Albania-IMF to Engage in New Program after Elections
Albanian Daily News
Published February 28, 2017

The Minister of Finance Arben
Ahmetaj stated on Monday that after general elections there will be a new
program in place with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He noted that the conclusion of the
current agreement doesn't mean that the IMF will leave Albania.

"We will keep cooperating with the IMF,
even during the electoral period, even after the elections. The Rama 2 government
has a new program with the IMF," Ahmetaj said.

He added that the government will
continue the economic reforms, and he accused the opposition of damaging the

Speaking at a news conference, Ahmetaj
announced that currently there is a joint instrument approved by the Board, an
instrument that monitors the government on all commitments made throughout

"We switch over to a new relation with
IMF, which is monitoring after the arrangement, a close cooperation with IMF,
while after elections it is the incoming government's target to decide on a
fresh program," he said.

According to minister, "the IMF Board
has completed the two final reviews (ninth and tenth) of Albania's economic
program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF)
shedding the light on strong policy implementation under the Fund-supported
Extended Arrangement."

"To date we have achieved an economic
growth confirmed at 3.4 % of GDP and a consolidated economic platform for a
considerable growth of nearly 3.7 % during 2017. We have made record
achievements in macro-fiscal aspect starting from budget deficit which is at an
all-time low in the last 25 years - 2 % and primary balance at a surplus of 0.7
percent," the minister said.

All these are attributed to reforms
launched in macro-economic and fiscal aspect. However these are closely related
to reform in pensions, energy, public finances management, reformation of tax
administration, territorial reform.

Ahmetaj also cited justice reform, with
main emphasis on vetting. Justice reform is the key to many others on the way
and the vetting is a strong signal to domestic entrepreneurship, citizens and
foreign investors, the minister said.

"The successful conclusion of the IMF
agreement confirmed that the government reforms in these three years and a half
were successful. Today we have a proved economic growth of 3.4%, and this year
it may go to even 3.7%", Ahmetaj said.

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