A delegation of the International Monetary Fund headed by Mr Amadou Sy, Advisor to the African Department called on the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, today at the New Treasury Building in Port Louis.
In a statement following the meeting, Mr Sy said that the IMF delegation visits Mauritius each year for consultations. Under Article IV of the IMF Articles of Agreement and over a period of six months the delegation comes again to refine its analysis of the economic situation, meet economic partners and prepare the next mission which will probably take place in September 2018.
Speaking about the IMF analysis of Mauritius's economic situation, Mr Sy indicated that it has remained mostly unchanged when it comes to growth, adding that the conclusion made in August 2017 that is, the economic growth remains constant is maintained. According to him, an increase in inflation has been noted but analysis will be further refined to separate temporary sources from those which are more stable with regard to the evolution of growth. Additionally, due to the increase in the price of petroleum on the international market, a deterioration of the balance of payment is forecasted, but by September this year, a more refined analysis will be presented, he said.
As regards the growth rate currently estimated at 3.9%, Mr Sy recalled that there are some risks linked to delays in the implementation of big projects. This, he said, is understandable, as in many countries huge projects take a lot of time to materialise. A higher growth at the level of the world economy will constitute an advantage for Mauritius, he stated.
The IMF Chief of Mission also highlighted that Mauritius needs to make progress in the sector of exportation as, on the one side, there is a deterioration in the balance of payments because there is a difficulty to increase exportation which is even decreasing while on the other side, the price of petroleum is increasing.
"This is a question to be considered on the medium and long terms and there are reforms that need to be brought at the level of employment, especially for the youth so as to prepare them for the new jobs of the future", he said. Mr Sy commended the high quality education offered as well as the strategy to position Mauritius as a hub for the African continent and to increase competitiveness of firms and examine regional value chains.
It is recalled that an IMF mission led by Mr Sy was in Mauritius between July 31 and August 15, 2017 to conduct discussions for the 2017 Article IV consultation for the country. Under Article IV of the IMF Articles of Agreement, bilateral discussions/consultations with members, on economic developments and policies are held usually every year.
The IMF, created in 1945, is also known as the Fund. Its primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system--the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other.