An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, headed by Reza Moghadam, will visit Turkey from January 12 to 21, 2004 to start discussions for the seventh review under Turkey's Stand-By Arrangement with the Fund.
The team will first meet with non-governmental organizations in Istanbul, before continuing the discussions with the authorities in Ankara.
In light of the extensive reform agenda that needs to be agreed for 2004, and various logistical reasons such as the upcoming Bayram holiday, this mission is not expected to complete the seventh review discussions. Instead, the authorities and the fund have agreed on a two-stage approach, with this first mission expected to be followed by a second one in February that will aim to conclude the discussions, stated a press release.
The mission's discussions will focus on the economic policies needed to secure and build on the impressive improvements in economic conditions achieved in 2003. In this regard, the mission will focus on steps needed to ensure that a public sector primary surplus of 6.5 percent of gross national product GNP is achieved, including measures to pay for the increases in minimum wages and pensions.
The mission will also work with the government to develop the structural reform agenda for 2004, including actions to improve government budget management and revenue collection, strengthen the effectiveness and independence of the BRSA/SDIF, and enhance the environment for private-sector led investment and growth.
The Stand-By Arrangement supporting Turkey's economic program covers 2002-04. Of the total IMF financing of some $19.2 billion, about $2.5 billion remain to be disbursed. Completion of the seventh review by the Fund's Executive Board would trigger a disbursement of about $500 million. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )