Ivorian authorities, IMF staff agree faster reforms to maintain high growth rate

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (PANA) – International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff and the Ivorian authorities on Thursday concurred on the need to accelerate reforms critical to maintaining growth at a sustainable pace and continue making it more inclusive in the West African country.

Led by Dhaneshwar Ghura, the IMF staff team welcomed the progress made by the authorities in prioritizing the new investment projects which should help maintaining space to finance the National Development Program (2016-2020).

The team was in Abidjan from March 22 to April 5, 2018, to hold discussions on the 2018 Article IV Consultation and the third review of 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).

On conclusion of the discussion, Mr. Ghura remarked that IMF staff and the authorities have also agreed on the importance of increasing domestic revenues to create fiscal space to undertake priority spending and enhance Côte d’Ivoire’s debt payment capacity.

“The team and the authorities concurred that Côte d’Ivoire’s economic transformation programme is progressing well.

“Continued fiscal consolidation, prudent debt management policy and supply-side reforms will support high growth rates. Continuing actions to spread growth benefits and reducing youth unemployment will also be important factors for ensuring the long-term success of government policies,” Mr. Ghura observed.

Based on preliminary estimations, the country’s GDP grew by 7.8 percent last year despite the fall in cocoa prices and social demands. Inflation remained subdued at about 1 percent, well below the 3 percent regional threshold of the Western Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).

Meanwhile, cedit to the economy grew at a healthy pace of 13.3 percent in 2017. Reflecting the decline in cocoa prices in 2017, the deficit in the external current account reached 2.1 percent of GDP.

According to IMF, Côte d’Ivoire’s medium-term outlook is favourable and risks to the forecast are broadly balanced. Economic activity is projected to remain strong and the medium-term outlook is for robust growth to continue. Inflation is expected to remain contained.

“While Côte d’Ivoire’s economic performance has been strong, there are also risks to the outlook from slower than expected progress in revenue mobilization, unfavourable terms-of-trade shock and tighter global financial conditions,” Mr. Ghura cautioned.

The IMF team met with President Alassane Ouattara, Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Minister of Economy and Finance Adama Koné, Minister of Transports Amadou Koné, Minister of Oil, Energy and Development of Renewable Energies Thierry Tanoh, Minister of Employment and Social Protection Jean Claude Kouassi, and Minister of Planning Niale Kaba among other government officials.
-0- PANA AR 5April2018

05 april 2018 19:32:27

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