1. On behalf on the Gabonese authorities, we would like to thank the IMF Executive Board, management and staff for their continued support to Gabon’s economic recovery program (PRE) in the context of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
2. Over the past few months, the Gabonese authorities followed through on their commitment to implement the fiscal adjustment package announced in the revised 2018 budget to keep their program on track. As a result, program implementation has improved since the conclusion of the second review in August 2018. Five out of seven indicative targets at end-September 2018 were met and progress has been made in the reform agenda, notably in the fiscal sector, albeit at a slower pace than expected in some instances. These achievements demonstrate the authorities’ continued commitment to their program and the regional efforts to strengthen external stability in the CEMAC. Going forward, they will pursue the implementation of reforms aimed at strengthening macroeconomic stability and make further progress to improve the business environment and foster economic diversification to reduce dependence on oil. The authorities submitted a draft budget law for 2019 that is consistent with the Fund-supported program’s objectives. Against this backdrop, the Gabonese authorities request the completion of the third review under the EFF arrangement.