Zim recovery plan gets IMF, WB backing

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    Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube

    Enacy Mapakame
    The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank on Wednesday, backed Zimbabwe’s debt clearance strategy and the country’s two-year economic stabilisation plan, according to Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube.

    This follows a round-table meeting held between Zimbabwe’s delegations led by Ncube with global lenders in Bali, Indonesia, at the IMF, World Bank annual meeting to discuss and road map for clearing the country’s $1,8 billion arrears.

    Clearing the arrears to the World Bank and the African Development Bank will help unlock new funding for the country — stopped in 2000 after the country defaulted.

    Zimbabwe owes the World Bank and the AfDB $1,2 billion and $600 million respectively.

    Support for Zimbabwe

    “It is important to note that all the co-operating partners and creditors present, uniformly expressed their (support) for Zimbabwe and its arrears clearance Road Map, and that the meeting has been the best so far on Zimbabwe’s arrears clearance process,” Minister Ncube said in a statement on Wednesday soon after the meeting.

    The meeting, chaired by the World Bank, was also attended by The Paris Club as well as bilateral partners such as Britain, the US, Australia, Netherlands and South Africa.

    Minister Ncube outlined the country’s turnaround strategy and the roadmap to achieve upper middle income economy by 2030.

    These are centred on the policy reforms the Government is undertaking through Transitional Stabilisation Programme.

    The economic recovery programme is aiming to reduce public expenditure by restructuring the civil service currently consuming about 90 percent of the state revenues. The plan will also prioritise the privatisation of state-owned companies.

    French backing

    France expressed its support towards the arrears clearance and recovery plans while encouraging the Paris Club Group of creditors to put their weight behind the plans.

    The IFIs and other creditors also endorsed the TSP as it adequately captures policy reforms that Government is implementing to turn to boost the economy.

    They, however, emphasised the need for proper implementation as it was crucial for arrears clearance.

    Minister Ncube also met with the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury, Mr Erick Meyer where the latter expressed US’s willingness to work with Zimbabwe and asked that the country views ZIDERA in a positive way. Further, the US Treasury also undertook to arrange meetings for the Minister in Washington DC with US Congressmen and other think tanks.

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