IMF mission in Belgrade today

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission will arrive in Belgrade on Thursday, it has been announced. They will immediately begin technical talks with the Serbian government on the sixth revision of the stand-by arrangement between the IMF and Serbia, IMF Resident Representative in Serbia Bogdan Lissovolik said.

Lissovolik added that negotiations between the Serbian officials and the IMF Mission, which will be headed by Albert Jaeger, will begin on Monday, October 25, whereas the IMF delegation will stay in Belgrade until the beginning of next month.

The main topic of talks will be the sixth revision of the stand-by arrangement, and particularly the budget review for 2010 and budget for 2011, Lissovolik stressed. As usual, other key economic measures will be discussed, including the ones in the monetary and financial sector and structural reforms, he added.

When asked about the recommendations that the IMF will give to the Serbian government regarding the draft budget for 2011, Lissovolik said that he cannot disclose any details so as not to affect the negotiations. However, he pointed out that it is of crucial importance for both sides to agree on a realistic and sustainable budget, in accordance with the agreed deficit and the amendments to the Budget System Law.

Lissovolik announced that there will be another, seventh revision, before the expiration of the stand-by arrangement in April 2011.

When asked if he expects the cooperation with Serbia to continue after that, he said that this cannot be predicted, adding that there will probably be some type of cooperation, as is the case with any other IMF member.

Serbia and the IMF reached an agreement in May 2009, based on which Serbia was granted a loan in the amount of EUR 2.87 billion. The country has so far used about EUR 1.4 billion for the strengthening of foreign exchange reserves.

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