Seychelles’ President and IMF chief hold talks: IMF to set up special fund for loans at concessionary rates
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is setting up a special fund in which Seychelles will have access to loans at concessionary rates, said the managing director and chair of the IMF executive board, Kristalina Georgieva, in a meeting with President Wavel Ramkalawan on Wednesday.
The meeting was held on the margins of the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
According to State House, the two discussed concerns related to the high-income status of Seychelles and similarly situated small island states, which excludes them from key concessional and bilateral financing.
Ramkalawan stressed on the critical need to integrate the vulnerability features when allocating financing for high-income and vulnerable small states like Seychelles.
The meeting was an opportunity for Ramkalawan to brief Georgieva on the current economic landscape of Seychelles and the progress made thus far as part of the country’s sustainable economic recovery plan.
Ramkalawan shared elements of the 2023 Budget presented by finance minister Naadir Hassan to the National Assembly last week, which are set to further reinforce the financial support provided to the Seychellois population.The head of state of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, reiterated the appreciation of Seychelles to the IMF as a key partner in the progress achieved through these difficult times. “Today I wish to formally convey our nation’s sincere appreciation for all the support the IMF has extended to Seychelles. We continue to make good progress and seek new ways to enhance our existing excellent partnership,” said Ramkalawan. On her part, Georgieva commended Seychelles for its efforts and economic discipline and for the example Seychelles is giving to the world. The IMF is supporting the economic reform programme of Seychelles, with a $107 million lending arrangement approved in July 2021. The support is for a 32-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme which will end in June 2023.
Seychelles 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.