Statement by IMF Deputy Managing Director Furusawa at the Conclusion of a Visit to Cote d'Ivoire

By International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Abidjan at the conclusion of a visit to Cote d'Ivoire.

“My visit to Cote d'Ivoire has been extremely fruitful and informative. I wish to thank President Alassane Dramane Ouattara for meeting with me to discuss the country's economic achievements and its outlook. I also want to thank Prime Minister Kablan Duncan and Minister Adama Kone for their insights.

“I commended President Ouattara for his strong leadership and economic record amid a deteriorating global environment. Cote d'Ivoire has experienced four years of strong growth, averaging 8.9 percent a year over the past 4 years. Maintaining this growth momentum will require transitioning to a more private sector-led model while effecting reforms aimed at improving the business environment.

“In my meetings with the authorities, I commended them for the sharp increase in pro-poor spending over the last years and the overhaul of the cocoa and coffee revenue distribution mechanisms to augment farmers' stake. Although declining, as evidenced by a recent household survey, poverty, inequality, andunemployment remain high and significant regional disparities still exist. Against this background, we discussed ways to maintain economic progress while strengthening the transition towards a more inclusive model. These included a set of policy recommendations aimed at pursuing fiscal consolidation based on greater revenue mobilization and efficient spending, while increasing priority outlays. It will also require maintaining a disciplined fiscal policy in order to build buffers that would enable the conduct of counter-cyclical policy in the face of adverse shocks, as well as to contain the increase in public debt.

“The adoption of a recent financial strategy aimed at strengthening financial stability and fostering financial deepening and inclusion, in particular by enhancing small and medium enterprises to access to credit is welcome and the authorities are taking the necessary steps to restructure the remaining troubled banks.

“I would like to thank President Ouattara and the government and people of Cote d'Ivoire for their welcome and warm hospitality during my visit.”