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Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Staff Visit to Lesotho

By International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Staff Visit to Lesotho
Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Staff Visit to Lesotho
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MASERU, Lesotho, November 19, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Mr. David Dunn visited Lesotho during November 11-18, 2013, for preliminary discussions on economic policies ahead of the upcoming Article IV consultation.1 The team met with the Honorable Ministers of Finance, Development Planning, and Health, the Governor of the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL), Honorable Members of Parliament serving on the Public Accounts Committee and Economic Cluster, other senior government and CBL officials, as well as representatives of the financial sector and development partners.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Dunn issued the following statement:

“The IMF team appreciates this opportunity for initial discussions with the Lesotho authorities on their policy agenda to address a number of pressing economic issues. The team was informed that after having successfully completed their recent economic program that was supported by a three-year credit arrangement under the IMF's Extended Credit Facility (ECF), the authorities see the need to pursue an economic policy agenda that, in addition to securing macroeconomic stability, further strengthens growth, employment, and poverty reduction—in line with the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP).

“The IMF team will return in January 2014 for the Article IV consultation with Lesotho. The Article IV consultation will allow for a comprehensive dialogue on policies to maintain medium-term economic stability and strengthen growth, including follow-up discussions on issues raised during our current visit. One such issue is the challenge of managing highly volatile government revenues—such as those from the Southern African Customs Union—to ensure that resources are available in a timely manner for planned public investment. Other issues for discussion during the Article IV consultation will include Lesotho's international competitiveness, the adequacy of its official international reserves, the financial sector, and debt sustainability.

“The IMF team thanks the authorities for candid and constructive discussions and expresses its appreciation for the excellent support during its visit.”

1 Under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country's economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country's authorities.