A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is visiting Moroni from September 17 to October 1 for discussions on the sixth review of the Union of Comoros' Extended Credit Facility (ECF)^1 arrangement. 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 and the donor community.
The current arrangement under the ECF was approved in September 2009 (Press Release No. 09/3145). The fifth review under the arrangement was concluded in June2013 (Press Release No. 13/203).
Mr. Harry Trines, the IMF mission chief for the Union of the Comoros, issued the following statement today in Moroni:
"The mission welcomes the progress made in the first half of the year in implementing the government's economic and financial adjustment program.
All but one of the financial performance criteria (net credit to the government) and targets under the program for end-June were met.
Progress was also made on structural reforms and most of the benchmarks under the program were achieved.
"Prospects for economic growth in 2013 remain favorable. GDP growth is expected to reach 3.5 percent in 2013 and Inflation has remained moderate. The current account deficit is expected to widen, reflecting stronger imports mainly associated with foreign financed investment projects and lower transfers related to the economic citizenship program compared to 2012.
"Notwithstanding the progress made, the fiscal position of the government deteriorated significantly in the third quarter. Large domestically financed investment projects were undertaken in anticipation of external transfers, but these transfers did not materialize. As a result the fiscal quantitative targets established for end-September under the program are expected to be missed by large margins. The mission is discussing with the authorities measures to address this situation by end-December of this year.
"The mission will continue its work over the next several days.
Discussions on the sixth review will continue with the Comorian delegation during the Annual Meetings of the IMF, which will be held October 11-13 in Washington.
"The mission wishes to thank the authorities for the excellent cooperation and their warm hospitality.