An IMF mission led by the departmental adviser on the Middle East and Central Asia (MCD), Raja Al Marzouqi, is to make a visit to Baku from February 26, to conduct consultations with the Azerbaijani government under Article IV of the Agreement 'On the creation of the IMF', head of the IMF Office in Baku, Aggyun Gadirli, told Trend on Wednesday.
These consultations are held on a regular basis annually.
"The visit will last until March 12 and prospects and activities in the development of Azerbaijan's economy in 2013 will be discussed," Gadirli said.
During the last visit to Azerbaijan in November 2012, the IMF mission assessed the short term growth prospects of the country at a favourable level. The growth rate of the non-oil sector, mainly due to public expenditures, could reach eight per cent in 2013 and more than offset the projected decline in oil production.
However, the Commission expressed concern over the high level of the non-oil budget deficit in the country. The IMF recommends Azerbaijan does not exceed the non-oil budget deficit level of 40 per cent of the GDP.
"The reduction of the non-oil deficit in 2013 in relation to the expected results of the execution of the state budget in 2012 through prioritising capital investments will help curb the risks to macroeconomic stability and strengthen the buffer reserves for the measures in the event of a potential deterioration of the global economy," Al Marzouqi said earlier.
He said that reconsidering the foundations of a tax-budget policy by separating expenditure from current oil prices and strengthening the predictability of the tax-budget policy and credibility will play a key role in encouraging private investments.
"Separating expenditures from oil prices is important for state expenditure not to directly respond to changes in oil prices," he said. "It is not necessary for them to grow as much as the oil price,"
The oil price forecast in the Azerbaijani state budget for 2013 is set at $100 per barrel.
The IMF's October report on the prospects for the world economy projected growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of Azerbaijan stands at 2.7 per cent in 2013.
The IMF has forecast inflation at six per cent in the republic in 2013. According to the fund's estimations, Azerbaijan will have balance of payment surplus at 16.1 per cent in 2013.
Azerbaijan joined the IMF on September 18, 1992. The cooperation between the organisation and the country was particularly intense in 1995-2005. During these years, Azerbaijan has often used the advice and financial assistance of the IMF to support the government's economic programmes.
The IMF office was opened in Baku in 1992. Despite its staff being reduced since 1999, it remains an important partner of the Azerbaijani government. It should be stressed that cooperation with the IMF played an important role in the global economic and financial crisis./Trend/