1. The Ivorian authorities appreciate Fund’s valuable engagement with Côte d’Ivoire over the past years. They welcome the constructive dialogue maintained with staff as well as the broad convergence of views on key policy issues. We broadly share the thrust of the staff report as it fairly reflects program discussions. The program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) has continued to be implemented satisfactorily despite a number of significant shocks, notably the sharp fall in international cocoa prices since the last quarter of 2016 and domestic tensions in early 2017.
2. Côte d’Ivoire has maintained its momentum of solid economic growth on the back of strong investment and a steady pace of reform implementation in key areas, including public finance and debt management, the financial sector, and the business environment. Investor confidence has continued to remain high, as evidenced by the early positive reactions of the capital markets to this week’s Eurobond issuance. This positive development demonstrates the country’s continued strong fundamentals and successful reform efforts in the face of a challenging external and domestic environment. Going forward, the authorities are committed to continuing their adjustment efforts, with a view to meeting the medium-term goals of fiscal sustainability, macroeconomic stability and inclusive growth. Against the backdrop of the abovementioned shocks, the requested augmentation of access of 25 percent of quota under the program will help meet financing needs along with the Eurobond receipts and assistance from bilateral and multilateral partners.