The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the eighth and last review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)1 Arrangement for Côte d’Ivoire. The completion of the review enables the immediate release of SDR 48.78 million (about US$67.7 million), bringing total disbursements under the ECF arrangement to SDR 520.32 million (about US$722.2 million).
The Executive Board approved the ECF arrangement for Côte d’Ivoire on November 4, 2011 (see Press Release No. 11/399). It aimed to restore a sustainable fiscal and external position, while achieving high growth and reducing poverty.
In completing the review, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:
“Côte d’Ivoire’s economic performance over the course of the arrangement with the Fund has been impressive. Macroeconomic stability has been restored and strong growth over the last four years has lifted real per capita income by some 20 percent. The fiscal position has also strengthened, while needed infrastructure and pro-poor spending have increased. As a result, poverty has declined but remains high.
“Program implementation has continued to be strong this year. All end-June performance criteria and indicative targets were met. However, progress in structural reform has been mixed. Four of the seven structural benchmarks under the eighth review were met, while three others are being implemented with minor delays. The authorities are appropriately taking steps to maintain the momentum of economic reforms.
“The near-term macroeconomic outlook remains favorable, with real GDP growth projected to remain strong. The 2016 draft budget goes some way toward further strengthening the fiscal position, but more ambitious consolidation going forward, including by streamlining tax exemptions, would help address emerging fiscal risks and make room for needed social programs. Additional steps to improve public finance and debt management would also boost the policy framework.
“The authorities should continue to pursue ambitious reforms to strengthen the financial sector, improve the business climate, and foster private activity and economic diversification. Improving the provision of statistics, beginning with national accounts, should also remain an important priority.”
1 The ECF has replaced the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility as the Fund’s main tool for medium-term financial support to low-income countries. Financing under the ECF currently carries a zero interest rate, with a grace period of 5.5 years, and a final maturity of 10 years. The Fund reviews the level of interest rates for all concessional facilities every two years
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)