On behalf of my Gabonese authorities, I would like to thank Directors, Management and staff for their continued support to the Gabonese authorities in their efforts to restore macroeconomic stability and lay the foundations to support economic recovery in the context of the Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility. The authorities welcome the Selected Issues Paper which addresses topical issues for the authorities. They are particularly grateful for the substantive and productive technical assistance the Fund has provided them. They are committed to implement the comprehensive capacity building strategy agreed with the Fund in the context of the Fund Capacity Building Framework project.
Important progress has been made in implementing the Fund-supported program. Following difficulties encountered during the last quarter of 2018, the authorities have taken all the measures necessary to enable the satisfactory implementation of the program. As a result, performance of the program improved significantly at end-June 2019, compared to end-December 2018. In particular, three out five performance criteria (PCs) at end-June 2019 were met. Most end-September 2019 interim targets (ITs) were met and all structural benchmarks, except the one for EITI membership, were implemented, albeit with some delays. Progress in program implementation has enabled the country to contribute to the rebuilding of regional reserves. The authorities remain strongly committed to the objectives of the program.
Based on the corrective measures already implemented, those in progress, and the authorities’ strong commitment to the program, the authorities are requesting (i) a waiver for non-observance of the two performance criteria for June 2019 that were not observed as well as the continuous performance criteria on the non-accumulation of new external arrears, (ii) the completion of the fourth and fifth reviews under the Extended Arrangement, and (iii) a rephasing of the remaining purchases.