Statement at the Conclusion of the Visit to Madagascar by Mr. Bio-Tchané, Director of the African Department of the IMF

Press Release No. 07/184
August 24, 2007

Mr. Bio Tchané, Director of the African Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement in Antananarivo on August 22, 2007:

"I held constructive discussions today with President Marc Ravalomanana, Minister of Finance and Budget Benjamin Radavidson, Central Bank of Madagascar Governor Frédéric Rasamoely, and other senior officials of the Government of the Republic of Madagascar. I also met with representatives from the private sector and the donor community.

"We exchanged views on recent economic developments and prospects for the Malagasy economy, and discussed the ongoing cooperation between the IMF and Madagascar. I congratulated President Ravalomanana for having launched the Madagascar Action Plan (MAP). It provides a clear vision for economic development, with an emphasis on such key areas as responsible governance, infrastructure, education, health, and rural development. The Fund, together with other donors, will continue to provide support to policies that will help progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

"Economic growth continues to be strong, helped by the construction for large mining projects and good performance in other sectors, while inflation continues on its downward path, aided in part by the appreciation of the ariary. We encourage the authorities to continue progress in their economic reform program, including by preserving macroeconomic stability; improving domestic revenue mobilization and strengthening public financial management; maintaining an appropriate monetary stance until single-digit inflation is firmly secured; broadening financial intermediation; and addressing the rehabilitation of the public utility (JIRAMA) in order to sustain economic growth.

"The President and his economic team underscored their determination to build on recent achievements and respond to the challenges they face. They stressed the importance of learning from the successful experience of other countries and also emphasized the need for good governance. It is my belief that with the appropriate policies, there is a clear opportunity to bring about more rapid growth, significantly reduce poverty, and make progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The IMF is committed to working with Madagascar towards realizing these goals, through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), technical assistance, and policy advice."



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