"We welcome the government's public debt management strategy, and we support their intention to reduce their foreign currency debt commitments," Natalia Tamirisa, head of the IMF mission in Azerbaijan, said in an exclusive interview with Report.
According to Tamirisa, the Monetary Fund is not in talks with the Azerbaijani government regarding any borrowing:
"The IMF has not issued any loans to Azerbaijan since 2005. Azerbaijan has not asked for financial assistance from the IMF and does not need such assistance. At present there is no negotiation with the International Monetary Fund on borrowing. The main purpose of our visit to Azerbaijan last month was to consult on Article IV of the IMF Statute. Such consultations are part of the Fund's policy of dialogue with member countries. Within the framework of Article IV of the Statute, the Fund's mission evaluates the economic development and discusses the economic and financial situation of the country and prepares the economy review. We are meeting with larger partners, among them the country's leadership, business and financial community, and other stakeholders. The main topics we have discussed are economic considerations and risks, fiscal and monetary policies, problems in the financial sector and structural reforms."
The IMF official also said that IMF has no opportunity to lend to Azerbaijan in national currency:
"As I said, Azerbaijan has not asked for financial assistance from the IMF and does not need it. According to the International Monetary Fund regulations, any borrowings from the IMF are calculated based on the Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). The value of this unit is based on the freely used currency basket. Other international organizations can lend their loans in local currency on their own terms.
"In our opinion, the development of a well-functioning local debt market is essential. Such a market can provide a stable source for the government and can boost the development of other financial markets. In this regard, we consider it important that the government consult with key stakeholders to develop a capital market development strategy."