IMF Pleased with Nicaragua, Shuts Local Office

The IMF representative in Nicaragua, Juan Zalduendo, and the president of the Central Bank of Nicaragua, Ovidio Reyes. Photo: Carlos Malespín/elnuevodiario.com.ni

HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced on Thursday that it will be closing its offices in Nicaragua as its economic programs have not been renewed this year owing to the country’s improved performance.

The IMF representative in Nicaragua Juan Zalduendo said that the programs will be discontinued on August, but that the IMF will continue “to cooperate and maintain open exchanges with Nicaragua has it has done so for the past two decades.”

The IMF will also continue to offer consultancy on high-quality polices and technical assistance through regular visits, the next of which will take place in April, he added during a press conference.

The Chair of the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN), Ovidio Reyes, attributed the withdrawal of the IMF permanent office in the country to the “excellent economic and financial administration” of Daniel Ortega’s government.

The IMF made this decision because “there are no longer programs with Nicaragua and because the country is experiencing a phase of continuous growth and public finances are being managed well,” he stated.

Reyes said the economic growth (4.5% in 2015) was strengthened over the last four years, while inflation has remained in one digit.  He also pointed to a reduction in the public debt and fiscal deficit.

In this connection, Zalduendo stated that Nicaragua also reduced poverty figures “significantly” and that, though inequalities still exist, “there is a downward tendency.”

“All of these are positive factors. Nicaragua’s economic growth has been continuous and exemplary for the region,” he added.

Between 1994 and 2011, Nicaragua developed economic programs supervised by the IMF, for a total value of over US $100 million in loans every three years.


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