Côte d’Ivoire: Ivoirien authorities take measures to spur economic growth

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) – Authorities in Côte d’Ivoire and a mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have agreed on the need to accelerate structural reforms critical to sustaining private sector-led economic growth which would spur growth and reinforce the West African country’s regional economic role.

In a statement released on Wednesday, following the mission’s visit to Abidjan from 19 September to 3 October 2017, the IMF staff commended the Ivoirien authorities for the measures taken in the energy sector which will ensure its viability over the medium-term.

“Staff also welcomed the progress made in the financial sector, including the recapitalization of one public bank,” noting particularly public finance management reforms, including close monitoring of public enterprises’ debt.  

The staff-level agreement reached in Abidjan is subject to approval by IMF management and the Executive Board. Its consideration by the Board is expected in December 2017.

Despite the fall in cocoa prices, Côte d’Ivoire’s strong economic performance continued in 2017 and the medium-term outlook remains strong, according to the IMF team leader, Mr. Dan Ghura.

Concluding the mission, Mr. Ghura remarked that the country’s inflation should remain subdued and below the 3 percent regional threshold of the Western Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).

“The fiscal budget deficit is expected to be contained to 4.5 percent of GDP in 2017, in line with the programme objectives, with a small revenue shortfall offset mostly by lower public investments,” he said, referring to the three-year economic and financial programme supported by the IMF through arrangements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

“Performance under the IMF-supported programme was strong in the first half of 2017. All performance criteria and indicative targets for end-June 2017 were met. All structural benchmarks were also implemented including three measures on tax policy and administration.

“Sound policies implemented by the authorities in the context of the IMF supported programme have helped secure confidence of the international financial markets and enabled the successful Eurobond issuance in June,” he observed.

The IMF mission and the Ivoirien authorities have agreed on policy measures for the 2018 budget to secure key programme objectives. These measures should enable the projected fiscal deficit to decrease to 3.75 percent of GDP in 2018 and eventually converge to the WAEMU regional deficit norm of 3 percent of GDP by 2019.

In addition, the IMF staff and the authorities agreed on maintaining debt sustainability, while making space to finance the National Development Programme (2016-2020) by stepping up revenue mobilization, rationalizing tax exceptions, and strengthening the evaluation and prioritization of new investment projects.
-0- PANA AR/MA 4Oct2017

04 october 2017 07:36:57

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