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11/07/2014
International-Economy
IMF Mission to Gabon: steer a steady course!
The IMF consultation mission to Gabon "congratulates the authorities on tackling budgetary tensions and examining the question of arrears". Rejoicing in strong growth perspectives, the Fund stresses that the SPEG – "an ambitious reforms programme" – is backed up by "a major increase of the public investment programme".

Fifteen days after the official launching in Libreville of the IMF's regional economic perspectives for "Sub-Saharan Africa", the annual consultations held in Gabon from 22 October to 5 November resulted in a detailed and particularly encouraging diagnostic.
 
With an expected growth of GDP at 5.1% in 2014 and 5.4% in 2015, well in the middle of the African dynamic, and an expected increase in non-oil GDP at 7.6% in 2015, progressing by 0.4%, Gabon will maintain strong medium-term perspectives in spite of the expected drop in oil production. "Growth should be supported by public investment, non-oil natural resources and services. Several ongoing projects in agro-industry, mines and timber processing should back up the expected non-oil growth", says the official IMF declaration.
 
Destined to be studied by the Executive Board of the IMF in January 2015, the results of this study confirm President Ali Bongo Ondimba's determination to stabilize public finances and promote a better socio-economic equilibrium. "The mission, we read, congratulates the authorities on tackling emerging budgetary tensions in the framework of the revised 2014 budget and the projected 2015 budget, and for examining the build up of arrears". Still in the words of the IMF, "the mission supports the efforts deployed by the government to improve the business climate and the quality of human capital". The Washington experts' watchword: "Steer a steady course!"
 
As a strategic incentive in the framework of the international institution's projections, the mission adds that "efforts should be redoubled in order to ensure the EGSP receives adequate finance without compromising the viability of public finances. It is recommended to control wages and progressively reduce costly and unfair energy subsidies and establish better priorities in the investment budget in order to stress infrastructures that have a more important economic impact while simultaneously channelling expenditure toward targeted social domains".

 
 
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