‘Zim on track to meet SMP targets’

Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE is on track to meet the targets under the Staff Monitored Programme but a final analysis of the country’s performance will be done when an International Monetary Fund Mission concludes the third and final review under the programme next month.

The Mission will start work on February 24 and will be in the country until March 11 for the third and final review under the SMP and the annual Article IV Consultations.

IMF resident representative Mr Christian Beddies said in an interview that information on the ground points to a positive out-turn but the final analysis will be done when the Mission concludes the review process.

“I cannot say definitively that they have met all the targets because that will be the Mission’s task. But based on preliminary information and preliminary data we have received from the authorities, it looks like everything has been on track but the final judgment after we have all the information will be done when the Mission is here,” he said.

Mr Beddies said the Mission will be in the country for two objectives.

“The first task is to do the third and final review under the SMP. As you know the SMP expired on December 31, 2015, but we still have to obviously assess the performance under that programme up to the end of the year,” said Mr Beddies.

A second review under the SMP with the IMF, seen as a crucial tool in building a strong track record toward normalising Zimbabwe’s relations with creditors, mobilising development partners’ support, and for supporting macro-economic policies and laying the foundation for addressing the country’s deep-seated structural issues, was completed in September last year.

An SMP is an informal agreement between IMF member countries and Fund staff to monitor the implementation of the economic programme.

The second task for the Mission is to do the annual Article IV Consultations.

“This is an exercise we do with all our member countries. In a way it is like stepping back a little bit, looking at the economic challenges for medium-term perspective; where does the country want to be; say in five years’ time; how do we believe as IMF country team the country could get there and how do the authorities believe they could get there,” said Mr Beddies.

“The report that will come out of this exercise is really a discussion where we reflect on our views and the authorities’ views and hopefully have people read it when it is published. It’s an opportunity for them to make their own judgment on how they see things. These are basically the main tasks of the mission,” he said.

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