat, he visited the first private-sector food safety laboratory in Turkmenistan, which is being developed by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and supported by USAID. He also met with government officials to discuss USAID assistance and partnership in the country.
USAID began its work in Turkmenistan in 1992, supporting economic-growth programs, helping enterprises improve their productivity and revenues, and coordinating with government institutions to modernize the energy and trade sectors.
Deputy Assistant Administrator Piedra oversees USAID’s development assistance in the region, including programs to strengthen and diversify economies, trade and cooperation with regional and global markets and institutions, export promotion, private-sector development, and public financial management.
Turkmenistan’s economy is currently experiencing a downturn largely caused by decreasing foreign-currency revenues from the country’s main export commodity — natural gas.