International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept.
The Fund is facing strong demand for financing from low-income countries (LICs). Commodity price shocks and loose fiscal policies have contributed to rising debt levels and financing needs in many countries. Several developing states, especially smaller ones, are also increasingly vulnerable to large natural disasters. At the same time, many LICs less dependent on commodity exports have enjoyed robust growth in recent years, with more contained vulnerabilities.
Ms. Corinne C Delechat, Mr. John W Clark JR, Pranav Gupta, Ms. Malangu Kabedi-Mbuyi, Mr. Mesmin Koulet-Vickot, Ms. Carla Macario, Mr. Toomas Orav, Mr. Manuel Rosales Torres, Rene Tapsoba, Dmitry Zhdankin, and Ms. Susan S. Yang
Like other fragile sub-Saharan African countries, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are seeking to harness their natural resource potential in the context of ambitious development strategies. This study investigates options for scaling up public investment and expanding social safety nets in a general equilibrium setting. First, it assesses the macro-fiscal implications of alternative fiscal rules for public investment, and, second, it explicitly accounts for redistribution through direct cash transfers. Results show that a sustainable non-resource deficit target is robust to the high uncertainty of resources output and prices, while delivering growth benefits through higher public investment. The scaling-up magnitudes, however, depend on the size of projected resource revenue and absorptive capacity. Adding a social transfer raises private consumption, suggesting that a fraction of the resource revenue could be used to expand safety nets.
The Fund’s existing facilities for low-income countries (LICs) provide a vehicle for the speedy provision of financial assistance to member countries hit by natural disasters, either through the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) or through augmentation of the funding already being provided through other facilities such as the Standby or Extended Credit Facilities. The quick disbursement of funds strengthens national financial capacity, including external payments capacity, to tackle relief and recovery challenges.
To address catastrophic disasters, the Fund created a mechanism in 2010 to provide additional relief to its poorest and most vulnerable member countries to help meet their exceptional balance of payments needs. Under this mechanism, the Fund can provide grants from a trust fund—the Post Catastrophe Debt Relief (PCDR) trust—that are used to pay off debt service falling due to the Fund. These grants ease pressures on the member’s balance of payments and create financial space by reducing its debt service burden.
This paper proposes reforms to this mechanism to cover situations where the member is experiencing an epidemic of an infectious disease that constitutes a significant threat to lives, economic activity, and international commerce across countries.
Mr. Alan H. Gelb, Mr. Arnaud Dupuy, and Mr. Rabah Arezki
This paper studies the optimal public investment decisions in countries experiencing a resource windfall. To do so, we use an augmented version of the Permanent Income framework with public investment faced with adjustment costs capturing the associated administrative capacity as well as government direct transfers. A key assumption is that those adjustment costs rise with the size of the resource windfall. The main results from the analytical model are threefold. First, a larger resource windfall commands a lower level of public capital but a higher level of redistribution through transfers. Second, weaker administrative capacity lowers the increase in optimal public capital following a resource windfall. Third, higher total factor productivity in the non-resource sector reduces the degree of des-investment in public capital commanded by weaker administrative capacity. We further extend our basic model to allow for "investing in investing" - that is public investment in administrative capacity - by endogenizing the adjustment cost in public investment. Results from the numerical simulations suggest, among other things, that a higher initial stock of public administrative "know how" leads to a higher level of optimal public investment following a resource windfall. Implications for policy are discussed.
Despite the rapid increase in FDI flows to LICs, there have been relatively few studies that have specifically examined these flows. This paper attempts to partially fill the void by throwing light on one particularly dynamic aspect of global FDI-flows from Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs). The paper finds that official data sources undoubtedly underestimate the volume and scope of FDI flows as many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not always register their investment. As a result, while it is difficult to estimate accurately the growth impact of BRIC FDI, there is case study evidence that it is increasingly significant. Second, while initial investment, mostly by state-owned companies, has often been destined for natural resource industries, over time, investment has been spreading to agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries (e.g., telecommunications). Third, FDI from BRICs flows into many non resource-rich countries in LICs and plays a significant role in growth in those countries.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Rising Energy Costs, Liberia to get debt relief, Climate Change, World Economic Outlook, European Economic Outlook, Latin American Economic Outlook, Mideast-Central Asia Economic Outlook, Technical Assistance, Research Conference, Mundell-Flemming Lecture, German fiscal policy, News Briefs.
Countries generally tax the forestry sector to achieve the twin objectives of revenue maximization and sustainability of logging levels. In an ideal world of perfect markets and information, auctions would be the best instrument to determine the price of extraction rights. However, a number of factors-including a lack of information on the forest resources under consideration, uncertainties as to the stability of property rights over time, and a lack of access to credit-have limited the use of auctions so far, particularly in low-income countries. To establish transparency of the forestry sector's financial flows, this paper discusses a radical simplification of Liberia's current timber tax structure, including a proposal to reduce the sector's current tax system to two instruments, an area tax and an export tax.