IMF says Barbados making good progress on economic reform programme


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Barbados continues to make good progress in implementing its ambitious and comprehensive economic reform programme.

An IMF delegation, headed by Bert van Selm ended a four-day visit to Bridgetown to discuss implementation of Barbados’ Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan, supported by the IMF under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The delegation also met with Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the IMF official said all indicative targets for end-June under the EFF have been met.

He said the target for the government’s primary surplus was met with a wide margin, with the government running a primary surplus of 2.5 per cent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20.

“This bodes well for achieving the government’s primary surplus target of six per cent of GDP for financial year 2019/20. International reserves were also well over program targets at end-June.”

van Selm said that good progress has been made in implementing end-June and July 2019 structural benchmarks under the EFF.

“The authorities have completed a review of the tax system and the Governor General has proclaimed the recently enacted Financial Management and Audit Act.

“Progress being made by the authorities in furthering good-faith discussions with external creditors is welcome. Continuing open dialogue and sharing of information will remain important in concluding an orderly debt restructuring process,” van Selm said, adding that the delegation is looking forward to return to Barbados in November to conduct the discussions for the Article IV and second review under the EFF.

In 2018, Barbados signed a US$290 million 48-month EFF as the Mottley administration sought to revive an ailing economy.

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