EU to fund Zim’s Lima re­form pro­gramme

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

THE Euro­pean Union (EU) has said it is will­ing to pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port for the coun­try’s re­form pro­gramme as ar­tic­u­lated in the ‘Lima Plan’.

EU am­bas­sador to Zim­babwe Philippe Van Damme said on Fri­day that the pro­posed re­form pro­gramme was “am­bi­tious” and “could help the econ­omy grow out of its cur­rent prob­lems.”

“We have in­deed en­cour­aged the Gov­ern­ment to move for­ward with its re­form agenda, that is the re­form agenda that the Gov­ern­ment pre­sented to the an­nual meet­ings of the IMF and World Bank in Lima in Oc­to­ber 2015, which was a home­grown re­form agenda of the Gov­ern­ment

“We be­lieve that if you can work out this agenda and ef­fec­tively im­ple­ment it, we as in­ter­na­tional part­ners we are will­ing to help you im­ple­ment these re­forms to the ex­tent that if there is no progress on the ground on some of these pro­grammes we can mo­bilise fund­ing,” he said. He was speak­ing at a pub­lic di­a­logue. Am­bas­sador Van Damme said for the EU to com­mence sup­port­ing the re­form pro­gramme, Zim­babwe needs to come into agree­ment with the multi-lat­eral fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions and come up with a de­tailed time-bound re­form agenda and they start im­ple­ment­ing it.

Ac­cord­ing to the pa­per that the Zim­bab­wean del­e­ga­tion pre­sented at the Lima meet­ings — the ‘Zim­babwe: Strate­gies for Clear­ing Ex­ter­nal Debt Ar­rears and the Sup­port­ive Eco­nomic Re­form Agenda’ — tenets of the pro­posed re­form pro­gramme con­sist of the fol­low­ing:

Strength­en­ing fi­nan­cial sec­tor con­fi­dence, ac­cel­er­at­ing the re-en­gage­ment process with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, re­vi­tal­is­ing agri­cul­ture and the agro-pro­cess­ing value chain, ad­vanc­ing ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion and/or value ad­di­tion to the agri­cul­ture and min­ing re­source en­dow­ment,fo­cus­ing on in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment, un­lock­ing the po­ten­tial of smallto-medium en­ter­prises, im­prov­ing the in­vest­ment climate, ac­cel­er­at­ing pub­lic en­ter­prises re­form and im­prov­ing pub­lic fi­nance man­age­ment; mod­ernising labour laws and align­ing of laws to the Con­sti­tu­tion and ad­her­ing to the rule of law; and pur­su­ing an anti-cor­rup­tion thrust.

But devel­op­ment of a de­tailed re­form pro­gramme will de­pend on the coun­try’s ar­rears clear­ance to the three in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, namely the World Bank, IMF and the African Devel­op­ment Bank as a first step to­ward seek­ing a debt treat­ment by the Paris Club.

Ac­cord­ing to Zim­babwe’s clear­ance plan the res­o­lu­tion of ex­ter­nal debt ar­rears to the IFIs will be achieved through the use of do­mes­tic re­sources to clear ar­rears to the IMF; use of a bridge loan to clear AfDB Group debt ar­rears; and use of a medium to long-term fa­cil­ity from a friendly coun­try to clear ar­rears to the World Bank Group.

And only af­ter it has re­solved the Paris Club debt can a de­tailed medium to long-term re­form pro­gramme be agreed upon. — BH24

EU am­bas­sador to Zim­babwe Philippe Van Damme

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.