Guinea-Bissau economy expected to grow 5 pct in 2015

12 January 2015

Guinea-Bissau is expected to post economic growth of between 4.7 and 5 percent in 2015, the Minister of Economy and Finance Geraldo Martins said in a letter to civil servants.

“With a good cashew campaign and a regular supply of electricity we can achieve 5 percent growth,” says Geraldo Martins in the document distributed over the last week.

But to get there the Minister stressed the need to “continue efforts to rationalize the use of public resources” and increase tax revenues.

Both the Directorate General of Customs and the Contribution and General Tax Directorate posted “higher than expected” revenues, with recovery rates of 125 and 105 percent, respectively, compared with the initial estimates.

In the same document, the minister recalled that in November 2014 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) transferred about 4 million euros to Bissau and in May this lending is expected to be increased.

Also in November, the European Union paid out 10 million euros in direct support to the State Budget and another 8 million will be transferred in 2015 – as well as a larger multi-annual programme that is under preparation.

Also in 2014, the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) provided 2.6 million euros for the energy sector emergency programme.

In terms of the funds that are still due to be provided, later this month the African Development Bank (ADB) will provide 36 million euro to fund the governance, energy and transport sectors.

Also in January the World Bank is scheduled to pay out 12 million euros to pay the salaries of teachers and health professionals between January and June of this year.

In the letter to civil servants, Martins announced that in 2015 Guinea-Bissau is expected to host a number of sector meetings with international partners and financial institutions.

These include the XI Meeting of Investors of Forum Macau and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). (macauhub/GW/MO)