Seychelles’ economic reforms are model for other developing countries, says IMF exec
Seychelles has overachieved in its macro-economic reforms and is an example for other developing countries, said an executive director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday.
Chang Huh, who is an executive director on the IMF executive board representing a group of 16 countries including Seychelles, made the statement to reporters after meeting with the President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, at State House.
Huh is in Seychelles as part of the organisation’s second review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement and he congratulated the island nation for the way it has set a good example of how to deal with external uncertainties.
“Many countries have problems with communication with the IMF team and also to implement the programme, but for Seychelles, we have seen that there are no issues and we remain very happy to continue working with the country,” he said.
Huh said that in his discussions with Ramkalawan, he has urged the president to remain in close contact with other international institutions to help enhance Seychelles’ international credibility.
“Seychelles is a small country and for other nations to trust the Seychelles’ economy, it is important for good relationships to be built with institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank,” he added.
The IMF executive director said he is personally very proud of Seychelles’ commitment to the programme and is very pleased with the progress that the country is making.
On July 21, the IMF executive board approved financial support for the Seychelles’ government’s economic reform programme. The support is for a 32-month extended arrangement under the EFF for a sum of $107 million.
After the second of the programme was completed last week, the IMF team stated that Seychelles’ macroeconomic outlook is favourable despite uncertainties with regard to the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“I have heard the president’s vision and his willingness to be prepared for any kind of external challenges by working with the international community and so I am very confident that Seychelles will be able to face those challenges,” Huh added.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, sought the IMF’s support after its economy was severely affected by a downturn in travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic affected the island nation’s tourism industry, which is the top contributor to its economy.
The last time the island nation embarked on economic reform was in 2008. The macroeconomic reform programme with the assistance of the IMF was introduced primarily to address its serious balance of payments issues and external debt difficulties.