MORONI, Comoros, March 11, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Moroni from February 25 to March 11 to review developments during the last quarter of 2013, assess the current situation, and lay the basis for discussions on a new program. The mission met with His Excellency Dr. Ikililou Dhoinine, President of the Union, and held discussions with Vice-President and Finance Minister Soilihi, Governor of the Central Bank of the Comoros (BCC) Chanfiou, Permanent Secretary of the Committee to Monitor Reforms Oubeidi, and other government and central bank officials, as well as representatives of the private sector, the National Assembly, officials of the islands of Grande Comore and Anjouan, and the donor community.
Mr. Harry Trines, the IMF mission chief, issued the following statement today in Moroni:
“Developments in the fourth quarter of 2013 were broadly as expected. Real GDP growth in 2013 is estimated at 3.5 percent and inflation remained favorable. Fiscal revenues met expectations but capital expenses were somewhat higher than previously envisaged. The current account deficit widened compared to 2012 mainly due to lower transfers related to the Economic Citizenship Program (ECP).
“The mission discussed the outlook for 2014 and the challenges facing the government in implementing reforms that have been approved. The mission welcomes the work on a new national strategy for accelerated growth and durable development (SCA2D) and is looking forward to its completion later this year.
“On the fiscal side, renewed efforts are needed to strengthen public financial management and mobilize domestic budget resources, to create room for the government to increase priority current and capital spending, including infrastructure. The IMF will continue to provide technical assistance to help the government achieve progress in these areas. Efforts will also be needed to continue reforms in the energy and telecommunications sectors to create an environment more conducive to economic growth.
“The mission will return to Comoros in the second half of the year to conduct discussions for the Article IV consultation and continue dialogue on a possible follow up program with the Fund.
“An arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) approved in September 2009 (Press Release No. 09/315) expired at end 2013 following the final review (Press Release No. 13/509).
“The mission wishes to thank the authorities for their excellent cooperation and warm hospitality.”
International Monetary Fund (IMF)