A staff mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Nouakchott during January 26-February10 to discuss with the country's authorities recent macroeconomic developments and future engagement with the Fund. The mission met with Central Bank Governor Sid' Ahmed Ould Raiss, Finance Minister Thiam Diombar, Economic Affairs and Development Minister Sidi Ould Tah, as well as other senior economic and financial policymakers. The team also held productive discussions with representatives of the civil society, banking and private sectors, and donors.
At the conclusion of the visit, Mercedes Vera Martin, Mission Chief for Mauritania, issued the following statement:
"The mission made progress in the discussions with the Mauritanian authorities on the macroeconomic performance, economic policies and possible future financial support from the IMF.
"Mauritania's economic performance in 2013 remained strong driven by the expansion in mining and agricultural sectors; combined with contained inflation in line with declining import prices. Fiscal and external buffers continue to improve and the fiscal stance continues to consolidate its prudent path.
"The authorities are taking steps towards strengthen macroeconomic stability, while designing a comprehensive medium-term structural agenda that improves governance and supports more inclusive growth. The mission welcomes the authorities' intention to improve governance and transparency of the public sector overall with the aim to improve institutional capacity. Reforms to improve the business environment to support private sector development are crucial for economic diversification and more inclusive growth dynamics.
"Discussions with the authorities will continue once the new government is in place.
"The IMF remains fully committed to supporting Mauritania, and the mission would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mauritanian authorities and private sector representatives for their warm welcome and the quality of the discussions held."