IMF Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara Visits Angola To Discuss Economic Challenges

By International Monetary Fund (IMF)

LUANDA, Angola, September 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), visited Angola during September 14-16, 2014, and issued the following statement at the conclusion of the visit:

"I would like to thank Vice-President Manuel Vicente for his hospitality and our fruitful discussions during my visit. I also had the privilege to meet the Acting President of the National Assembly Joana Lina Ramos Baptista, Minister of Finance Armando Manuel, National Bank of Angola Governor José Massano, and representatives of the business community and civil society. I had the honor to address faculty and students at the Agostinho Neto University, visited and made a donation to the Dom Bosco Salesian community in Luanda, which focuses on youth education, and was shown the impressive transformation of Luanda's port.

“In our discussions we covered many important topics, including the maintenance of macroeconomic and financial stability, continued diversification of the economy, good governance, and policies to enhance job creation and reduce poverty and inequality. I was encouraged by the progress made over the last five years and the authorities' strong commitment and efforts to transform Angola into a more inclusive economy.

“I am pleased with the open dialogue with the authorities on their efforts to address Angola's macroeconomic challenges and implement economic reforms. We discussed issues concerning policy advice as part of the IMF annual consultations with this important member country as well as stepped-up IMF technical assistance to Angola. There has been progress over the past several years toward implementing sound economic policies to deliver historically-low inflation, adequate international reserves and robust growth. More recently, the Angolan authorities accelerated their efforts to improve the business environment, which bodes well for the future.

“But more needs to be done. Angola still faces challenges, in particular fiscal deficits, dependence on oil exports, improving infrastructure and oversight on public investments, and reducing poverty. Angola is strengthening financial sector governance, and it will be important to continue efforts to further strengthen bank supervision. It is also important that the government carries on pushing for good governance and the rule of law.

“I encouraged the authorities to continue the reforms, particularly to address the emerging fiscal deficits in order to protect the economy against swings in international oil prices and preserve space for their objectives to rebuild infrastructure, while saving part of the oil wealth for future generations. In this connection, it will be important to increase domestic revenue mobilization by improving revenue administration, restrain the growth of current spending by adopting a modern wage policy for civil servants and reducing costly and regressive fuel subsidies, while expanding mechanisms to protect the poor and improve public investment efficiency through better project selection and monitoring.

“The IMF remains committed to assist the Angolan government in the best possible way to address these challenges and meet its development goals.”