MIL OSI Translation. Government of the Republic of France statements from French to English –
Source: IMF in French
October 9, 2020
End-of-mission press releases contain statements by staff teams that report on their preliminary findings. The views expressed in this statement are those of the staff of the IMF and do not necessarily reflect those of the Executive Board of the IMF.
The IMF team welcomes the progress made in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and the preparation for the presidential and legislative elections next December.
The pandemic and the containment measures have had a significant impact on growth, inflation and public finances.
The Central African authorities and the IMF team discussed a set of economic and financial policies necessary for the conclusion of the first and second reviews under the Extended Credit Facility. These discussions will continue over the next few days.
Washington, DC: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Édouard Martin carried out a virtual mission from September 28 to October 9, 2020 to lead discussions as part of the first and second reviews of the Republic’s economic reform program Central African Republic supported by extended credit facility.
At the end of this mission, Mr. Martin made the following statement:
“The IMF team welcomes the progress made by the authorities in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. While more than 4,800 cases and 60 deaths have been recorded since the first case was confirmed in March, the number of new cases and the number of deaths seem to have fallen sharply in recent months. We hope this improvement proves to be sustainable. However, it is important to remain vigilant, to continue to apply barrier gestures and to be ready to implement additional measures, if necessary. In this context, and while the security situation remains tense, the mission also welcomes the progress made in the preparation of the presidential and legislative elections next December.
“The pandemic and the measures to minimize its health impact, combined with the decline in external demand, resulted in a sharp slowdown in economic activity in the first half of the year. The sectors most affected have been transport, tourism, hotels, and the mining sector. If the start of a recovery seems to be starting, economic activity is expected to stagnate in 2020 before growing by around 3½ percent in 2021. Inflation rose significantly in the first half of the year mainly due to higher food prices. , following the temporary closure of the border with Cameroon. The downward correction in these prices recorded since July is expected to continue, allowing inflation to stay below 3 percent in both 2020 and 2021.
“Due to the impact of the economic slowdown on government revenues and the additional spending needed to tackle the pandemic, the domestic primary budget deficit is expected to be around 6 percent of GDP this year. The current account deficit is also expected to widen in 2020, from 5 percent of GDP in 2019 to 6½ percent of GDP in 2020, mainly due to weak external demand and private transfers, which are would be offset only in part by greater budget support and the drop in the oil bill.
“Due in large part to the pandemic, the Central African authorities have been unable to meet all of the objectives they set for themselves under the program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). Most of the quantitative performance criteria could not be met and significant delays were recorded in the implementation of structural reforms.
“The Central African authorities and the IMF team have agreed that the main objectives of this program, such as maintaining macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability and restoring sustainable inclusive growth, remain central to the efforts of the government to restore lasting peace and prosperity. We therefore discussed a set of economic and financial policies necessary for the conclusion of the first and second reviews under the ECF.
“Notable progress has also been made towards the implementation of structural reforms delayed by the pandemic. Discussions focused in particular on controlling expenditure unrelated to the fight against the pandemic, on the parameters of the finance bill for 2021 and on the structural reforms to be implemented over the next twelve months. We agreed that the latter should aim to improve domestic revenues and the efficiency of public spending, and to strengthen governance and the business climate. These discussions will continue over the next few days.
“The team would like to thank the authorities for their close collaboration and the openness that prevailed during the talks. “
The IMF team met President Touadéra, Prime Minister Ngrébada, Minister of Finance Dondra, Minister of Economy Moloua, Minister of Mines Mboli-Fatrane, Minister of Telecommunications Gourna-Zacko, National Director of BEAC Chaïbou, other senior government and parliamentary officials, as well as representatives of the private sector and technical and financial partners.
IMF Communications Department
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.