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IMF delegation ends 6-day visit to Gambia

A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by David Dunn, Wednesday concluded a six-day working visit to the Gambia during which it met with President Yahya Jammeh and senior Gambian government officials.

According to sources, the visit afforded the IMF team the opportunity to finalize discussions on the first review of Gambia’s macroeconomic and financial programme as part of the fund’s Extended Credit Facility.

Mr. Dunn was said to have told a press conference here that “The outlook for the Gambian economy is generally favourable for 2013, but there are risks.”

He said the economy was still recovering from the severe drought of 2011 and that the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an estimated 4% in 2012 which was led by a partial rebound in crop production and strength in the tourism sector.

”Real Gross Domestic Product growth is expected to accelerate, if the recovery in crop production is sustained. Also, by accessing new markets, the potential for growth in tourism looks good.”

Mr. Dunn added that inflation nonetheless had picked up, partly due to side effects from the introduction of the value-added tax (VAT) at the beginning of the year.

He gave a run down of Gambia’s fiscal policy and economic performance during the first quarter of the year, saying “Our mission reached agreement and referendum, on programme targets for 2013. The IMF Executive Board could consider the completion of the review by end of May 2013.” 

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