February 4, 2017 / 12:12 PM / in a year

Mali forecasts 2017 GDP growth at 5.3 percent

BAMAKO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Mali is forecasting 2017 GDP growth of 5.3 percent due to expectations of a strong grain and cotton harvest and gold production, Diakaridia Dembélé, technical adviser at the finance ministry said on Saturday.

This compares with an estimated GDP growth of 5.4 percent last year in the West African country.

Agricultural output will rise due to subsidies and increased mechanization, while two gold mines should open this year, Dembélé said. These are the Fekola mine operated by Canadian company B2Gold and Yanfolila operated by British company Hummingbird Resources.

Gold and cotton are mainstays of Mali’s economy. Mali has long faced a separatist movement in the north and is also battling a rise of Islamist militancy. (Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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