Côte d’Ivoire: IMF reaches staff-level agreement with Côte d’Ivoire

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) - Following discussions held between International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff and the Ivorian authorities during the just-ended 2016 Annual Meetings in Washington, a staff-level agreement has been reached on a three-year economic support programme for the West African country, the IMF said Wednesday.

In line with the agreement, the programme could be supported by two arrangements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for about US$ 674.3 million or 75 percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s quota in the IMF, if it will be approved by the IMF Executive Board in December 2016.

“The programme will support the broad objectives of Côte d’Ivoire’s 2016 2020 National Development Plan (NDP) by addressing impediments to a sustainable balance of payments position and economic growth," said Mr. Dan Ghura, mission chief for Côte d’Ivoire in a statement.

The NDP aims to foster conditions for continued strong and inclusive growth and poverty reduction through investment in infrastructure and social sectors, as well as the structural transformation and industrialization of the economy by the private sector.

According to Mr. Ghura, the Ivorian government’s budget deficit would converge to the WAEMU norm of 3 percent of GDP by 2019 to preserve public debt sustainability and support the regional international reserves pool.

"To this end, key programme objectives are to contain current expenditure and mobilise additional revenues through broadening the tax base and further improving tax administration," he said, explaining that the programme includes a comprehensive set of reforms aimed at enhancing public financial and debt management practices.

The practices entail strengthening debt management; expanding the monitoring of public entities beyond the central government; containing fiscal risks emanating from some public enterprises in financial difficulty; restructuring public banks; and improving the business climate.

Meanwhile, the IMF staff  welcomed the authorities’ request for further technical assistance to support their efforts to improve the quality and dissemination of economic statistics.

“With the implementation of these policies, Côte d’Ivoire will create fiscal space for more infrastructure investment and social spending, catalyse official and private financing, and build resilience to future economic shocks.

"Overall, this programme will help the government continue building on the impressive achievements of the past four years and further strengthen the foundations for strong and inclusive growth and poverty reduction,” Mr. Ghura added.
-0- PANA AR/MA 12Oct2016

12 october 2016 11:06:59

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