IMF Executive Board Completes Fourth Review under the ECF arrangement for Côte d'Ivoire, and Approves US$75 Million Disbursement
ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire, December 9, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the fourth review of Côte d'Ivoire's economic program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. The completion of the review enables the immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 48.78 million (US$75 million) to Côte d'Ivoire, bringing total disbursements under the ECF arrangement to an amount equivalent to SDR 308.94 million (US$475.2 million). The Executive Board also concluded the Article IV consultation for Côte d'Ivoire. A press release on the Executive Board's assessment of the consultation will be issued in due course.
The Executive Board approved the three-year ECF arrangement for Côte d'Ivoire on November 4, 2011 for an amount equivalent to SDR 390.24 million (120 percent of the country's quota in the IMF, see Press Release No. 11/399).
Following the Executive Board's discussion, Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair issued the following statement:
“Côte d'Ivoire's macroeconomic performance under the Fund-supported program has been strong. Growth has rebounded, supported by a surge in public investment and an upturn in business and consumer confidence and inflation has remained moderate. Considerable progress has also been made in structural reforms. While the medium-term outlook is positive, continued implementation of sound policies and reforms will be necessary to sustain high growth and improve the living standards, key objectives of the authorities' National Development Plan.
“The fiscal position has improved significantly since 2011. For 2013, the fiscal deficit is expected to be lower than programmed, owing to below-target capital spending. The draft 2014 budget is built on conservative macroeconomic assumptions, and aims to further reduce the fiscal deficit while allowing for greater capital spending. Nevertheless, further efforts will be needed to open up fiscal space, including by broadening the tax base and reducing exemptions. Improving public financial management should also remain a priority while a medium-term debt strategy is needed to safeguard external stability.
“Although Côte d'Ivoire's banking sector is generally sound, it needs to be strengthened to better support economic development and financial inclusion. In particular, steps should be taken to improve the supervisory framework, facilitate bank's liquidity management, and promote credit to the private sector.
“The authorities have implemented several measures to enhance governance and improve the business climate but more needs to be done to strengthen the legal framework in order to attract foreign and private domestic investment.”