Press Release: Statement by the IMF Resident Representative in Gabon

June 6, 2007

Press Release No. 07/120

The following statement was issued on June 5, 2007, in Libreville by Richard Randriamaholy, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Resident Representative in Gabon:

"Over the past several days, the Ministry of Finance of Gabon and the IMF have jointly organized a series of outreach activities. On June 4, 2007, the Ministry of Finance and the IMF team jointly held a seminar for Parliamentarians, which was attended by 80 members of the National Assembly and the Senate, and on June 5, 2007, a similar seminar was held for participants from civil society, including the Conseil Economique et Sociale, non-governmental organizations, and the media.

"The objective of the seminars was two-fold. First, to inform participants on the role of the IMF in the world economy, and in Africa in particular, and to highlight the evolution of the IMF in the rapidly-changing global environment. Second, to present the objectives and policies underlying Gabon's three-year economic program, which received support from the IMF through a 3-year Stand-By Arrangement approved on May 7, 2007. The discussion focused on the three main pillars of the government's program:

• making significant progress toward a permanently-sustainable fiscal position, with the aim of avoiding harmful, oil revenue-related boom-bust cycles and preparing for the eventual exhaustion of oil reserves;

• strengthening oil revenue administration and public financial management, with the objective of raising the quality and effectiveness of public spending to ensure a higher return on physical infrastructure investment and improve social services; and

• removing structural obstacles to private sector-led non-oil growth, by improving the business climate, including through enhanced governance and transparency.

"Increasing the transparency in economic policies is a crucial component of the program, with the objective of raising the effectiveness of public policies and improving the governance of the private and public sectors. Gabon's participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, its enhanced publication policy, and continued outreach activities will contribute importantly to reaching this objective."


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