To help Turkmenistani entrepreneurs conduct business effectively and legally, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) provided a series of trainings on commercial legal issues. Since November 2010, ABA ROLI trained nearly 400 members of the business, non-profit and legal communities throughout the country.
Most of the trainings—which covered international commerce, business-law enforcement and criminal liability—focused on economic rights, including labor relations, trade, taxation and banking procedures. In June, ABA ROLI trained 18 young farmers from around Ashgabat on the legal aspects of starting a business. In a country where nearly half of the citizens make their living through agriculture, the training targeted the younger generation in the agrarian sector to help and encourage them to think innovatively about their own prospects as small-business owners. Hosted in coordination with the Union of Economists, a local non-governmental organization, the training addressed the initial steps that should be taken and forms that should be filled to establish a business. It also discussed maintaining a business and complying with reporting laws. As the laws governing the agricultural sector differ from those relevant to large businesses, the training in June focused on rights, duties and responsibilities associated with starting a small agricultural business to address the farmers’ unique needs.
In addition to these trainings, ABA ROLI developed and published a comprehensive guide on the rights and responsibilities associated with starting and maintaining a business in Turkmenistan. The 300-page guidebook—Law and Your Business—includes national legislation, presidential decrees and regulations, as well as the forms needed for a business application. It also has information for government bodies operating in the commercial sphere. Nearly 450 copies of the guidebook were distributed in both Russian and Turkmen to training participants; they were also made available to a wider audience through local non-governmental organizations, businesses and associations.
The trainings and the guidebook were part of a broader criminal law program in Turkmenistan that was supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
To learn more about our work in Turkmenistan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].