Ding Ding, Fabio Di Vittorio, Ana Lariau, and Yue Zhou
Over the last decade China’s investment in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has increased substantially in volume and become more diversified from natural resources to other industries. Using cross-border mergers and acquisitions data, we demonstrate that since mid-2010s China’s overseas investment has tilted toward sectors where China has a comparative advantage in the global markets, a trend similar to that of other major foreign direct investment (FDI) source countries. Moreover, China’s rising overseas investment can be linked to the rebalancing of Chinese economy, and LAC stands to benefit from its complementarity vis-à-vis China in sectors where the rising Chinese overseas investment can be met with LAC’s own investment gaps. The COVID-19 pandemic could have a long-lasting impact on global value chains and FDI flows, which poses both challenges and opportunities to LAC in attracting FDI, including from China, to support the region’s long-run economic development.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper discusses various aspects of goods and service tax (GST) on India’s tax policy. Dual rate structure with a low standard rate and an additional higher rate on select items can be progressive and preserve revenue neutrality, while streamlining exemptions would further contribute to progressivity and reduce compliance and administrative costs. Simplifying the GST is possible without imposing a significantly higher burden on the poor. There are likely significant benefits from lower costs of compliance and administration. The literature on value added tax (VAT) compliance costs shows that there is broad variation across countries; however, there is a consensus that compliance costs are regressive and administrative costs increase with complexity. While evidence on India is nascent and remains to be assessed as experience with the GST is gained, anecdotal evidence from large firms indicates sizable increases in costs, which may be even more burdensome for smaller firms. Streamlined rates would also weaken incentives to lobby for lower rates.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes that although demands for political transformation commanded the world’s attention, those calls were largely motivated by unresolved socioeconomic issues. Demonstrators in the streets of Cairo and Tunis demanding bread, dignity, and social justice expressed widely held aspirations for basic economic rights, along with greater prosperity and equity. Almost seven years later, notable progress has been achieved in terms of public finance reforms. However, these reforms still have a long way to go to reduce disparities in the distribution of wealth within most countries of the region or narrow the development gaps between them. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa now face a stark choice between short-term retrenchment and resolute pursuit of the long-term reforms needed to secure their future economic prosperity. Forsaking important economic adjustments needed to strengthen inclusive growth and modernize the state and private sectors would set the region back, possibly for decades.