The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the immediate disbursement of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of 48.78 million (about US$74.1 million) to Cote d’Ivoire.
An IMF statement made available to PANA in New York on Saturday stated that the Board’s decision was based on the completion of the third review of Cote d’Ivoire’s economic performance under the programme supported by an Extended Credit Facility arrangement (ECF).
It said that the approval brought total disbursements under the arrangement to an amount equivalent to SDR 260.16 million (about US$395.4 million).
It recalled that the Executive Board approved the three-year ECF arrangement for Cote d’Ivoire on 4 November, 2011 for an amount equivalent to SDR 390.24 million, which is 120 per cent of the country’s quota in the IMF.
The statement noted that Cote d’Ivoire‘s economy recovered from the 2010–11 crisis-related recession more quickly than initially expected, recording a growth rate of 9.8 per cent in 2012, average annual inflation declined to 1.3 per cent over the year, while the fiscal position improved.
“The sharp rise in investment-related imports swung the current account into deficit, which was financed in part by higher foreign direct investment (FDI),” it said.
It also disclosed that Cote d’Ivoire no longer had any outstanding arrears to its external creditors.
The IMF noted that Cote d’Ivoire’s macroeconomic prospects for 2013 were “positive”, with robust growth being underpinned by a rise in public investment.
The Fund also said inflation was expected to remain moderate at about 3 per cent. The fiscal position would continue to improve, while higher FDI inflows were projected to finance a moderate widening of the external current account deficit.
It, however, said that the main challenge for Cote d’Ivoire over the medium term was to maintain the growth momentum.
“The National Development Plan for 2012–15, which replaces the previous Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (2009-15), articulates a comprehensive agenda that takes into account the new challenges facing Cote d’Ivoire after a decade of socio-political crisis.
“The government’s focus on scaling up investment while preserving fiscal and debt sustainability is welcome. Increased participation of the private sector is also critical to achieving the objective of higher and sustainable growth,” it added.