Statement by IMF Deputy Managing Director Mr. Takatoshi Kato at the Conclusion of His Visit to AngolaPress Release No. 09/464
December 17, 2009
Mr. Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement yesterday in Luanda at the conclusion of his visit to Angola:
“This is my second visit to Angola and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and the Angolan authorities for their warm welcome. I have had a productive exchange of views with both the President and senior members of his economic team.
“This afternoon I was heartened to experience the wonderful work with abandoned children and orphans by Maria Esperança Pires dos Santos and her staff at Centro de Acolhimento Horizonte Azul. With the devotion of such institutions and improved management of the economy, the prospect for long-term growth for Angola is assured.
“In my meeting with President Dos Santos, we discussed the main economic policy priorities of his government most notably the reorganization and strengthening of public financial management and other fiscal reforms including tax reform. The government’s broader economic program, supported by an IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), aims at restoring macroeconomic stability and rebuilding international reserves. While the immediate goal of the government’s program is to mitigate the repercussions of the global economic crisis on Angola, the SBA also includes a focused reform agenda aimed at medium-term structural issues, which will be critical for long-term non-oil sector growth. On all of these issues, I welcomed the closer policy dialogue between the government and the IMF and reiterated that the IMF stands ready to work with Angola to ensure successful implementation of its economic program. The President reaffirmed his desire to see improved public financial management in the government and in this and other policy priority areas welcomed a closer policy dialogue with the IMF. More generally, the IMF will aim to provide critical technical assistance to key economic policy institutions.
“In my discussions with the senior members of the economic team, I congratulated them for crafting a robust economic program and for the measures already taken, most notably the recent progress made toward normalizing conditions in the foreign exchange market and the adoption of a prudent 2010 budget. The 2010 budget appropriately provides resources for both social spending and infrastructure development. The IMF will continue to work with the National Bank of Angola (BNA) to deepen reforms in the foreign exchange market. “Prudent fiscal policy that aims to reduce the non-oil primary fiscal deficit and strengthen public financial management, including through the government’s Sovereign Wealth Fund should help improve the management of the oil wealth. Reducing the non-oil fiscal deficit to sustainable levels will help to support the disinflation process, ease the burden on monetary policy and provide room for a sustainable private sector growth. The IMF welcomes the government’s strong commitment to enhancing fiscal transparency, especially in the oil sector.
“We share the same objective which is a successful implementation of the policies in the governments’ economic program, supported by the IMF’s financing arrangement. While the road ahead will invariably involve difficult choices, I look forward to rapid advances toward economic stability and public financial management which will contribute to the effective use of oil revenues. It is my hope that with adequate will and effort, we will succeed in our shared goal of stabilizing the macroeconomy and laying the foundation for the development of the non-oil sector as a source of sustained growth for Angola in the years to come.”