IMF Executive Board Completes Fifth and Sixth Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for the Republic of Congo and Approves US$3.9 Million Disbursement

Press Release No. 11/296
July 28, 2011

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on July 27 the fifth and sixth reviews of the Republic of the Congo’s economic program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The approval will enables an immediate disbursement in an amount equivalent to SDR 2.42 million (about US$3.9 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to an amount equivalent to SDR 8.46 million (about US$13.6 million).

The ECF Arrangement for the Republic of Congo in the amount of SDR 8.46 million (10 percent of quota was approved by the Executive Board on December 8, 2008 (See Press Release No. 08/311). The ECF supported program will expire with the completion of the sixth and final review.

Following the Board discussion of the Republic of Congo, Ms. Nemat Shafik Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“The authorities are to be commended for their satisfactory implementation of the ECF-supported program. The outlook is favorable, supported by strong polices and improving external conditions. At the same time, progress on key structural reforms has built resilience to shocks. The scaling up of public investment and the structural reforms in train bode well for raising nonoil growth and durable poverty reduction.

“Reform momentum should be maintained to build on the progress achieved under the program. Increased focus should be placed on strengthening policymaking and building institutions. Reforms under way in the fiscal area will help reduce the complexity of the tax system and raise nonoil revenue.

“Implementation of the recently-adopted action plan to improve the business climate will complement the ongoing public infrastructure investment. Increased coordination among ministries, donors, and consultants will be important in moving the reform agenda forward.

“Congo’s external position has improved markedly following the HIPC Initiative completion point. It will be important to safeguard this gain by improving debt and oil wealth management. Debt relief agreements with bilateral and commercial creditors should be finalized.

“The authorities’ commitment to repatriate export receipts to the BEAC is welcome. The authorities are encouraged to continue their efforts to enhance the potential of the regional economic and monetary community,” Mrs. Shafik added.



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