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Yong Sarah Zhou, Tao Sun, Anca Paduraru, Arvinder Bharath, Stephanie Forte, Kathleen Kao, Yinqiu Lu, Maria Fernanda Chacon Rey, Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon, Chia Yi Tan, and Bo Zhao
The departmental paper, "Rise of Digital Money: Implications for Pacific Island Countries," delves into the fast-evolving landscape of digital money in a diverse region of extremes in size, remoteness and dispersion, highlighting its significant macroeconomic and financial consequences. It provides an overview of the development of digital money and payment systems in Pacific Island Countries (PICs), assessing potential benefits and risks, with a focus on how they can harness digital technology to enhance financial inclusion and payment efficiency while minimizing risks. To this end, the paper also examines the prerequisites for successfully adopting various forms of digital money and proposes a strategic framework for policy decisions. The paper underscores the potential of digital money in advancing public policy goals, like financial inclusion and improved cross-border connectivity – given the specific characteristics of the region – while cautioning against the risks of rapid and inadequately regulated adoption. Accordingly, it advocates a gradual, well-informed approach, tailored to PICs' unique monetary and financial circumstances, including the presence of national currencies and the maturity of payment systems. Moreover, the paper suggests that a regional approach could help address capacity and scalability challenges in introducing new digital money forms and payment methods in PICs.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

IMF Country Report No. 23/238

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The 2023 Article IV Consultation discusses that Fiji’s economy rebounded strongly in 2022, as tourism recovered rapidly. With the rapid rebound in tourism, the economy is experiencing a strong recovery. Nevertheless, significant risks to growth remain both on the demand side—due to the global outlook—and on the supply side—due to capacity constraints and price competitiveness. The recovery and ongoing broad consultations make the upcoming budget a critical opportunity to begin rebuilding Fiji’s fiscal space and reducing vulnerability. Monetary policy needs to begin shifting now to a more neutral stance, amidst growing uncertainty to the outlook for inflation and foreign reserves. Addressing the implementation challenges of Fiji’s climate plans will require increased efforts and financing. Advancing climate adaptation plans will help Fiji transition to a more sustainable and resilient growth model. Accelerating investments on renewable energy will help Fiji diversify its energy sources and reduce external imbalances. However, Fiji’s climate adaptation and mitigation plans face significant challenges, including shortfalls in climate financing, implementation capacity, and investment management.