The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed readiness to support Angola through the implementation of a complementary strategic programme focused on diversification of the oil-dependent economy to move out of crisis caused by falling oil prices.

The Finance Ministry, which said this in a statement released here Wednesday, added that the IMF support was in response to a request by the Angolan government to work with the IMF on planning and implementation of policies and reforms to improve the country’s macro-economic and financial stability, in particular through tax discipline.

The media statement stressed that the government intended to set a profile of public expenditure consistent with the objective of sustainable development and added that the profile of public expenditure should match the reform of its non-oil tax system and efficiency.

“Efforts will be focused on the simplification of the tax system, broadening the tax base and reducing tax evasion,” the statement noted, adding that one of the commitments was to improve the transparency of public finances and the banking sector.

The Finance Ministry also mentioned the sectors of agriculture, fisheries and mining as priorities for diversification in the short term.

It added that Angola was also continuing to improve its partnership with the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to ensure a reduction of the costs of infrastructure projects, improve procedures of public procurement and the business environment.

The Angolan authorities are expected to begin discussions with the IMF in mid-April during the next Spring meetings of the two Bretton Woods institutions in Washington with a view to defining the scope of economic policy measures to be taken in the context of the requirements of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) extended by the IMF when a country faces serious medium-term balance of payments problems because of structural weaknesses that require time to address.