Technical experts from the World Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded, yesterday, their visit to various Brazilian Ministries to gather information on how well the Brazilian government has complied with the goals set in the agreement between the two parties.
The mission, headed by the economist, Charles Collins, went to the Central Bank and the Ministries of Mines and Energy; Finance; Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade; and Planning.
The mission has been in Brazil since January 26 for the tenth and last evaluation of the US$ 30 billion agreement, signed in September, 2002, and renewed in December, 2003.
If the evaluation is approved, Brazil will be able to withdraw approximately US$ 1.4 billion. Approval, which will only be announced when the Fund’s board of directors meets, is likely, since the chief targets were met.
Last year’s primary surplus, for example, which was supposed to end the year with US$ 27.2 billion (R$ 71 billion), according to the agreement, actually accumulated US$ 31.1 billion (R$ 81.1 billion).
It is also likely that the government will not withdraw the funds to which it is entitled. When he announced the renewal of the agreement, in September, 2003, the Minister of Finance, Antônio Palocci, said that the government would only use these resources if the government was facing an economic crisis.
Since then all the reviews conducted during the course of last year approved Brazil’s performance, yet Brazil declined to use the funds that were made available. Minister Palocci has stated, nonetheless, that the decision on a new loan will only be made in March, when the current agreement expires.
Translation: David Silberstein