1. On behalf of our Beninese authorities, we would like to thank Staff, Management and the Executive Board for the IMF’s continued support. They highly value the constructive engagement with the Fund, including the policy dialogue held with staff in the context of the 2019 Article IV consultation and the Fourth Review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.
2. Benin’s economic performance continues to be solid despite a challenging external environment. Growth has increased since 2016 on the back of robust activity in the primary and tertiary sectors and implementation of a set of far-reaching reforms.
3. Implementation of the ECF-supported program has been very satisfactory, with nearly all the monitoring targets–quantitative and structural–met since the beginning of the program in 2017. The authorities continue to view the arrangement as instrumental to their efforts to strengthen macroeconomic stability, preserve public debt sustainability and advance structural reforms, with the aim to sustain the strong growth momentum, make it more inclusive and achieve their developments goals. They will remain steadfast in pursuing the program objectives which are in line with their reform agenda under the Government’s Action Program (Programme d’Action du Gouvernement, PAG) for 2016–21 and their National Development Plan (Plan National de Dévéloppement, PND) for 2018–25.
4. The authorities broadly share the thrust of the staff report, which properly highlights the major achievements of the recent period, the challenges facing the economy, and the policy priorities going forward.