Statement at the Conclusion of an IMF Mission to Mali

Press Release No. 10/427
November 11, 2010

A mission from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Mali during October 28-November 10, 2010 to conduct discussions on the fifth review of the three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The team met with Modibo Sidibé, Prime Minister; Sanoussi Touré, Minister of Economy and Finance; Lassine Bouaré, Minister of Budget; further ministers; Oumar Ly, National Director, Central Bank of West African States; and representatives from the National Assembly, civil society, unions, and the private sector.

At the conclusion of the mission, Christian Josz, IMF Mission Chief for Mali, issued the following statement:

“The government of Mali’s economic program supported by the IMF remains on track and the pursuit of prudent macroeconomic policies, prospects are good for reaching program objectives by end-2010. As a result of satisfactory rainfall levels and a good preparation of the agricultural campaign, economic growth is forecast at 4.5 percent, while inflation can be expected to fall below 1.5 percent in 2010. The basic budget deficit, which does not reflect externally-financed capital expenditure, can be expected to remain within programmed limits equivalent to 2.4 percent of GDP. The government of Mali has also made substantial progress in reducing the stock of payment instances and arrears.

“Implementation of structural reforms to enhance fiscal management, to support the agricultural sector, and to strengthen the banking system has also been satisfactory.

“An agreement in principle was reached during the mission on the key components of Mali’s program for 2011. Growth in 2010 is projected at 6 percent thanks to a rebound of gold production, while inflation levels are expected to remain moderate. The basic budget deficit is targeted at 1.9 percent of GDP, reflecting a 6.5 percent increase in basic education and health expenditure financed with own resources in support of poverty reduction, while the equivalent of 0.7 percent of GDP in capital expenditure should be financed with revenue from the privatization of the telecommunications parastatal SOTELMA.

“The Malian authorities have also stated their interest in extending the current ECF, which has been in effect since May 28, 2008, until end-2011. Such an extension should enable the authorities to consider the conclusions of the ex post assessment now being conducted by IMF staff on collaboration between Mali and the IMF during the past 10 years before they decide on the follow-up for the current program.

“After consultation with IMF staff, and subject to the approval of IMF management, the IMF Executive Board in January 2011 should consider the requests from the authorities for a favorable conclusion of the fifth review of Mali’s performance in connection with the ECF and for the extension of this arrangement until end-2011.

“The mission would like to thank the authorities for their warm welcome and close cooperation.”



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