IMF Staff Completes Mission to the Seychelles

  • The IMF team reached a staff level agreement with the authorities on their economic program that could be supported by a new 3-year IMF arrangement under the Policy Coordination Instrument.
  • The authorities have implemented prudent macroeconomic policies together with bold structural reforms that led to strong economic growth as well as noticeable improvement in fiscal and external position as well as a reduction in debt.
  • Macroeconomic performance has been robust in 2017, with economic growth for 2017 projected to reach around 4 percent.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission led by Mr. Amadou Sy visited Victoria during September 13‒26, 2017. The mission reached a staff level agreement with the Seychellois authorities on their economic program which could be supported by a new 3-year IMF arrangement under the Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) [1]. Subject to IMF management approval, the staff-level agreement is expected to be submitted to the IMF Executive Board for its consideration in December 2017. Under the arrangement, Seychelles economic program would be subject to semi-annual reviews.

At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Sy issued the following statement:

“Seychelles has made considerable progress toward macroeconomic stability under the three consecutive IMF-supported programs. Since the 2008 crisis, the authorities have implemented prudent macroeconomic policies together with bold structural reforms. These led to strong economic growth as well as noticeable improvement in fiscal and external position as well as a reduction in debt. Consequently, Seychelles’ external reserve buffers have reached a comfortable level and the country does not need the IMF’s financial assistance now.”

“Notwithstanding remarkable progress in recent years, Seychelles still faces vulnerabilities and pressures, as a small island economy in a challenging global economic environment. The authorities have requested a program to consolidate macroeconomic stabilization, enhance resilience, and foster sustained and inclusive growth to be supported under the IMF’s new PCI. Seychelles is the first IMF member country to request a PCI.”

“Macroeconomic performance has been robust in 2017. The external current account deficit is estimated to have narrowed, supported by strong tourism arrivals. Reflecting this, economic growth for 2017 is projected to reach around 4 percent. With the economy performing well, the primary fiscal surplus is expected to reach 2.5 percent of GDP this year in line with the authorities’ target.”

“The growth outlook for 2018 remains positive, buoyed by the tourism sector. While a strengthening in international commodity prices could have some negative impacts on the balance of payments, the country’s international reserves coverage is expected to remain at an adequate level, anchored by the authorities’ prudent policies. Downside risks to the outlook largely lie in the external factors which could dampen tourism performance.”

“The mission concurred with the authorities on the need to make progress in enhancing medium-term growth prospects, including building up infrastructure, and resilience to climate change. However, this should be done in a prudent manner that allows fiscal and monetary policies to continue anchoring economic stability and strengthening fiscal sustainability. In this context, the mission discussed a number of potential measures with the authorities to ensure continued fiscal discipline and progress towards the authorities’ debt reduction goals. The Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS) should also remain vigilant to any signs of inflationary pressures.”

“The mission met with His Excellency President Danny Faure, Minister of Finance, Trade, and Planning Peter Larose, and Governor of the CBS Caroline Abel, as well as other members of the government, members of the National Assembly, and representatives of the private sector and civil society.”

“The mission appreciates the open and constructive dialogue and thanks the authorities for their hospitality.”

[1] The Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) is the Fund’s new non-financing Fund instrument that supports countries seeking assistance to develop and help monitor a reform agenda. It is designed for countries that are seeking to unlock financing from multiple sources and/or to demonstrate a commitment to a reform agenda. It enables a closer policy dialogue between the Fund and countries, more regular monitoring of economic developments and policies, as well as Board endorsement of those policies. The PCI is available for all member countries.

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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The DTI to host a seminar on doing business with World Bank Group

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Trade Invest Africa (TIA) division, has partnered with the World Bank Group to host a seminar on How to Succeed in Doing Business with the World Bank on the African Continent. The seminar will take place at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel in Sandton on 29 September 2017.

Private sector representatives from the built environment, steel, electro-technical, capital equipment and steel construction sectors, as well representatives of development finance institutions (FDIs) will attend the seminar.

According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of TIA, Ms Lerato Mataboge, the seminar will provide a platform where the World Bank Group will share how it engages and works with the private sector in its partnership with governments, and its private sector financing vehicles.

“The seminar will also provide an opportunity for the private sector to learn more about the procurement and financing policies and procedures of the World Bank, the IFC and MIGA.More importantly, the World Bank Group will also share their observations on why South African companies are not securing as many business opportunities with the Bank in developing country markets, compared to their Asian, European, Australian and US counterparts,” says Mataboge.

“The International Development Association, which is the concessional financing agency of the World Bank, plans to use US$45 billion for projects in low-income countries, particularly in Africa. It is expected that the volume of investments in Africa will grow given that the IDA package includes efforts to encourage private sector investment and growth. This development presents opportunities for growth in the region, possibilities for greater participation of private companies as service providers and as investors. Although South Africa does not qualify for this funding, companies in various sectors such as engineering and construction, can bid for tenders for projects financed by the World Bank in other African countries. The seminar will go a long way in assisting South African companies to take advantage of this opportunity,” says Mataboge.

She explains that the South Africa-World Bank Group partnership strategy that is driven by the National Treasury prioritises three programme areas, namely reducing inequality, promoting investments, and strengthening institutions.

“Trade Invest Africa is providing the dti response to this strategy by facilitating access to information and opportunities for the South African private sector,” says Mataboge.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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United States Commits to Over $100 Million in Bilateral Assistance for Egypt

Egypt and the United States signed new bilateral assistance agreements and amendments this week worth over $100 million that support the Government of Egypt’s economic reforms, Sustainable Development Plan 2030, and private sector led growth and job creation. These agreements demonstrate ongoing support from the American people for joint U.S.-Egypt priorities in water, health, education, agriculture, and trade.

“These agreements reflect our strong and enduring partnership and the impact that our joint efforts have on the people of Egypt,” said U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director to Egypt Sherry F. Carlin. “Together with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, we are strengthening the cornerstones of stability and prosperity in Egypt.”

For nearly four decades, the American people have partnered with the people of Egypt to bolster self-reliance, foster stability, promote economic growth, and reduce poverty. USAID’s program in Egypt, totaling nearly $30 billion since 1978, promotes a healthy, educated, and employed population.

To find out more about USAID’s work in Egypt, please see
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Protea Hotels by Marriott Strengthens Footprint in Nigeria

Protea Hotels by Marriott (www.Marriott.com), part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), today announced the opening of Protea Hotel by Marriott, Owerri Select in South-Eastern Nigeria, a development, which further consolidates its presence in the country.

The 90-room hotel, developed by African Capital Alliance, a leading investment firm, and Kunoch Limited, is located in Owerri city, the capital of Imo State. ‎ Imo State is commonly referred to as the “Heartland” and is regarded as the entertainment capital of Eastern Nigeria. The state is also a producer of oil and natural gas and is home to a large number of regional oil and financial services offices.

Commenting on the opening of the hotel, Mr. Volker Heiden, Vice President Protea Hotels by Marriott, Marriott International said: “The opening of Protea Hotel by Marriott, Owerri Select, illustrates our confidence in the potential of Nigeria and is in line with our commitment to grow in strategic secondary cities across the continent. The recent expansion of the city’s airport, will give the city better accessibility, which we are confident will further drive business travel.”

Mr. Obiora Nwogugu, Principal and Head of Real Estate at African Capital Alliance added, “This new hotel is an important addition to the hotels we already own in the cities of Lagos and Benin in Nigeria, and Takoradi in Ghana. We are pleased to partner yet again with Protea Hotels by Marriott, which enjoys strong regional brand equity and awareness coupled with the global distribution of Marriott International.”

Described as ‘the continent of opportunity for the 21st century’, Africa continues to be an attractive investment proposition for many global corporates including the hotel industry. Marriott International, a leading hotel operator on the continent, currently operates over 140 hotels in 20 countries and is targeting a projected growth by 2022 of over 200 Hotels with more than 36,000 rooms across operating and pipeline hotels.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Marriott International, Inc..

Media contact:
Anjali Mehra
Anjali.Mehra@Marriott.com
+971 565396555

About Protea Hotels by Marriott:
Protea Hotels by Marriott® is the leading hospitality brand in Africa and it is one of the most widely recognized brands on the continent with over 90 hotels throughout South Africa and seven other African countries, including Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana and Uganda amongst others. Protea Hotels by Marriott® is ideal for both business and leisure travellers by offering properties in primary and secondary business centres and desirable leisure destinations. Each hotel offers modern facilities, proactive and friendly service and consistent amenities such as full service restaurants, meeting spaces, complimentary Wi-Fi, and well-appointed rooms, ensuring global standards for a high quality, relaxed and successful stay. Protea Hotels by Marriott® is the winner of 8 Coolest Hotel Group awards in the Sunday Times Generation Next surveys, the winner of the Ask Africa South African Customer Service Award 2013 and Icon Brand 2015, and the winner of the Hotels category in the Ask Afrika 2015/2016 Youth Brands Survey. The hotel group was bought by Marriott International in April 2014 and forms part of Marriott’s global brand portfolio made up of 30 leading brands that operate more than 6,000 hotels in 122 countries. Protea Hotels by Marriott® is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at Members.Marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, visit www.ProteaHotels.com.

About Marriott International:
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,200 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 125 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.Marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.MarriottNewsCenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/marriottinternational) and @MarriottIntl on Twitter (https://Twitter.com/MarriottIntl) and Instagram (https://www.Instagram.com/marriottintl).

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