See also:
» 27.04.2011 - Abidjan seeks quick economic recovery
» 01.10.2010 - Child labour in Ivorian cocoa farms still unchecked
» 06.07.2010 - West Africa happy for new cocoa deal
» 15.03.2010 - Côte d'Ivoire economy recovering
» 06.05.2009 - Ivorian economy on the come back, IMF
» 30.07.2008 - Côte d'Ivoire "poised for economic comeback"
» 01.09.2004 - Strife brings poverty and recession to Côte d'Ivoire
» 30.06.2003 - Ivorian crisis hurts Burkinabe economy

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Côte d'Ivoire
Economy - Development

Côte d'Ivoire economy recovering

afrol News, 20 June - Côte d'Ivoire, whose economy was a regional motor before the war, is seeing a recovery. With relative peace and good world market prices for its cocoa and oil, GDP growth is expected at 3 percent this year, representing real growth in the first time for years.

According to a mission by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visiting Abidjan during the last two weeks, the future is no longer bleak for the Ivorian economy. The mission, headed by the Fund's Arend Kouwenaar, went through all aspects of the national together with Ivorian authorities.

"The economy is continuing its recovery, helped by a favourable international environment for Côte d'Ivoire, including high world market prices for oil and cocoa. Real GDP growth is projected to double to 3 percent in 2008," said Mr Kouwenaar.

Still in 2006, the Ivorian economy shrunk by 0.3 percent. This was before taking into account the country's population growth of around 1.84 percent - putting GDP per capita growth at a negative 2.1 percent. Last year, GDP in Côte d'Ivoire grew by 1.6 percent, which also was less than population growth.

This year's anticipated growth therefore for the fist time in years will translate into GPD per capita growth. Prospects for 2009 - although unsure due to political developments - are even better. The IMF foresees a GDP growth of 5.1 percent in Côte d'Ivoire next year.

However, all is not well and consumers noting a small increase in revenues, will face an estimated 4.7 growth in consumer prices this year. "Rising international food prices have pushed up somewhat domestic inflation," the Fund noted.

Mr Kouwenaar announced that the Fund would try to assist Ivorian authorities in securing the expected positive trends to make sure long-term economic growth could emerge. He said the IMF would "help lay the basis for a comprehensive economic program for 2009-11," hoping this could lead to a full-fledged poverty reduction programme financed by the Fund.

To make sure growth is sustained, the Fund however warned Ivorian authorities against exaggerated spending. So far this year, government had been in control of budgets. "Regarding the execution of the budget in the first months of 2008, expenditures were kept within the budget envelopes and revenues were on target," the Fund noted.

However, the IMF mission expressed "concern about emerging overruns on gas subsidies for the electricity sector and the risk of revenue shortfalls, in part due to delays in the contribution to the budget by the national petroleum company, as well as the risk of renewed accumulation of arrears to domestic suppliers."

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