On December 12, 2016 the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved two three-year arrangements under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Côte d’Ivoire for a combined total of SDR 487.8 million (about US$658.9 million, or 75 percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s quota) to support the country’s economic and financial reform program.
The program will aim to achieve a sustainable balance of payments position, inclusive growth, and poverty reduction by investing in infrastructure and priority social projects. It will also focus on containing current spending, catalyzing official and private financing, and building resilience to future economic shocks.
The Executive Board’s decision will enable an immediate disbursement of total amount of SDR 69.686 million (about US$94.1 million). The remaining amount will be phased over the duration of the program, subject to semi-annual reviews.
Following the Executive Board discussion on Côte d’Ivoire, Deputy Managing Director Mr. Furusawa, and Acting Chair, said:
“Côte d’Ivoire’s economy has made an impressive turnaround since 2012 and its outlook remains favorable. Nevertheless, reducing poverty and closing human capital and infrastructure gaps will take time, and structural bottlenecks pose challenges. Against this backdrop, the authorities’ new economic program under the Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility appropriately focuses on inclusive, sustainable growth; structural transformation of the economy; and poverty reduction. The program builds on the solid performance under the previous Fund-supported program in 2011–15 and is expected to catalyze official and private financing.
“The authorities’ goal is to maintain fiscal discipline and strengthen buffers for future shocks, while creating fiscal space for infrastructure and social spending. To this end, improving tax administration and adopting new tax policy measures will help increase revenue mobilization. Containing current spending will be also critical, while prudent public financial and debt management will help ensure debt sustainability. Enhancing surveillance of public enterprises and extending budget coverage to extra-budgetary entities would strengthen control over all government’s activities and improve transparency. Reinforcing the framework for public-private partnerships and pressing ahead with the reform of public enterprises will mitigate fiscal risks.
“The authorities’ measures to recapitalize and strengthen public banks and their efforts to promote financial inclusion will help sustain healthy credit expansion and contribute to private sector-led economic growth.
“Further improvements to the business environment are crucial, particularly in the areas of paying taxes, obtaining permits, and facilitating trade. The authorities’ continued efforts to improve the quality and dissemination of economic statistics would support policy making and private investment.”
Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).