At the request of the government of Benin, a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Norbert Toé, Mission Chief for Benin, visited Cotonou from November 30 to December 12, 2016, to continue discussions with the authorities on a three-year economic program that could be supported by the IMF under its Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.
At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. Toé issued the following statement:
“The new government is moving swiftly to change the policy environment and is intent on fostering a structural transformation of the economy and improving the living conditions of the population. While negative spillovers from Nigeria—Benin’s main trading partner—had significant impacts on the economy, including a decline in customs revenues, economic activity remained resilient thanks, primarily, to agriculture production. The authorities have committed to preserve macroeconomic stability, while, at the same time, implementing an ambitious structural reform agenda, with an emphasis on improving governance and boosting investment. The mission and the authorities agreed on the importance of stepping up domestic revenue mobilization and strengthening public financial management to create fiscal space for increased public investment and pro-poor spending while preserving debt sustainability.
“Significant progress has been made and discussions with the authorities will continue.
“The mission met with President Talon, and held discussions with Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Economy and Finance; Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Senior Minister of State of Planning and Development; Alain Komaclo, National Director of the regional central bank (BCEAO), and other senior government officials, as well as with representatives of Benin’s international development partners, civil society, and the banking and business communities.
“The mission is grateful to the authorities for the constructive spirit in which discussions were held and for their warm hospitality.”
 The ECF is a concessional lending instrument for low-income countries with a three-year government economic program agreed with the IMF.
Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).