São Tomé and Príncipe should increase its productive capacity in order to create wealth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) representative said on Tuesday in São Tomé at the end of another round of assessment of the archipelago’s macroeconomic situation.
Xiangming Li, following an audience with Prime Minister Jorge Bom Jesus, and ahead of another with President Evaristo Carvalho, also said that if São Tomé and Príncipe fails to increase its productive capacity, “it will not be able to cope with difficulties that will arise in the future.”
The IMF head of mission, quoted by the STP-Press news agency, said the prime minister was “absolutely aware of the enormous challenges ahead, the background issues that have put the country in its present situation and also aware of how to find solutions to problems.”
Xiangming Li referred to the issue of accumulated public debt, which is related to the debt of the country’s state water and electricity company EMAE to national fuel and oil company ENCO, “a problem that must be resolved.”
“We need to reduce EMAE’s debts and, at the same time, increase EMAE’s revenues, and the sales price of fuels has to cover its cost, because the government cannot continue to subsidise them,” said the head of the IMF mission.