Guinea Bissau economy expected to post growth of 3.5 pct in 2013

10 May 2013

The Guinea Bissau economy is expected this year to grow by 3.5 percent, said Mauricio Villafuerte of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Bissau, whilst issuing a warning about low tax revenues and requesting speedy approval of the State Budget for 2013.

Villafuerte, the head of an IMF mission that was in Guinea Bissau from 29 April to 9 May, said that the Guinean economy was expected to recover this year after a “a very difficult situation in 2012, marked by a sharp drop in export quantities and prices for cashews,” the country’s main product, as well as “a drop in the support provided by development partners.”

The recovery of cashew exports, both in terms of quantity and price, as well as continued budget support from Guinea Bissau’s regional partners, will contribute to real growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) of around 3.5 percent in 2013, said the IMF official, according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.

However, he warned that low tax revenues along with limited financing opportunities required tight control of public expenditure, whilst protecting social spending and for other priority areas. (macauhub)