WASHINGTON, Sept 24 Growth in Mauritania is
likely to reach 6.2 percent this year despite a drop in mining
production and slowing demand from Europe, the International
Monetary Fund said on Monday.
For the first time in six years, the IMF said Mauritania's
overall budget balance would be positive and reserves will reach
record levels of around $750 million by the end of the
equivalent to 5.3 months of imports.
It was important that the "newfound financial comfort" would
lead to inclusive growth, lower unemployment and poverty rates,
the IMF said.
"This better-than-expected performance is attributable to
intensified revenue collection efforts, substantial mining
revenues, and a considerable increase in (aid), including in the
form of grants," it said in a statement at the end of talks with
Straddling black and Arab Africa on the continent's west
coast, Mauritania is a country of 3.2 million people. It has
been hit by two coups since 2005 and is an iron ore, copper and
gold producer. It is one of the West's strongest allies against
rising Islamist militancy in the region.
The Fund urged the government to proceed with reforms to
improve the business climate and implement a new instrument for
monetary policy management. It also needs to speed up reform
measures in the financial sector and improve public enterprises.
The IMF said policies for 2013 were targeted at economic
growth of more than 6 percent, keeping inflation stable and
fiscal policy geared at developing industries outside mining.