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ECONOMY | 14-10-2020 15:00

IMF: Argentina needs 'credible' plan to overcome crisis

Argentina's "top priority ought to be to put in place a credible and comprehensive economic agenda that balances supporting the economy and people," says IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva.

Faced with daunting economic challenges, Argentina's government will need the "political determination" to overcome its economic crisis, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Wednesday.

The "top priority ought to be to put in place a credible and comprehensive economic agenda that balances supporting the economy and people in this difficult time," Georgieva told reporters at the start of the IMF annual meeting.

"We want to be a partner of Argentina. We do count on a political determination to get the country out of what has been historically boom/bust cycles," she said, adding that policymakers must keep "macroeconomic stability in sight."

The Washington-based crisis lender on Monday said it would send a team to Buenos Aires in mid-November to begin talks on a new loan programme for the crisis-hit nation.

Even prior to the pandemic, Argentina was facing a severe economic crisis despite massive IMF lending in recent years. 

Buenos Aires is hoping to renegotiate repayments on a US$44-billion loan from the IMF in 2018 – a loan originally set to increase to US$57 billion, before President Alberto Fernández halted disbursements when he took office in December 2019. The first repayments are due in September 2021.

"Argentina faces very dramatic challenges. The country is in deep recession, social conditions are worsening, economic imbalances are growing," Georgieva said. "We are there for Argentina."

An IMF forecast released yesterday forecast that Argentina's economy, which has been in recession since 2018, will contract by 11.8 percent this year.

– AFP

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