Following the Executive Board’s discussion today, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair issued the following statement: “Despite challenging internal and external circumstances, Burkina Faso’s performance under the Fund-supported program has remained satisfactory. Although the terrorist attacks posed some setback to economic recovery, growth should regain momentum in 2016-17, underpinned by robust mining activity, improved energy supply and enhanced public investment execution. The main risks to this favorable outlook relate to the fragile security situation, the challenges of meeting pent-up social and investment demands, and the impact of further declines in commodity prices. The authorities’ main objective for 2016 is to create adequate fiscal space for priority social and infrastructure spending, including implementation of their new development plan. To this effect, they are undertaking a broad package of tax and customs administration measures aimed at regaining the ground lost in domestic revenue mobilization. Continued efforts to contain recurrent spending, including the public wage bill and to address bottlenecks in project execution will be needed to allow public investment to recover quickly toward pre-crisis levels. The authorities are also seizing the opportunity of the oil price decline to address longstanding structural deficiencies in the energy sector. Full implementation of these measures will contribute to reducing state subsidies and contingent liabilities to the sector and support higher investments in electricity production. Going forward, it will also be important to take action to diversify the agriculture sector and provide a supportive environment to boost credit for the private sector.”
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