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