1 March 2018

Angola's Public Debt Not Worrisome - IMF

Luanda — The Angolan public debt, estimated at more than 60% of GDP, is uncomfortable, but "not worrisome", given the fiscal measures taken by the Government to pay it.

This fact was stressed by the representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ricardo Velloso, who considered that the Angolan public debt is now higher than in previous years, hence need a prudent and continuous fiscal policy to reduce it.

Speaking to journalists at the end of a meeting between the Angolan government's economic team and the IMF delegation, the official also acknowledged the efforts made by the State in the preparation of the 2018 General State Budget, which allocated a large part of the expenses for the payment of the public debt service.

In addition to the exchange rate regime, the improvement of the business environment in Angola, according to Ricardo Velloso, is also one of the crucial factors to boost the country's next phase of economic growth, with the support of private sector development.

The improvement of the business environment in Angola, he said, essentially focuses on modernizing the private investment law and granting more credit to the private sector, which will help reduce state spending.

This concern of the head of the IMF's mission comes a day after the Council of Ministers approved the proposed Private Investment Law, which sets out the principles and bases for facilitating, promoting and accelerating the application of capital in the country.

The proposed Private Investment Law aims to facilitate the investment of capital by internal and external investors, as well as the regime of access to benefits and other facilities to be granted by the State to this type of investment.

According to Ricardo Velloso, the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT), set for January 2019, will be a decisive factor that could help the country achieves a more stable revenue collection, without depending very much on fluctuations in the price of oil.

Regarding the adoption of the floating exchange rate, adopted by the BNA since last January, the IMF representative considered it as a good decision, because it will bear fruit beneficial to the country in the long term.


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