TBILISI, April 16 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund said on Monday it would allocate a further $43.6 million loan to Georgia because it had carried out structural reforms to support private sector development, improve fiscal performance and implement infrastructure projects.
The credit will be the third tranche under a three-year IMF programme totalling $285 million, bringing total disbursements to $130 million.
“Programme performance has been satisfactory, quantitative performance criteria for end-December were met, and the indicative target on current spending was only missed by a small margin,” Mercedes Vera Martin, the IMF mission head, said in a statement.
“The reform programme is advancing well. Most structural benchmarks have been implemented.”
The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s executive board.
Martin said that the ex-Soviet country’s economic growth was expected to remain strong in 2018, with risks to the outlook balanced, while the current account deficit was expected to widen slightly due to higher oil prices and public investment.
“Sustained implementation of Georgia’s economic reform programme is expected to support higher and more inclusive growth by fostering private investment, productivity, and competitiveness,” Martin said.
Georgia, a major conduit for carrying Caspian oil and gas to Europe, is recovering from falling exports and a plunge in the currencies of its main trading partners Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, which depressed economic growth in recent years. (Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Richard Balmforth)