Economic activity continues to be robust in 2007, driven by foreign investment in tourism-related construction and services. The central bank (BCSTP) strengthened its efforts to control liquidity growth. Progress on structural reforms has been mixed. The authorities intend to accelerate public financial management reform. The authorities and IMF staff shared the view that the country’s fiscal and external financing strategies need to adjust to the uncertain oil revenue prospects. The BCSTP is committed to deepening foreign exchange market reform.
This papers discusses Benin’s third review under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement. The re-election of the President and the regained majority in Parliament have provided a window of opportunity for reforms. All performance criteria and most quantitative targets have been met, but progress in implementing structural reforms was mixed. The introduction of critical customs reforms met with strong initial resistance, leading to a sharp fall in customs revenue in the second half of 2011. The financial system remains sound, but supervision needs to be strengthened.
Social and political stability has improved in Congo, but the security situation is fragile. Executive Directors welcomed the Staff-Monitored Program (SMP), which was designed to safeguard fiscal and external stability. They stressed the need for stabilizing the economy and pursuing structural reforms with a view for achieving sustainable growth, reducing poverty, diversifying the economy, and benefiting from enhanced HIPC Initiative debt relief. As a sign of their renewed commitment to reengagement with the IMF, authorities established a new organizational structure for better monitoring and implementation of the economic and financial program.
Economic growth in Equatorial Guinea recovered sharply in 2007. The opening of a new oil field in late 2006 and a liquefied natural gas facility in mid-2007, supported by increased public infrastructure spending, lifted 2007 economic growth to an estimated 21.4 percent. Executive Directors have welcomed Equatorial Guinea’s recent robust economic performance and sound macroeconomic policies that have strengthened fiscal sustainability. Directors have also welcomed the National Development Plan, which provides an appropriate framework for economic and institutional reforms to diversify the economy and enhance external competitiveness.