IMF report balanced, endorses govt’s agenda – Dr Singh

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) recently published consultation report with Guyana is balanced and widely endorses the policy position of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government.

Guyana, like all other members of the IMF is subject to regular economic consultation with the institution under  Article IV.

Government met with the financial institution just a few weeks ago, where it outlined its economic developments, macro-economic projections, prospective policies and outlook going forward.

As part of the Article IV meeting, the IMF would also engage other stakeholders across the country, including the political opposition, private sector and other key players in the economy.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh said government is pleased with the outcome of the September 27 release from the IMF.

“The report was well balanced… it recognised the suitability of the policy stance taken by government… it provided a very positive endorsement of the policy position of the government, ” Dr. Singh underscored Saturday, during an interview with DPI.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh

The IMF has commended Guyana’s significant economic growth, notwithstanding the numerous challenges encountered since the PPP/C assumed office on August 2, 2020.

It also welcomed the country’s wide-ranging economic recovery, following the pandemic-induced recession, prolonged election impasse, the general increase in prices due to the May/June floods, and the war in Ukraine, among other factors.

Guyana’s oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow over 100 per cent in 2022, and by about 30 per cent on average per year during the period 2023 to 2026.

According to the IMF, the country’s commercially recoverable petroleum reserves are expected to reach over 11 billion barrels, one of the highest levels per capita in the world.

The IMF’s executive board highlighted that the increasing oil production could also address development needs, and build substantial buffers to absorb shocks.

Meanwhile, Dr Singh said government is also pleased that the report struck a good balance in terms of identifying risks going forward.

Needless to say, we are still operating in an extremely challenging external environment. The global economy is still facing very several challenges… the challenges of disruption to the supply chain, high cost of freight, very high cost of certain food commodities…” Minister Singh added.

The minister said the successes for the outcome could only be attributed to the astute leadership of President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

He emphasised that the PPP/C came into government in August 2020 recognising the challenges in Guyana’s economic environment.

It was against this backdrop, the senior minister said a number of measures were rolled out to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simultaneously, the government also undertook a phased approach to reopening the country’s economy, ensuring that people could return to work and business as usual.  “I would say what the positive commentary contain in the report reflects the result of the policy position taken by government from the first day we return to office,” Dr Singh concluded.