IMF Board approves US$136.6 m disbursement to Côte d’Ivoire

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) – Executive Directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have commended the good performance of Côte d’Ivoire’s economy under the Fund supported programme and approved a disbursement of about US$136.6 million to support the West African country.

The approval followed the IMF Board’s conclusion on Monday of the Article IV consultation and the third review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangements for Côte d’Ivoire.

The three-year ECF/EFF arrangements with a total access of about US$917.8 million were approved by the IMF Executive Board on 12 December 2016.

According to IMF, Côte d’Ivoire’s GDP growth was estimated at about 7¾ percent in 2017 despite the fall in cocoa prices while inflation remained subdued at about 1 percent.

“The medium-term outlook is for continued strong economic activity with robust growth and low inflation. Risks to the forecast are broadly balanced,” the Fund said in statement released on Tuesday.

“The Ivorian authorities have adopted a comprehensive programme of economic reforms to achieve a sustainable balance of payments position, inclusive growth, and poverty reduction by investing in priority infrastructure and social projects.

“These objectives are supported by the IMF programme arrangements. The programme is anchored on the convergence of the budget deficit to the West African and Economic Monetary Union norm of 3 percent of GDP by 2019, to preserve public debt sustainability and support the regional international reserves pool.”

Following the Executive Board’s discussion, IMF Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, remarked: “Côte d’Ivoire’s performance under its Fund-supported programme has been good. The authorities contained the budget deficit in 2017 and are committed to meeting the programme budget deficit target in 2018 and reduce the fiscal gap to meet the WAEMU convergence criterion of 3 percent of GDP in 2019. The medium-term outlook remains robust, with growth projected to average around 7 percent over 2018-23.

“Further revenue mobilization is needed to achieve the fiscal objectives. Building on past implementation of fiscal structural reforms, measures to buttress revenue administration and public financial management should accelerate. Moreover, cautious debt and financial management is required to firmly anchor Côte d’Ivoire’s debt on a sustainable path. The authorities are taking steps to further consolidate the banking sector’s stability.

“Continued implementation of reforms that foster sustainable and inclusive growth would be needed. Further improvements in the business environment would help make private investment the main driver of growth.”

IMF Directors noted that enhancing transportation, electricity, and water infrastructure would yield productivity gains in agriculture and industry. They encouraged the Ivorian authorities to ensure adequate funding for critical infrastructure and social safety nets by accelerating revenue mobilization.

Further improvements in the business environment including sustained efforts to strengthen governance would help make private investment the main driver of growth, the Directors suggested.

They stressed that prudent debt and financial management is required to anchor debt on a sustainable path. They noted that Côte d’Ivoire’s debt distress risk remains moderate, but that external debt liquidity and solvency indicators warrant close monitoring.

In their view, preserving the fiscal consolidation path would limit recourse to external financing and help mitigate risks from potentially tighter international financial conditions. Monitoring fiscal risks from public enterprises and private public partnerships will also be important.

“Directors noted that the financial sector is generally stable, but urged the authorities to address pockets of vulnerability,” said the statement, recommending accelerated restructure of the energy sector to preserve its financial sustainability and support economic growth.
-0- PANA AR/MA 19June2018

19 يونيو 2018 09:33:08

xhtml CSS