Central Banking Technical Assistance to Countries in Transition

Statement of the Central Bank of Turkmenistan

Susana Almuina, Ian McCarthy, Gabriel Sensenbrenner, and Justin Zulu
Published Date:
December 1995
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Within the current structure of the Central Bank of Turkmenistan, all matters relating to technical assistance are normally discussed at a special executive meeting with the Chairman and the Deputies. At these special meetings the main direction and priorities are determined. A Deputy Chairman serves as the channel of communications with the donors and coordinates matters internally. At present, offers of technical assistance are generally accepted, as the Bank can use almost all the technical assistance being offered. However, as needed, special requirements are also communicated to the donors, and thus arrangements are made in respect of the areas where special assistance is required. Depending on the nature of the technical assistance, the Central Bank department concerned is advised of details prior to the arrival of a mission or of a particular consultant. The head of the department and some of his or her staff are assigned as a task force.

The Bank does not formally assess the coordination of technical assistance between donors. Generally, mission heads can have an important role in eliminating coordination problems, and the Central Bank of Turkmenistan is very pleased in this regard. Our experience so far indicates that there is appropriate coordination among donors.

As for the exchange of views with donor central banks, the Central Bank provides feedback and discusses any problems encountered in the process of implementation when the technical assistance missions or consultants make return visits or on an on-going basis with the resident advisors. At present, however, there is little exchange of views with other recipient central banks of the Baltic countries, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union, although the Central Bank’s participation in the IMF’s Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department workshops provides a welcome forum. With a view to improving such exchange of views between donor and recipient central banks, the April meetings in St. Petersburg also seem to be a very important step. Similar meetings and seminars can provide very useful opportunities to discuss any concerns, priorities, and inadequacies with the donors. To assess our own progress and shortcomings, we also need to be aware of the success and failure of the other central banks and the factors that have contributed to their achievements or their lack of success in certain areas. This is particularly important as there has been a rapid and fundamental change in our systems. For instance, we have shared our experience with regard to the introduction of a national currency with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and have discussed the relevant mechanisms with them.

The main elements of success of technical assistance (on both the donor and recipient sides) are the competence of the technical assistance experts, their ability to teach the staff of the central bank, and the appropriateness of the actual program and the changes that they entail.

Of the technical assistance delivered to date, the areas that have received the greatest emphasis are banking legislation, foreign exchange regulation, and emission (note issue). The fields that, in the Central Bank’s view, now require enhanced coverage include settlement and payments system, foreign exchange operations, monetary and credit policy, banking supervision, and computerization.

Other areas of reform, such as commercial banking legislation, have not impinged upon the Central Bank’s progress in implementing technical assistance, since we received the assistance of IMF experts in preparing the law relating to commercial banks in Turkmenistan which is being implemented. Obviously, technical assistance to the Central Bank can facilitate progress in adjacent areas.

Though the Central Bank has not, thus far, carried out a formal assessment of the technical assistance received, our expectations have been met to a large extent.

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