Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.31 / Trend I. Khalilova /
The International Monetary Fund's mission will be on visit to Azerbaijan from Feb. 7 to 15 in order to define priority directions of consultations with the Azerbaijani government, which are scheduled for autumn, under Article IV of the IMF agreement, the Azerbaijani government said on Monday. The consultations are held annually.
"In addition to defining priorities under Article IV, during the visit it is planned to discuss the country's macroeconomic situation (current state and prospects), directions to receive Monetary Fund's technical assistance," the government said.
During the visit, the mission is expected to hold meetings with the finance and economic development ministries, the Central Bank, the State Committee for Securities, the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), the State Customs Committee, Parliament, representations of international organizations - WB, EBRD,IFC and Deloitte. Meetings are also planned with donors, NGOs, local banks - International Bank of Azerbaijan, Kapital Bank, Yapi Kredi Bank and American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan (AMCHAM).
The Azerbaijani government has cooperated with the IMF at the level of consultations within Article IV for six years. So, prospects of cooperation have not practically discussed during the visits on the basis of program.
At present, the country has no reasons for resuming borrowing from the fund, despite the global financial crisis. In this regard, the IMF decided to withdraw the head of the Azerbaijani representative office and to reduce the staff office in the country in 2009. The Baku office will be managed by the IMF regional office in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
The decision to reduce the costs for the Azerbaijani representation of the IMF is 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. At present, IMF office operates in Azerbaijan.
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.