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Official News

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan received a delegation led by IMF Director Lorenzo Peres. The delegation comprised head of the IMF Armenia mission Martha Castello-Branco, IMF permanent representative in Armenia Ninke Oomes, economists from the Fund.

Head of the IMF Armenia mission Martha Castello-Branco mentioned that this final meeting it can be stated with confidence that her visit was sufficiently fruitful and the discussions with stakeholders were useful. In her words, the talks on the IMF-supported 3-year program held in the frame of the visit were nearing completion. According to her, the new program will focus on the betterment of fiscal and monetary policies, implementation of structural reforms toward enhanced efficiency, minimization of hindrances to competitiveness and improved governance. In order to succeed in these areas, Ms Castello-Branco prioritized the fiscal reform aimed at improving tax and customs administration.

"The world is facing a difficult period. Under these conditions, the IMF will advise the Republic of Armenia to abide by cautious macroeconomic policies and be prompt to tighten them if necessary," Ms Branco said and expressed readiness to take up the key points in more detail with the head of the Armenian government. From a structural standpoint, the program seems to be well-balanced with a special focus placed on tax reform. Specific actions were said to have been implemented already, though there is still much to do in this area.

The Prime Minister welcomed the guest, stressing that the talks with the IMF delegation were crucial and useful to the government of Armenia as on the one hand, they allowed the government to get a fresh perspective of the existing shortfalls while, on the other hand, any talks help identify the cooperation areas ahead and the upcoming tasks of the government. Tigran Sargsyan noted that as a matter of fact, there is not a single issue on which the sides have different opinions: there is a full consensus regarding the criteria testifying to the fruitfulness of the ongoing talks. According to the Prime Minister, it is essential now to make an accurate risk assessment and proceed to program practicalities.

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