The Slovenia Times

FinMin happy with IMF, WB meetings, urges further reform


Over the past few days, she has presented to IMF and WB officials and representatives of both institutions' member states Slovenia's achievements as well as plans for further fiscal consolidation and privatisation.

She has also held meetings with investors into Slovenia's bonds who already know the country, updating them on the current situation and plans for this and next years.

"The meetings were held in a positive atmosphere, and everyone acknowledged Slovenia had made a major progress in exiting the crisis," she said in a statement for the STA.

Vraničar Erman said that they were mostly interested in learning which structural reforms Slovenia was planning for the future.

The current fast economic growth means less zeal for structural reforms, "but we should be aware that reforms are necessary if we want to secure long-term and stable growth".

The Slovenian Institute for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD) has forecast a 3.6% growth rate for Slovenia this year, while outlooks of other major forecasters stand at around 3%.

Earlier this month, the IMF forecast 2.5% growth for 2017, but mission chief for Slovenia Nikolay Gueorguiev said when the IMF completed its mission in Ljubljana in March the growth would reach 3%.

Vraničar Erman explained that the IMF had first projected 2.5%, but upgraded it to 3% on the basis of the mission's findings.

While it was too late to include the new figure into the spring forecast, which was released earlier this week, it will be published in the IMF's future releases.

The minister said that the final report of the IMF's mission to Slovenia would be released in mid-May and would include the new projection.

The IMF and WB meetings were held against the backdrop of concerns about increased protectionist aspirations of certain countries, especially the US under the new president, Donald Trump.

However, Vraničar Erman said that "my first impression is that results are very encouraging not only for Slovenia but also for other countries".

"Economic growth has increased, and so has the pace of fiscal consolidation. But there is also a lot of uncertainty about the policies of the biggest countries."

Given that the new US administration has not yet revealed its policy, it is very hard to predict how it would affect the global economy and individual economies. "This could only be assessed once new concrete measures are presented," she told the STA.

As the spring meetings were drawing to an end, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the IMF's steering body, said in the closing statement that the global economic recovery was gaining momentum, yet growth was still modest and subject to political and policy uncertainties.

The IMF and WB's spring meetings were also attended by Slovenian central bank Governor Boštjan Jazbec.


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