IMF Resident Representative in Albania, Jens Reinke, is optimistic that Albania’s economic growth will accelerate in 2017. However, while speaking in an interview for Monitor, he emphasized the need for the government to stand by its commitments regarding the reforms, particularly in tax and public finance management.
As the current agreement of Albanian government with the IMF will expire in February, Reinke said that they are ready to discuss a new deal after the elections of June 18 if the government will want to continue such cooperation.
“Although our current agreement expires by the end of February, I can say that the relations between the Albanian government and the IMF include policy of dialogue, technical assistance and training. We have a very active program to assist the Ministry of Finance and the tax authorities to strengthen their capacity and improve their administrative skills. This will continue. We will engage with the government in fiscal policies and structural reforms. And we are also ready to discuss a new deal after the elections if the government will want to follow this path,” Reinke declared.
Speaking of economic performance in 2016, he said that the last year has been another success for the Albanian economy. “Real economic growth has continued to recover. Macroeconomic stability has been further strengthened in the framework of continued fiscal consolidation, he said.
According to Reinke, despite a generally unfavorable global environment, the Albanian economy is doing well, although not all the aspirations of Albanians are being met.
Regarding the IMF’s expectations for the economy this year, he said that “the IMF expects growth to further recover, supported by continuous investment, especially in the energy sector, and improving confidence in the domestic private sector.
“The government has adopted a strong budget that will help to reduce the debt burden and will provide sufficient resources for much needed public investment and modest growth in public wages and pensions,” IMF representative noted.
He further said that the positive prospect for the Albanian economy is based on the assumption that the government will continue the implementation of its reforms, particularly in budget revenues and expenditures in its management. “On the other hand, better planning and implementing of investments is very important to ensure that limited resources will be well addressed and invested in an effective way,” he concluded.