Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 
OFFON

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersCalendar 

Antigua and Barbuda Government : IMF Concludes 8th and 9th SBA Review Missions to Antigua and Barbuda

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
03/06/2013 | 05:11pm CET

IMF Concludes 8th and 9th SBA Review Missions to Antigua and Barbuda

Posted On: March 6, 2013

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Geoffrey Bannister visited Antigua and Barbuda during February 19-28, to undertake the combined eighth and ninth review of the program under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) approved by the Fund's Executive Board on June 7, 2010. The mission held meetings with Prime Minister Hon. Baldwin Spencer, Minister of Finance Hon. Harold Lovell, members of Cabinet, senior officials of the Ministry of Finance, the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC), the Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy (ONDCP), members of the Chamber of Commerce, and representatives of statutory bodies and the local business community. The mission also held discussions with the Governor and key staff of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and would like to thank the authorities and technical staff for their excellent cooperation.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Bannister issued the following statement in St. John's:

"The authorities have made significant progress towards meeting the goals of their fiscal consolidation program, to restore debt sustainability and lay the foundations for sustainable growth, despite a challenging international economic environment and domestic financial sector problems. Fiscal consolidation and debt restructuring lowered the debt-to-GDP ratio from 102 percent in 2009 to 89 percent in 2012, in spite of a large economic contraction during this period. Reforms in revenue administration and public financial management have helped strengthen public finances. All of this provides a solid anchor for economic recovery and growth, which is already bearing fruit. Real GDP grew by 1.6 percent in 2012, led by a recovery in tourism and construction, the latter related to government initiatives. This welcome economic expansion is the first since 2008. We expect the economic recovery to continue in 2013.

"The focus of this mission was to assess the performance at the end of December, 2012 under the SBA; review the ongoing financial and structural reforms and progress with the resolution of Antigua and Barbuda Investment Bank; and confirm fiscal targets for 2013. Although the fiscal outturn in September 2012 was below program targets, performance in the final quarter of 2012 was strong and the performance criterion on the overall fiscal balance for end-December was met with a small margin. Tax revenue was 1.4 percent of 2012 GDP higher than in 2011, a commendable achievement that shows structural reforms in revenue administration are starting to produce results. The government also controlled expenditure effectively, keeping it well within program targets throughout the year. For 2013, the fiscal program is consistent with a central government primary surplus of 3 percent of GDP and a central government overall surplus of 0.3 percent of GDP. This includes a substantial increase in capital expenditure over 2012 levels in order to rebuild critical infrastructure and bolster the recovery.

"While notable progress has been made on the structural reform agenda, there have been some delays and a number of benchmarks remain to be completed in the next three months. Good progress continues to be made on public financial management, civil service and public enterprise reforms, with ongoing technical assistance. Progress has been made on improving tax compliance both within and outside the government. With regard to pending revenue administration benchmarks, the authorities took a decision to amend several pieces of legislation to address perceived weaknesses in the existing laws, and strengthen the capacity of the revenue agencies to administer them. Hence, while the HS 2007 Code was approved several months ago, it is not scheduled to take effect until April 2, 2013. In the case of the Customs Control and Administration Act, a number of minor amendments are considered necessary, and these should be passed during March, 2013. Passage of amendments to the Tax Administration and Procedures Act (TAPA) are also necessary, and the authorities are committed to taking the amendments to Parliament for approval before May 31, 2013.

"Regarding the financial sector, presentation to Parliament of stand-alone legislation to govern the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) is expected by mid-May, 2013, and good progress has been made in improving compliance with standards for Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). The authorities (in conjunction with the ECCB) are also pressing forward with the resolution of ABI Bank, on which the remaining financial sector benchmarks depend.

"Towards the end of its stay, the mission made a presentation to members of the Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce focusing on achievements under the government's program and had a fruitful discussion on economic prospects for 2013.

"The authorities continue to demonstrate strong commitment to the policies and objectives of their Fiscal Consolidation Program, and recognize the importance of strong macroeconomic, financial and structural policies in achieving the goals of their National Economic and Social Transformation plan.

distributed by
share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news
Date Title
02:00p WESTLAKE CHEMICAL PARTNERS LP : Results of Operations and Financial Condition (form 8-K)
02:00p GMV MINERALS INC. : Significantly Expands Mineralized Zones by 120 Meters in the North at the Mexican Hat Gold Deposit and Discovers 2 New Zones
02:00p VANSTAR MINING RESOURCES : Buys Back a 2% NSR Royalty on Nelligan
02:00p REDHILL BIOPHARMA : Completes Treatment of Last Patient in BEKINDA® Phase III Study for Acute Gastroenteritis
02:00p THE QT COMPANY : Adopts NVIDIA DRIVE Design Studio
02:00p GOLD RESOURCE CORPORATION : Increases Oaxaca Mining Unit Proven and Probable Gold and Silver Reserves by 31% and 17% Respectively
02:00p COHESITY : Unveils Native Integration With Pure Storage for Fast, Simple and Cost-Effective Data Protection and Recovery
02:00p CISCO : Bernstein and Cisco to Host Service Provider Tech Talk
02:00p EASTON PHARMACEUTICALS : BMV Medica Announces Successful Product Sales Launch Conference Of Product Gynofit and Additional Distribution of Product AL-Sense (AmnioSense) With Multi-National Pharmaceutical Company Gedeon Richter
02:00p MoneyOnMobile Doubles Addressable Market Size of Its Money Transfer Product
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
-8.13%JOHN WOOD : posts 62 percent fall in FY profit, shares fall
-7.18%HSBC : Plans Further Buyback After 4th-Quarter Net Loss Widens to $4.23 Billion
2.21%Rosneft becomes first oil major to pre-finance Kurdish crude
1.41%TOTAL : Iran will finalise contract with Total within two months - minister
0.98%BAYER : Investors Upbeat on Takeover -- WSJ
Most Read News
06:29a Writedowns and tough outlook take their toll on HSBC
02/20 HSBC : Annual Results 2016 media release (30-page PDF 307KB)
04:12a BHP Billiton boosts payout on commodities surge
06:13a GENERAL MOTORS : PSA says will honour existing Opel labour agreements
02:17a TOP NEWS : Anglo American Beats Expectations, Commits To Dividend
Most recommended articles
07:58a VERIZON, YAHOO AGREE TO CUT DEAL PRICE BY AS MUCH AS $350 MILLION : Wsj
07:54a WAL MART STORES : Mart's quarterly comparable sales beat estimates
07:48a MEDTRONIC : quarterly revenue, profit beat estimates
07:45a ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND : Britain risks EU clash over RBS bailout terms
07:32aDJBAIDU : Raises $1.53 Billion for Video-Streaming Site iQiyi.com -- Update