IMF extends Georgian assistance programme

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will provide Georgia with 41.6 million US dollars under the fifth review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) once the IMF Management and Executive Board finalise the package at the end of the year, the Georgian press has reported.

An IMF delegation reached an agreement with the Georgian government to extend the EFF which – together with previous funding provided – will total 250 million US dollars.

“Extending the IMF programme by one year will be an additional signal and guarantee for investors and international partners to prove that we are still committed to the main fiscal goals and principles underlying the programme,” wrote, quoting Georgia’s finance minister, Ivane Matchavariani.

Mr Machavariani noted that all three goals of the programme – controlling current spending, accelerating capital expenditures and normalising the country’s fiscal deficit – had been achieved since the programme was launched in 2017, noting that the three major credit ratings agencies have all upgraded the country’s economic outlook, with Georgia being “two steps away from investment grade rating.”

In April, 2017, the IMF approved an extended arrangement of up to 285.3 million US dollars to support economic reforms.

Discussing the agreement, Koba Gvenetadze, the governor of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) said that the extension would increase “the credibility of economic policy in the environment of external shocks, especially given the unstable situation in the region and the growing impact of so-called trade wars on the global economy.”