Sunday 08, October 2017 by Georgina Enzer

IMF Staff Team completes mission to Côte d’Ivoire

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Dan Ghura visited Abidjan from 19 September to 3 October, 2017 to hold discussions on the second 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).

At the conclusion of the visit, Ghura issued the following statement:

“The discussions on the second review under ECF and EFF arrangements have allowed the authorities and the IMF team to reach a staff-level agreement, subject to approval by IMF management and the Executive Board. Consideration by the IMF’s Executive Board is expected in December 2017.

“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.

“Despite the fall in cacao prices, strong economic performance continued in 2017 and the medium-term outlook remains strong. Inflation should remain subdued and below the three per cent regional threshold of the Western Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The fiscal budget deficit is expected to be contained to 4.5 per cent of GDP in 2017, in line with the programme objectives, with a small revenue shortfall offset mostly by lower public investments.

“The IMF mission and the Ivoirien authorities 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 per cent of GDP in 2018 and eventually converge to the WAEMU regional deficit norm of three per cent of GDP by 2019.

“The IMF staff and the authorities also agreed on maintaining debt sustainability, while making space to finance the National Development programme (2016-202) by stepping up revenue mobilisation, rationalising tax exceptions, and strengthening the evaluation and prioritisation of new investment projects. The mission noted that good progress has been made in public finance management reforms, including close monitoring public enterprises’ debt.

“The IMF mission and authorities agreed on the need to accelerate structural reforms critical to sustaining private sector-led economic growth which would spur growth and reinforce Côte d’Ivoire’s regional economic role. 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 recapitalisation of one public bank.

“The IMF team thanks the authorities for their hospitality and productive discussions.”

The IMF mission met with with His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara; Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly; Minister of Finance Adama Koné; Minister of Transports Amadou Koné; Minister of Oil, Energy and Development of Renewable Energies Thierry Tanoh; Minister of Public Service Issa Coulibaly; Secretary of State in charge of the Ministry of Budget and State Holdings Moussa Sanago; and other senior officials including at the National Directorate of the BCEAO.

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