1. On behalf of the Malagasy authorities, we thank Executive Directors, Management and Staff for their continued policy advice and support in the context of the current Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. They appreciated the candid and constructive discussions with Staff in Antananarivo in June 2019 and believe that the staff report gives a good account of the progress made in the implementation of the ECF-supported program and the policies envisaged for the period ahead.
2. The outcome of the Parliamentary elections that took place in May 2019 gives a strong mandate to the authorities to carry out their ambitious economic reform agenda. The priorities of this agenda include strategies for (i) higher and sustained economic growth, based on the mobilization of tax revenues and the improvement in the quality of spending; (ii) more inclusion, supported by strengthened social policies and spending, with the objective of reducing poverty and increasing access to education, health, and housing; and (iii) better governance and institutions. Those priorities are consistent with the objectives of the ECF-supported program and will be formalized in the Plan Emergence Madagascar under preparation.