Angola’s public debt high, but not worryingly so, IMF says

2 March 2018

Angola’s public debt, estimated at more than 60% of gross domestic product (GDP), “is high but not worrying,” said the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, who noted the fiscal measures adopted by the Angolan government with a view to paying off its debts.

Speaking at the end of a meeting between the Angolan government’s economic team and the IMF mission, Ricardo Velloso also acknowledged the effort made by the government in preparing the General State Budget for 2018, which consigned a large part of expenditure to the payment of the public debt.

Velloso, quoted by Angolan state news agency Angop, also said that besides adopting a new exchange rate regime, the improvement of the business environment in Angola is also one of the crucial factors to boost the country’s next phase of economic growth, with the support of the private sector.

The head of the IMF mission pointed out that improving the business environment involves a review of the Private Investment Law, which will soon be subject to parliamentary review, as well as the provision of more credit to the private sector, “something that will help reduce state expenditure.”

The Council of Ministers on Wednesday examined the proposal to revise the Private Investment Law, which aims to “facilitate the application of capital by domestic and foreign investors, as well as the regime of access to benefits and other facilities to be granted by the State.”

The Brazilian economist noted in his statements that the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT), scheduled for January 2019, should help the country to have a more stable level of tax collection, thereby reducing its heavy dependence on oil exports.

The meeting, which kicked off the IMF’s working schedule, took place at the Ministry of Finance and was attended by the Ministers of Finance, Archer Mangueira, Commerce, Jofre Van-Dúnem Júnior, Economics and Planning Pedro Luís da Fonseca and the deputy governor of the National Bank of Angola, Manuel Dias. (macauhub)