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Aug 30, 2006

Musa administration upbeat about I.M.F. report

Story PictureBelize is patting itself on the back tonight after the International Monetary Fund handed over a glowing report card on the country’s economic rescue mission efforts. Following a series of meetings with the Prime Minister, members of the Public Finance Committee, the Opposition and representatives of the private sector, the I.M.F. released a preliminary summary of its findings. And this time around, the Musa administration is more than happy with what the financial agency has to say.

Prime Minister Said Musa
?The statement coming from the fund recognizes and in fact commends the government for the measures we?ve taken over the past two years in reversing the fiscal situation. Turning around the deficit from close to nine percent to now a three point one deficit, which is a remarkable turnaround, as well as we?ve been able to convert to even a fiscal primary surplus. For many years we haven?t had this. What it shows is that the fund recognizes that our home-grown programme that involved revenue measures as well as tight expenditure programmes at the great sacrifice to the Belizean people is paying off. And now that statement in itself will help us when we negotiate with the creditors. Because they recognize that Belize has and is doing its part now. Now we are asking the creditors to do their part.?

Janelle Chanona, Reporting
?When is the next meeting with our external creditors??

Said Musa
?That should be taking place, it?s an ongoing process, but it should intensify in the next week or two.?

Janelle Chanona
?And that will be led by yourself??

Said Musa
?On some occasions, but on other occasions we leave it to the debt advisors, the Houlihan firm.?

Anyone interested in reading the country summary can do so at www.centralbank.org.bz under the section, Information for Belize’s Creditors. The visit of the I.M.F. team coincided with meetings with the Caribbean Development Bank and the Inter-American Bank. The complete I.M.F. report will form part of the annual Article Four review, which is expected to be released in October.

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