Secretive Turkmenistan reveals privatization plans

Secretive Turkmenistan reveals assets for privatization in move to liberalize economy

Associated Press

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) -- The secretive Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan has unveiled a list of state-owned assets it plans to privatize in a bid to promote free enterprise in the government-dominated economy.

The official Neutral Turkmenistan daily said Monday that the assets to be sold in the March 9 auction include a shopping center, a food production plant and a chain of auto servicing shops.

Foreign and local investors will be allowed to participate in the auction.

None of the country's copious energy assets are included in the sale.

Turkmenistan's economy has remained highly subsidized since the country formed part of the Soviet Union. Opportunities for private enterprise are limited, making the privatization drive particularly significant.

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