1. The Malagasy authorities would like to thank the Fund for its continued engagement with Madagascar over the past years. The policy dialogue with staff in the context of the program supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) has been instrumental in helping sustain economic recovery amidst episodes of political turmoil and natural disasters. The authorities broadly share the thrust of the staff report, which fairly depicts the achievements under the program and the challenges still facing the economy.
2. Madagascar has maintained its strong growth momentum despite a series of adverse shocks in 2017, including a drought followed by a major cyclone and an outbreak of plague. The authorities’ efforts to overcome years of instability along with the support of the international community have paved the way for a sustained economic recovery.
3. Our authorities are determined to advance their reform agenda aimed notably at strengthening constitutional democracy and resolving social and political tensions that have held back the country’s economic development in the past. It is in line with their consensus-building principles that the recent pre-electoral tensions have been handled. Following street protests over the electoral process, a new and consensual Prime Minister has been appointed on June 4th and a new government set up on June 11th including representatives from major opposition parties. Tasked with the priority objective of organizing an inclusive, free and fair presidential election, the government has recently unveiled the calendar; the first and second rounds of the presidential contest are scheduled for November 7th and December 19threspectively. The consensus government has reiterated its commitment to the ECF-supported program and is also committed to conducting a peaceful election with the view to maintaining the favorable economic prospects of the country.