Ms. Patrizia Tumbarello, Ezequiel Cabezon, and Mr. Yiqun Wu
The small states of the Asia and Pacific region face unique challenges in raising their growth potential and living standards relative to other small states due to their small populations, geographical isolation and dispersion, narrow export and production bases, exposure to shocks, and heavy reliance on aid. Higher fixed government costs, low access to credit by the private sector, and capacity constraints are also key challenges. The econometric analysis confirms that the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) have underperformed relative to their peers over the last 20 years. Although these countries often face more limited policy tools, policies do matter and can further help build resilience and raise potential growth, as evidenced in the recent business cycle. The Asia and Pacific small states should continue rebuilding buffers and improve the composition of public spending in order to foster inclusive growth. Regional solutions should also continue to be pursued.
During the 2012 Review of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) Eligibility, Executive Directors expressed a number of concerns about the eligibility framework. The Board decided to bring forward the next review of eligibility by one year, to early 2013, in light of these concerns. In particular, Directors called for the review to assess:
Possible shortcomings of the gross national income (GNI) per capita criterion in the case of small states, and whether additional or alternative variables should be used to better capture members‘ circumstances, particularly those of small states; as well as further options to enhance the flexibility of the PRGT-eligibility framework to cover small and very small countries;
The application of the short-term vulnerabilities criterion for graduation, which can lead to repeated non-graduation of members that meet either the income or the market access criteria for graduation.
The small states of the Asia and Pacific region face unique challenges in raising their growth potential and living standards. These countries are particularly vulnerable because of their small populations, geographical isolation and dispersion, narrow export and production bases, lack of economies of scale, limited access to international capital markets, exposure to shocks (including climate change), and heavy reliance on aid. In providing public services, they face higher fixed government costs relative to other states because public services must be provided regardless of their small population size. Low access to credit by the private sector is an impediment to inclusive growth. Capacity constraints are another key challenge. The small states also face more limited policy tools. Five out of 13 countries do not have a central bank and the scope for diversifying their economies is narrow. Given their large development needs, fiscal policies have been, at times, pro-cyclical. Within the Asia-Pacific small states group, the micro states are subject to more vulnerability and macroeconomic volatility than the rest of the Asia-Pacific small states.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This statistical appendix paper for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) was prepared as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country, during the period 2004–11. This paper is based on the information available at the time it was completed on December 20, 2012. It is prepared to assist the authorities in fulfilling their obligations under the amended Compact Agreement. It contains numerous tables of basic data, GDP, several indices, and International Investment Position.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is highly dependent on external aid. Following a recession in FY2006–08, the FSM economy has grown by 2–2½ percent for FY2010 and FY2011. The economy remains dependent on the large public sector, although the fisheries and agriculture sectors have shown signs of growth. Despite some deterioration in current account balance, external balance also has sustained a stable flow of official transfers. However, economic growth is likely to slow in the near term owing to a decline in public sector demand.
In March 2009, the Fund established a new Framework Administered Account to administer external financial resources for selected Fund activities (the "SFA Instrument"). The financing of activities under the terms of the SFA Instrument is implemented through the establishment and operation of subaccounts under the SFA. This paper requests Executive Board approval to establish the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC) subaccount (the "Subaccount") under the terms of the SFA Instrument.
This statistical appendix for the Federated States of Micronesia was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with wages. Consumer price index, Pohnpei consumer index, Chuuk consumer index, Kosrae consumer index, and Yap consumer index are also listed. Balance of payments for the years 2004–09 is also given. Interest rates of deposit money banks for 2004–09 are also given. External debt and debt service obligations are also listed.
The staff report for the 2008 Article IV Consultation of the Federated States of Micronesia examines economic developments and policies. Growth could recover modestly in the near term as falling commodity prices boost real incomes and progress is made on spending unused compact infrastructure grants. The authorities have limited tools to address risks from the global slowdown. Given the urgency of fiscal consolidation, expenditures should be streamlined and preparations for the comprehensive tax reform intensified.
This paper looks at the role Sovereign Wealth Funds have played in the Pacific Island Countries in achieving key macro-fiscal policy objectives, namely, protecting the budget from high revenue volatility and strengthening fiscal prospects. Evidence shows that the funds' effectiveness has been hampered by lack of integration with the budget, institutional weaknesses, and inadequate controls. These factors, together with weak asset management, have sometimes led to substantial financial losses and undermined fiscal policy. Funds, if well designed, could be used as a tool to support a sound fiscal framework, but should not be seen as a substitute for fiscal reforms.