Serbia and the International Monetary Fund have started talks about the new, non-financial cooperation programme today at the premises of the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) in Belgrade.
The Serbian delegation is led by the NBS Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic, who represents Serbia in the IMF. Minister of Finance Dusan Vujovic is not present at the meeting, but there are the representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economy.
The IMF Mission, led by James Roaf, will stay in Belgrade from 7th to 18th May to discuss the modalities of future cooperation with Serbia, with a focus on the current macroeconomic developments and projections.
The talks about an economic program supported by a new, non-financial consultative arrangement with the IMF are a follow-up on the dialogue held during the March visit of the IMF mission to Belgrade and the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington, the NBS announced.
The new arrangement is expected to underpin the achieved macroeconomic and fiscal stability and give support to further implementation of necessary structural reforms aimed at more robust and sustainable economic growth.
The talks about a new arrangement are taking place at the time when Serbia recorded the growth of its GDP of 4.5% in the first quarter, and when the European Commission estimated that Serbia is expecting the biggest economic expansion this year.
After the successful completion of the three-year standby arrangement with precautionary measures with the IMF in February this year, the Serbian authorities have shown interest in continuing cooperation with the Fund, but in a different form.
In their report on the 8th revision of the arrangement at the end of last year, the IMF Board of Directors said that Serbia had made significant progress in implementing structural reforms, boosting the potential for economic growth, which had an impact on the reduction of fiscal risks and the creation of jobs.
The Board also praised the results of reforms in the financial sphere, stating that the NBS kept inflation under tight control and strengthened the banking sector, which is now in a much better position to support economic activity.
The IMF, however, pointed out that there was still a lot left to do when it comes to remaining state-owned enterprises, namely to improve the way they are managed and to build their administrative capacity. In this context, they suggested the continuation of tax reforms and the elimination of uncertainty in the judiciary system, which would further stimulate business activity.
Photo credits: Tanjug
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