A five-member team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in Antigua and Barbuda to conduct reviews of the island's economic performance under a three-year stand-by arrangement (SBA).
The team headed by Geoffrey Bannister has already held meetings with various public and private-sector representatives to discuss economic developments in Antigua.
In June 2010, the IMF approved a US$117.8 million loan to support the implementation of Antigua's Fiscal Consolidation Programme.
The island has received five disbursements to date and is to receive two other disbursements before the SBA ends in June.
The IMF team is due to leave here on Thursday.
Ahead of the visit, the IMF pronounced last week that Antigua's economy was showing signs of recovery after three years of contraction.
After concluding the 2012 Article IV Consultation with the Government of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, IMF executive directors commended Antigua's "strong commitment to their economic programme".
Noting, however, the significant challenges still posed by the "difficult global and domestic environment", the directors called for "continued steadfast implementation" of the programme.
"Accelerating structural reforms, especially fiscal and financial sector reforms, will be essential to restore growth and ensure macroeconomic and financial stability," said the IMF in a statement issued last Wednesday.
"Directors supported the authorities' commitment to fiscal consolidation and efforts to reduce public debt, with some cautioning that consolidation should not come at the expense of the fragile economic recovery," the fund said.
To ensure fiscal sustainability and create a buffer against shocks, the IMF directors stressed the importance of "improved public financial management and expenditure rationalisation, without constraining the much-needed capital spending".
They said reversing delays in the structural reform agenda, including broadening the tax base, especially by eliminating tax exemptions, would help enhance revenue.
The IMF directors also considered the reform of the pension system and improved oversight of state-owned enterprises to be "important priorities going forward".
They underscored the importance of continued efforts to improve financial-sector stability, calling for the "timely resolution" of the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Bank and other financial sector measures, including operation of the asset management company.
Antigua's 36-month stand-by agreement was "designed to catalyse financing from other international and regional financial institutions and created the framework for a successful debt renegotiation", the IMF said.
"The main objective of the authorities' programme has been to put the public debt firmly on a downward trajectory through fiscal consolidation, debt restructuring and comprehensive reforms in revenue administration and public financial management."