Cambodia is a fast-growing, highly open economy, and attained lower-middle income status this year. Over the last two decades, Cambodia grew rapidly (average real GDP growth of around 8 percent) and its integration with the global economy increased sharply, accompanied by an impressive decline in poverty. Going forward, Cambodia’s strategic location, China’s changing trade patterns, and ongoing regional integration provide further opportunities.1 Important steps have been taken by the government that will help Cambodia capitalize on these opportunities, including energy-related investments to help reduce the cost of doing business and measures to facilitate trade, payments and business registration. Nonetheless, further measures are needed to support sustained growth, including reforms to improve the business climate and policies to mitigate rising financial sector vulnerabilities.
Despite the global slowdown, Cambodia’s economy has been holding up, driven by resilient exports and tourism and a strong real estate recovery. Fiscal policy has remained anchored in rebuilding government deposits and maintaining long-term fiscal debt sustainability, while providing adequate financing for Cambodia’s vast development needs. Executive Directors identified greater mobilization of fiscal revenues imperative to rebuild government deposits, and maintained that focus should be on measures that would generate substantial additional revenue and create strong positive externalities.
Iran has received much attention from a geopolitical and regional standpoint, but its economic challenges have not attracted a similar degree of interest. With a population of 69 million, considerable hydrocarbon resources, a dynamic and entrepreneurial middle class, and a relatively well-educated labor force, Iran's economic potential is considerable. This volume takes stock of critical developments in the Iranian economy in recent years. The study reviews the key issues and policy responses, highlights the nature of the challenges ahead, and draws implications for the next phase of reforms. The authors conclude that major challenges remain, although significant advances have been made in recent years in opening up the economy to international trade and foreign direct investment, encouraging the private sector, removing exchange restrictions, reforming the tax system, and enhancing macroeconomic management.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Peru has successfully navigated the commodity cycle and the 2008–09 global financial crisis, and still leads growth among large Latin American economies. Following a sharp and unexpected drop in 2014, growth picked up in 2015, reaching 3.3 percent largely owing to higher metals production and fishing, and a partial recovery in services and commerce. Peru is now positioned to grow faster in the next two years, as mining production reaches full capacity and large infrastructure projects advance. Inflation is expected to decline. Risks to the outlook are balanced, and downside risks are mostly on the external side.
When policymakers have little option but to consider a sizable fiscal adjustment, they are confronted by the following questions: Can a large fiscal adjustment be implemented succesfully? How is a large adjustment best designed and implemented? What will be its impact on the economy? This Occasional Paper addresses these questions by describing the experience of countries that have undertaken large fiscal adjustments in the last three decades. It provides operational guidance to policymakers by identifying preconditions, common policy approaches, and institutional arrangements underlying successful and unsuccessful adjustment episodes.
Hawala and other remittance systems have gained attention in recent years with the substantial growth of remittance flows from countries with large migrant labor forces and with increased focus on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The IMF and the World Bank have been researching these systems since 2002 to better understand the interplay of historical, cultural, and economic factors that promote such systems. This book is a survey of regulatory practices and an overview of experiences in different countries, and includes articles on regulatory frameworks in remitting and receiving countries and on the problems that can arise when regulating remittance systems.
In the past 10 years a growing number of countries have established or began establishing a primary dealer system. This paper discusses the role of primary dealers, as well as theoretical, operational, and technical issues related to the establishment of a primary dealer system, in the overall management of public debt for countries that may be considering taking this step. Drawing on a 2001 survey of country practices, the paper discusses the rationale, costs and benefits, and key prerequisites, as well as selection criteria, obligations, and privileges of a primary dealer system. It also attempts to determine the conditions under which a primary dealer system would make a positive contribution to the functioning and development of the government securities market.
Despite some global risks, external conditions for Latin America should remain stimulative. With monetary policy in advanced economies expected to stay accommodative, external financing conditions will remain favorable. Strong demand from emerging Asian economies and the gradual recovery of advanced economies will continue to support commodity prices, benefiting exporters. The main policy challenge for most of the region is to take advantage of current conditions to continue buttressing a foundation for sustained growth. Other issues important to the region include: (i) strengthening balance sheets; (ii) understanding how changes in external conditions could impact public and external debt dynamics; and (iii) making the best use of the windfall from the recent terms-of-trade boom.
Despite the recent deterioration in the global economic environment, projections for the region involve only a modest worsening of the outlook. The October 2011 Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere cautions, however, that there are severe downside risks. A sharp slowdown in Asia, for example in response to a recession in advanced economies, could impact commodity prices, with negative effects on Latin American commodity exporters. With global monetary policy likely to remain accommodative, capital flows could exacerbate overheating and amplify vulnerabilities in emerging markets. Countries with strong real linkages to the United States face a somewhat weaker outlook and should give priority to reducing public debt. Although much of the Caribbean is recovering from a prolonged recession, the outlook remains constrained by high public debt and weak tourism flows. This issue finds that policies can play an important role in mitigating the economic impact of terms-of-trade shocks, and underscores the need to rebuild policy buffers.
The October 2012 World Economic Outlook (WEO) assesses the prospects for the global recovery in light of such risks as the ongoing euro area crisis and the "fiscal cliff" facing U.S. policymakers. Reducing the risks to the medium-term outlook implies reducing public debt in the major advanced economies, and Chapter 3 explores 100 years of history of dealing with public debt overhangs. In emerging market and developing economies, activity has been slowed by policy tightening in response to capacity constraints, weaker demand from advanced economies, and country-specific factors, but policy improvements have raised these economies' resilience to shocks, an issue explored in depth in Chapter 4.
This paper focuses on Haiti’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and 2014–2016 Three-Year Investment Program. The Haiti Strategic Development Plan presents the new framework for the planning, programming, and management of Haitian development, the vision and the strategic guidelines for the country’s development, and the four major work areas to be implemented to ensure the recovery and development of Haiti. The Three-Year Investment Program, 2014–2016 (PTI 2014–2016) concerns implementation of the Strategic Plan for Development of Haiti and more specifically implementation of the government’s priorities for the period.
Dominica has faced two major challenges during the past two decades: weak competitiveness and low potential growth. In addition to these economic challenges, the country has been facing frequent natural disasters. Growth is expected to pick up gradually. The financial system is highly liquid but monetary conditions have not eased. The external position is improving on strong service receipts. Fiscal policy is reaching its limit in terms of its ability to support economic activity. The balance of risks to the fiscal outlook is broadly balanced.
Haiti’s recently completed arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) helped to maintain macroeconomic stability after the 2010 earthquake. While Haiti has seen four consecutive years of growth, reducing poverty requires higher and sustained growth rates.
Conceptual ambiguities and statistical weaknesses hamper the assessment of external competitiveness. The term competitiveness, while applied extensively, is often imprecisely defined, which can result in analytical errors and mistaken policy advice. Furthermore, aggregate statistical measures of competitiveness in terms of exchange rate misalignment can be biased. To address these issues, this paper makes two contributions. First, it clarifies the external competitiveness concept, highlighting the dichotomy between productivity-driven long-run growth and short-run deviations from the underlying growth trajectory, which can be related to exchange rate misalignment. Second, it develops a disaggregated statistical approach for examining competitiveness based on unit labor costs at the three digit industry level in a group of comparable countries. The case of Slovakia is used to illustrate these concepts, but the analytical insights have general application.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Italy’s economy is emerging gradually from a prolonged recession. Financial market sentiment and confidence indicators have improved substantially since end-2014. Despite the recent bouts in volatility, sovereign bond yields have fallen to precrisis levels buoyed by the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing. Bank and corporate funding costs have declined. Rising business and consumer confidence has stemmed the decline in domestic demand. Against this backdrop, the economy is expected to recover moderately, with real GDP projected to expand by 0.7 percent in 2015, supported by domestic demand and net exports.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Aruba has been recovering from a severe double-dip recession. The economy faced two major shocks over the past five years—the global financial crisis and shutdown of the Valero oil refinery in 2012. After a strong recovery in 2013 with growth reaching 4.75 percent, the pace of activity moderated in 2014. In 2015, growth is projected to rise to 2.25 percent. The tourism sector—the mainstay of the Aruban economy—is envisaged to grow, albeit at a slower rate. Moreover, domestic demand is slated to recover notably amid subsiding policy uncertainty and as key public-private partnership projects move forward.
The Legal Department and the Institute of the IMF held their eighth biennial seminar for legal advisers of central banks of member countries on May 7-17, 2000. The papers presented in this volume are based on presentations made by the seminar participants. The seminar covered a broad range of topics, including activities of the IMF and other international financial institutions, sovereign debt restructuring, the architecture of the international financial system, and money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In addition, participants addressed the role of central banks, payment systems, securities, technology in the financial sector, and monetary arrangements.
Provides a comprehensive survey of recent developments in international financial markets, including developments in emerging capital markets, bond markets, major currency markets, and derivative markets. The report focuses on efforts by the major industrial countries to strengthen the management of financial risk and prundential oversight over the international banking system. It also critically evaluates existing mechanisms for international cooperation of financial supervision and regulation and proposes the development of international banking standards.
The events of the past six months have demonstrated the fragility of the global financial system and raised fundamental questions about the effectiveness of the response by private and public sector institutions. The report assesses the vulnerabilities that the system is facing and offers tentative conclusions and policy lessons. The report reflects information available up to March 21, 2008.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Hungary’s economy has emerged from the 2012 recession and posted 1.1 percent growth in 2013, mainly driven by government investment and consumption, and also net exports. Private demand—although strengthening on the back of accommodative monetary conditions and improved market confidence—remained weak, and credit to the retail and corporate sectors continued to contract, albeit at a slowing pace. Hungary’s medium-term growth prospects remain subdued, as private consumption is still hampered by the ongoing repair of households’ balance sheets; the weak business environment continues to weigh on private investment.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there has been increased public interest in informal funds transfer (IFT) systems. This paper examines the informal hawala system, an IFT system found predominantly in the Middle East and South Asia. The paper examines the historical and socioeconomic context within which the hawala has evolved, the operational features that make it susceptible to potential financial abuse, the fiscal and monetary implications for hawala-remitting and hawala-recipient countries, and current regulatory and supervisory responses.
Written by Margaret Garritsen de Vries, former Historian of the IMF, the book describes the policies and activities the IMF has pursued in helping members achieve balane of payments adjustment. Separate treatment is given to industrial and developing countries, since their balance of payments problems have differed. As examples, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Colombia, and Mexico as discussed.
The phenomenon of substantial peacetime budget deficits over the past20 years has been traced to the burden of entitlements, a slowdown ineconomic productivity, and demographic and macroeconomic shifts in theindustrial countries. Though smaller and structurally different, deficitsin developing countries have also become worrisome. Most economists agreethat measures to reduce government spending are imperative, particularlythrough restructuring entitlement programs.
This paper discusses key findings of the Detailed Assessment Report for Panama on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT). Panama is vulnerable to money laundering (ML) from a number of sources. It has criminalized ML and Financing of Terrorism (TF), but its AML/CFT framework is not fully in line with the FATF Recommendations. Some CFT requirements are included in subsidiary instruments, but these appear to go beyond the AML Law and, therefore, are inconsistent with the legal principles established under the Constitution.
This paper focuses on Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) 2013–2018 for Rwanda. Ownership of the EDPRS by a wide range of stakeholders at national level has been a key factor of success. The EDPRS 2 has integrated inclusiveness and sustainability as driving factors in elaborating the strategy. Community-based solutions, working closely with the population, have made possible fast-track and cost-effective implementation and increased demand for accountability, in education with the 9YBE construction of classrooms, the Crop Intensification Program in agriculture, and community-based health care programs.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that high oil prices and increased production have enabled the government in Kuwait to continue to record high fiscal and external surpluses and build strong buffers. Overall real non-oil GDP growth is projected to increase modestly to 3 percent in 2013, driven by an increase in domestic consumption and pick-up in public investment. A slight reduction in oil production would bring down total real GDP growth below 1 percent. The overall average consumer price inflation is projected at 3 percent in 2013. The economic outlook is expected to improve further in 2014 and over the medium term.
IMF Financial Operations 2015 provides a broad introduction to how the IMF fulfills its mission through its financial activities. It covers the financial structure and operations of the IMF and also provides background detail of the financial statements for the IMF's activities during the most recent financial year. This publication (currently in its second edition) updates a previous report entitled Financial Organization and Operations of the IMF, first published in 1986 and last issued in 2001 (the sixth edition). That 2001 report reflected the seismic shifts in the global economy and in the IMF's structure and operations that occurred after the fall of the Soviet Union and the various currency and financial crises of the 1990s. This revised and updated report covers more recent developments, including measures taken in response to the global financial crisis of 2007-09 and the institutional reforms aimed at ensuring that the IMF's governance structure evolves in line with developments in the global economy, measures to enhance the financial safety net for developing economies, as well as reforms to the IMF's income model.
The Belgian financial system is relatively large, concentrated, and interconnected and has a high level of compliance with the Basel Core Principles (BCPs) for effective banking supervision. The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) deploys high-quality supervisory practices and has clear lines of accountability, transparency, and separate funding when acting in its supervisory capacity. The Belgian authorities have established a Resolution Fund (RF) vesting it with powers to take preventative measures and to facilitate resolution procedures.
The Georgian antimoney laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime has significantly improved since 2007. However, technical deficiencies, poor implementation, and limited resources undermine the effectiveness of the financial intelligence unit (FIU) and AML/CFT supervision. The country has a comprehensive legal framework in place criminalizing both ML and FT as autonomous offenses and no shortcomings have been identified. It has also established a framework to implement the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs).
The modern economy of the Republic of Djibouti is based on rents directly or indirectly originating from the international port of Djibouti and from the country’s strategic position. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper discusses that the growth recorded over the last five years is essentially driven by the increase in foreign direct investment—but especially by the activities of the Port of Djibouti. The informal economy constitutes a major proportion of the economic activities of Djibouti and provides a livelihood for much of the Djibouti population.
Global growth is in low gear, and the drivers of activity are changing. These dynamics raise new policy challenges. Advanced economies are growing again but must continue financial sector repair, pursue fiscal consolidation, and spur job growth. Emerging market economies face the dual challenges of slowing growth and tighter global financial conditions. This issue of the World Economic Outlook examines the potential spillovers from these transitions and the appropriate policy responses. Chapter 3 explores how output comovements are influenced by policy and financial shocks, growth surprises, and other linkages. Chapter 4 assesses why certain emerging market economies were able to avoid the classical boom-and-bust cycle in the face of volatile capital flows during the global financial crisis.
This study examines the challenges and issues facing policymakers in highly dollarized economies. Focusing on Cambodia, which achieved almost complete dollarization during 1991-95, the authors review recent developments in the literature on dollarization and examine the costs and benefits of dollarization in Cambodia, including the ensuing macroeconomic policy implications. They carry out an econometric estimation of cash foreign currency circulation in Cambodia in order to gauge the degree of dollarization. In addition to this analysis, the authors present a short description of Cambodia’s economic, financial, and structural background.
The future of finance, and in particular saving it from a popular backlash against the global financial crisis and related crisis management policies, has become a matter of great concern. In this brochure, which presents in written form a lecture from the Per Jacobsson Foundation s lecture series, former Reserve Bank of India Governor Y. V. Reddy explores three interrelated issues of particular concern to central bankers in the search for good finance for the future: how to ensure that the financial sector serves the society better, how to integrate financial sector policies better with national economic policies, and how to ensure that the financial industry functions as a means and not as an end in itself. The question-and-answer session following the lecture is also included in the brochure.
Belgian financial conglomerates (FCs) remained important players in the Belgian financial sector, despite significant restructuring following the global financial crisis. FCs operated in multiple streams of the financial sector, especially in banking and insurance. Owing to their economic reach and use of regulated and unregulated entities across sectoral boundaries, FCs presented a challenge for sector-specific supervisory oversight. The Executive Board suggested a pragmatic supervisory approach, which needs to be streamlined and applied more uniformly to contain FC-specific risks.
Benin has made significant progress in consolidating macroeconomic stability under the IMF-supported program. Its prudent fiscal policy has kept fiscal deficits at manageable levels and is projected to yield a basic primary surplus in 2012. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggested that the authorities hold current expenditures to provide space for infrastructure spending and meet medium-term fiscal objectives. Benin’s authorities are committed to maintain sound macroeconomic policies, pursue the implementation of critical structural reforms, and take further measure to achieve program objectives.
Although the theoretical relationships are ambiguous, evidence suggestsa strong link between the choice of the exchange rate regime and economicperformance. the paper argues that adopting a pegged exchange rate canlead to lower inflation, but also to slower growth in productivity. Itfinds that on average per capita GDP growth was slightly faster underfloating regimes than under pegged exchange regimes.
The IMF's 2012 Annual Report chronicles the response of the Fund's Executive Board and staff to the global financial crisis and other events during financial year 2012, which covers the period from May 1, 2011, through April 30, 2012. The print version of the Report is available in eight languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish), along with a CD-ROM (available in English only) that includes the Report text and ancillary materials, including the Fund's Financial Statements for FY2012.
Ten years after regaining independence, the Baltic Countries--Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania--are expected to be invited to join the European Union (EU) and NATO in 2004. This paper provides a macroeconomic perspective on the Baltics' remarkable economic success to date and of the fiscal challenges that the Baltics face in joining the EU and NATO. The authors offer guidance in this regard by deriving some principles on the appropriate medium-term fiscal stance for the Baltics based on theory and empirical evidence. They examine the experience of countries that acceded to the EU earlier-Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain-and develop three medium-term analytical frameworks to illustrate the fiscal tensions and trade-offs. Their primary advice supports the Baltic authorities' decision to maintain prudent fiscal policy by balancing their budgets over the economic cycle. Curtailing nonpriority spending may be politically difficult, but the Baltic countries are well placed to meet such challenges, and the benefits-more efficient public spending, enhanced growth prospects, and accelerated real convergence with the EU-make this effort worthwhile.
The striking turnaround in the Netherlands' economic performance over the past decade and a half has attracted widespread attention. Emerging from deep recession and high unemployment in the early 1980s, the economy shifted to a pace of growth more rapid than that in neighboring economies, and posted a rise in employment close to that in the United States. However, a number of important problems remain to be tackled to further strengthen economic performance in the Netherlands. The material presented in this paper was originally prepared as background for discussions in the IMF Executive Board and takes account of developments through March 1999.
For over 10 years, the IMF has supported adjustment and reform programs in many of its low-income members through two facilities established specifically for that purpose - the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and its precursor the Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF). By the end of 1994, 36 countries had availed themselves of these facilities, in support of 68 multi-year programs. This study summarizes the findings of a review of the experience under these programs and of economic developments in the countries that undertook them.
Faced with a steadily worsening economy, the government of the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic took its first steps toward reforming its centrally planned economy in December 1979. The reform process gathered momentum with the introduction of the New Economic Mechanism in 1985, as the authorities began a series of far-reaching policy reforms in virtually all economic areas. This paper provides a much-needed overview of the Lao P.D.R.'s experience with systemic transformation and macroeconomic adjustments in recent years and highlights challenges that the country is likely to face in the coming years.
This paper discusses findings of the Detailed Assessment of Observance on the Insurance Core Principles on Ireland. It highlights that the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) has made significant progress in updating the regulatory regime, and the impending implementation of Solvency II (SII) is expected to address most of the regulatory gaps noted in the assessment. The Central Bank Supervision and Enforcement Act of 2013 has significantly enhanced CBI’s supervision and enforcement powers. CBI’s preparation for SII is well advanced, and a dedicated SII project has been in place since 2010.
This paper discusses key findings of the Detailed Assessment of Observance of the Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision (BCP) on the United States. The U.S. federal banking agencies have improved considerably in effectiveness. These improvements are reflected in the high degree of compliance with BCP in this current assessment. Shortcomings have been observed, particularly in the treatment of concentration risk and large exposures, but they do not raise concerns overall about the authorities’ ability to undertake effective supervision. These shortcomings should, however, be addressed if the United States is to achieve the standards of supervisory effectiveness expected of one of the most systemically important financial systems in the world.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
This paper discusses the main findings of the Detailed Assessment of Observance of the Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems–International Organization of Securities Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures (FMIs) for the European Union. Euroclear Bank’s risk framework is generally sound. Euroclear Bank should become operationally ready to fully implement plans for recovery and the orderly winding-down of operations. In anticipation of the emerging international regulatory standards and frameworks on recovery and resolution of FMIs, Euroclear Bank has developed recovery plans and plans for the orderly winding down of its operations. Important risk measures have been taken to reduce credit risk, but further improvements are needed to comply with the international standards.
A joint production by six international organizations, this manual explores the conceptual and theoretical issues that national statistical offices should consider in the daily compilation of export and import price indices. Intended for use by both developed and developing countries, it replaces guidance from the United Nations that is now more than a quarter-century old and thus badly outdated. The chapters cover many topics; they elaborate on the different practices currently in use, propose alternatives whenever possible, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. Given its comprehensive nature, the manual is expected to satisfy the needs of many users in addition to national statistical offices and international organizations, particularly businesses, policymakers, and researchers.