Statement by the IMF Resident Representative in Albania

Press Release No.08/231
October 2, 2008

The Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Albania, Ann-Margret Westin, made the following statement in Tirana on September 26:

"The current three-year IMF arrangement with Albania, which is supported by a combined Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and Extended Fund Facility (EFF), is set to expire in January 2009, under the assumption that its sixth and final review will be concluded on time. The current arrangement is the sixth program that Albania has had with the IMF. Since its inception, it was expected that this would be Albania's last PRGF arrangement, an IMF lending facility designed for low-income countries.

"If the Albanian authorities are interested, the IMF would be ready to discuss a new arrangement. This program could focus on maintaining macroeconomic stability, but could contain less conditionality on structural reforms and possibly access to IMF financing. It could take the form of a regular or precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

"The request for a new arrangement comes from the authorities of an IMF member country. This can be further discussed with government representatives during the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank, scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C. in mid-October, and during the final IMF review mission expected to visit Tirana in early November.

"Lastly, Albania will continue to have access to technical assistance and undertake annual Article IV Consultations after the conclusion of the program, as is the case with all IMF member countries."



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