Statement by IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn Following a Meeting with Togo President Faure GnassingbéPress Release No. 07/253
November 9, 2007
Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today following his meeting with Togo's President Faure Gnassingbé1:
"It was a great pleasure to welcome President Gnassingbé and his delegation to IMF Headquarters. This was my first meeting with the President. Our discussions focused on Togo's recent reforms and prospects for a possible arrangement under the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). I welcomed that, after a long period of internal unrest and economic decline, Togo had embarked on a political reform process that culminated in the October 14 parliamentary elections, paving the way for national reconciliation and economic recovery.
"Fund staff has worked closely with the authorities on economic reforms in the context of a Staff-Monitored Program. Performance has been good, with fiscal governance reforms supporting higher revenue collection and improved expenditure control, resulting in a reduction in domestic arrears, including to suppliers and cotton farmers.
"Looking ahead, I noted in my conversation with the President that the immediate focus should be on reviving economic growth and addressing Togo's unsustainable debt position. This will require maintaining macroeconomic stability through prudent fiscal policies and financial sector reforms. It will also be vital to remove bottlenecks to private sector growth, including by addressing the problems in the banking energy and cotton sectors. Implementing these reforms will be a challenge. It will require rebuilding capacity through extensive technical assistance. To support the authorities' economic policies, I underscored that the Fund stands ready to initiate discussions on a three-year macroeconomic and structural reform program supported by a PRGF arrangement, which could pave the way for comprehensive debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative."