1. Our Malagasy authorities thank Executive Directors, Management and staff for their continued support to Madagascar in implementing their reform program supported by the ECF arrangement. They are particularly thankful for the candid discussions with staff held in Antananarivo in the context of the sixth and final review of the program. The report gives a good account of these discussions. The Malagasy authorities are also grateful for the timely technical assistance provided to support their reform efforts. Likewise, we welcome the Selected Issues paper which highlights issues of interest for the authorities as the national development plan is being finalized.
2. Program implementation during the period under review has been strong. All the performance criteria for end-June 2019 were met. All but one indicative targets at end-June 2019 were respected. The structural reforms advanced despite some delays related to the electoral period and the installation of the new Parliament. Overall, there has been significant progress towards the ECF-supported program which aimed to strengthen macroeconomic stability, promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and reduce poverty. Going forward, the Malagasy authorities will pursue prudent macroeconomic and structural policies in the context of their ambitious medium-term national development plan, Plan Emergence Madagascar (PEM), to address economic, social and climate change challenges facing the country. In addition, the authorities have formally expressed their interest in a successor arrangement to support the implementation of the PEM.
3. In light of the strong achievements under the program and their continued commitment to pursue prudent policies beyond the current arrangement, our authorities are requesting the completion of the sixth and final review of the Fund-supported program under the Extended Credit Facility.