Washington, DC — An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Mauricio Villafuerte visited Bissau during February 13-19, 2013. The mission met with the interim government's authorities, including Prime Minister Rui Barros, Minister of Finance Abubacar Dahaba and Minister of Economy Jose Biai. The mission also met with National Director of the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO) Joao Fadia and development partners. At the conclusion of the visit, the mission issued the following statement.
"The mission conducted a preliminary assessment of macroeconomic developments in 2012 and the prospects for 2013. Economic activity was negatively affected by a sharp drop in cashew nut export volumes and prices and a fall in donors' aid following last April's coup d'état.
While the situation remains difficult in the context of continued political uncertainty, the economy is expected to recover in 2013 led by an upturn in cashew production and exports.
"The mission also discussed the authorities' 2013 budget proposal and reviewed the status of support from donors and other development partners. Fiscal stability will hinge on a budget plan consistent with prudent projections of domestic revenue and foreign grants. The mission welcomes the commitment of the authorities to strengthening public financial management and tax and customs administration, and the IMF stands ready to provide technical assistance in those areas.
"Discussions will continue during the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington in April. Subsequently, an IMF mission will return to Bissau in the context of the 2013 Article IV consultation discussions."