Governor of central bank of Sao Tome and Principe forecasts good prospects for 2007

8 January 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 8 Jan – The new governor of the Central Bank of Sao Tome and Principe, Arlindo Carvalho, has projected “good prospects for the 2007 financial year,” and said the country’s economy should grow around 7 percent.

Carvalho made the projections in a speech on the annual macroeconomic climate and the growth prospects for the next 12 months.

The governor said that one of the strong points for economic growth in 2007 was the entry into the state coffers of US$27 million from the sale of oil blocs in the joint exploration area with Nigeria.

According to Carvalho, oil revenue “will clearly have a multiplying effect on improving the economic confidence indicators, with increased employment and exchange rate stability.”

For 2007 he forecast inflation of 13.5 percent against the 22.8 percent total for between January and November 2006.

Carvalho also said he expected the country’s debt of over US$300 million to be pardoned in the first quarter of 2007n, as part of a macroeconomic program set up with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).

The governor also said that 2006 had been marked by the relative reduction of foreign aid, reduced cocoa exports (the basis of the economy), and devaluation of the currency against the dollar and the euro. (macauhub)