IMF to hold consultations with Azerbaijan on article IV
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 18 / Trend I.Khalilova
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will hold consultations with the Azerbaijani government on article IV of the agreement 'Establishment of IMF' in late February- in early March, the IMF office in Baku reported today.
The IMF holds consultations once per year
First, the IMF mission was scheduled to visit the Middle East and Central Asia (MCD) in mid-2009. Afterwards, this term was postponed for September and then it was postponed for indefinitely term
During these events, the IMF representatives hold meetings with government's officials including the Central bank of Azerbaijan (CBA). Major goal is to appraise short-term and medium-term tasks of the government on development prospects of the Azerbaijani economy. Due to the ongoing global financial crisis, the fund's mission can also hold debates on crisis influence on the Azerbaijani economy.
The Azerbaijani government cooperates with IMF at the level of consultations within article IV for four years. So, prospects of cooperation have not practically discussed during the visits on the basis of program.
At present, the country has no opportunities for resuming borrowing from the fund, despite the global financial crisis. In this regard, the IMF decided to withdraw head of the Azerbaijani representation and to reduce the staff office in the country in 2009. Baku office will be managed by the IMF regional office in Central Asia and Caucasus
The decision to close the IMF was announced in the summer during the head of department for Central Asia and the Middle East, David Owen's visit to Baku. Owen substantiated the decision to reduce the costs for the Azerbaijani representation of the IMF due to the country does not need credit resources anymore. Azerbaijan has a sufficiently large surplus in its payments balance. The IMF intends to forward saving funds to those countries that currently receive IMF loans in large amounts.
Permanent representation of the IMF in Azerbaijan has been functioning since 1993, but the co-operation with the government started in 1992. The Fund started crediting the country in 1995. Up to now, IMF provided credits to Azerbaijan within six programs, but since 2005, the co-operation with the IMF has been continuing at the level of consultations because the government of Azerbaijan refused to obtain credits from the Fund. Azerbaijan will pay off loans previously borrowed from the Fund until 2013. In 2010, the Fund will pay loans worth SDR 9.83 million, including SDR 9.66 million in basic debt and SDR 0.18 millions in interest rates.
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