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Mr. David Robinson, Mr. Paul Cashin, and Ms. Ratna Sahay

Abstract

This book sets out the economic challenges facing the island nations of the Caribbean and presents policy options to ameliorate external shocks and embark firmly on a sustained growth path. While the countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union that are the focus of the book have enjoyed a sustained period of price and exchange rate stability, they have been buffeted in recent years by adverse shocks, including the erosion of trade preferences, declines in official foreign assistance, and frequent natural disasters. Strengthening their growth performance will require design of a multifaceted strategy that integrates the Caribbean with the global economy, facilitates an economic transformation from agriculture to tourism, fosters greater regional cooperation, and preserves macroeconomic stability. This volume examines the critical issues that are part of that process, including fiscal and financial sector policy, management of external flows, trade integration and tourism, macroeconomic cycles and volatility, and the economic implications of natural disasters.

Ms. Zuzana Murgasova

Over the past decade, the Polish economy has generally retained its external competitiveness, and, overall, exports have boomed. But movements in the real exchange rate have not made for a smooth path, and substantial structural changes have left the country with high and persistent unemployment. A recent IMF study took a closer look at Poland’s competitiveness and its implications for policymakers.

International Monetary Fund

The 2008 Article IV Consultation with Dominica discusses external competitiveness and key policy issues. The real effective exchange rate is broadly in line with macroeconomic fundamentals. Fiscal policy is appropriately focused on reducing high public debt. Plans for developing the tourist sector, including improving air access and roads to tourist attractions, are well advanced and should be financed with a view maintaining the sustainability of public debt. The authorities rightly emphasize improving the business climate, strengthening regulation and supervision of the financial sector, and improving disaster preparedness.

International Monetary Fund

This paper examines the staff report for Dominica’s Request for Disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility. Dominica has been hit by a number of natural disasters during July–September 2011. Although the impact on growth may be limited owing to the localized nature of the damage, the disasters will have large fiscal and balance of payment costs as the government undertakes the necessary rehabilitation work, including relocation of people from the affected areas. Medium-term prospects remain subdued owing to lack of clear growth drivers, with potential growth estimated at about 2 percent.