Serbia, IMF approves new stand-by arrangement

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At a meeting held on 19 December 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board approved to the Republic of Serbia a 24-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) worth 290 percent of Serbia’s quota at the IMF, in support of the agreed economic program, said a press release issued by the National Bank of Serbia (NBS) Governor’s office. It added that the new SBA is focused on the preservation of macroeconomic and financial stability, strengthening the economy’s resilience to the energy crisis by implementing an adequate energy policy, reform in the domestic energy sector, whilst protecting the most vulnerable, and encouraging high, ecological, inclusive and sustainable medium-term growth.

The IMF Board also positively assessed the results achieved under the third review of Serbia’s economic program supported by the Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI), said the press release.

It added that the new arrangement with the IMF will replace the existing PCI, with appropriate macroeconomic policy modifications for current global challenges. The SBA will also support further implementation of structural reforms, with a focus on the energy sector.

The IMF said the Serbian economy has solid buffers to withstand risks, including adequate foreign exchange reserves, moderate external and public debt levels, a well-capitalized and liquid banking sector. The monetary policy response amid current inflationary pressures is assessed as adequate, with the ongoing monetary tightening being crucial to ensure that inflation does not become entrenched. The SBA will provide an additional buffer to tackle the current challenges and uncertainties at the global level, reads the press release.

“The approved SBA will serve as additional support in facing global risks and a positive signal for all potential investors, as it is yet another indicator of the Government’s and NBS’s commitment to responsible conduct of economic policies. In Serbia we continue to preserve stability and implement reforms, while ensuring the full coordination of policies and necessary diversification of funding sources in the current global conditions. The challenges and risks have not abated, but have only strengthened our resolve to persevere and continue to create conditions to ensure the prosperity of those for whom and with whom we work – our citizens and businesses,” said NBS Governor Jorgovanka Tabakovic, N1 writes.

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