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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Although Timor-Leste has made considerable progress in many areas since its independence in 2002, it faces significant medium-term challenges. The nation has pressing development needs, young institutions, and is highly dependent on oil. Oil revenues from active fields, which have been the main source of funding for government spending, are drying up. The non-oil private sector economy remains underdeveloped and lack of good jobs and high youth unemployment are serious concerns.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Samoa has shown resilience to past economic shocks, underpinned by the authorities’ strong commitment to support the economy and financial assistance provided by the international community. Samoa was among the first countries in the world to secure its border to protect its citizens from COVID-19. The authorities’ quick response to the measles outbreak and the global pandemic has identified the policy priorities well. The international community also responded swiftly, including the IMF disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) in April 2020 which helped unlock record budget support grants by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB). The authorities strengthened the health care system and provided support to the private sector, with assistance targeted to vulnerable businesses and households to safeguard livelihoods.
Mr. Thomas J Sargent, Mr. George Hall, Mr. Martin Ellison, Mr. Andrew Scott, Mr. Harold James, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mark De Broeck, Mr. Nicolas End, Ms. Marina Marinkov, and Vitor Gaspar

Abstract

World War I created a set of forces that affected the political arrangements and economies of all the countries involved. This period in global economic history between World War I and II offers rich material for studying international monetary and sovereign debt policies. Debt and Entanglements between the Wars focuses on the experiences of the United States, United Kingdom, four countries in the British Commonwealth (Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Newfoundland), France, Italy, Germany, and Japan, offering unique insights into how political and economic interests influenced alliances, defaults, and the unwinding of debts. The narratives presented show how the absence of effective international collaboration and resolution mechanisms inflicted damage on the global economy, with disastrous consequences.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Four years after Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu causing extensive damages, reconstruction is near completion with full recovery in sight. The authorities are now focused on implementing their broader development plans that were slowed by the rebuilding process, which will require fiscal discipline and reforms to maintain debt sustainability. The authorities should continue their constructive engagement with development partners for technical assistance, capacity development, and concessional and grant-based funding. In parallel continuing to reform and strengthen the governance of institutions and removing vulnerabilities to corruption will be important.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.

Abstract

The External Debt Statistics: Guide for Compilers and Users (EDS Guide) contains updated global standards for the compilation, reporting, and analytical use of external debt statistics. The 2013 EDS Guide was prepared under the responsibility of the nine organizations in the Inter-Agency Task Force on Finance Statistics, in close consultation with national compilers of external debt, balance of payments, and international investment position statistics, and reflects the significant developments in international finance since the issuance of the 2003 EDS Guide. The new edition provides guidance on the concepts, definitions, and classifications of external debt data; the sources and techniques for compiling these data; and the analytical uses of these data.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic expansion in New Zealand is becoming increasingly embedded and broad based, with growth exceeding 3 percent in the second half of 2013. The drivers include supportive financial conditions, record high export commodity prices, resurgent construction activity related to the Canterbury post-earthquake rebuild and general housing shortages, and a substantial increase in net immigration. Growth is expected to increase to about 3½ percent in 2014 and moderate to a trend rate of 2½ percent over the medium term. Strong construction activity is expected to remain an important driver for near-term growth.
Mr. Phakawa Jeasakul, Cheng Hoon Lim, and Mr. Erik J. Lundback
Asia proved to be remarkably resilient in the face of the global financial crisis, but why was its output performance stronger than that of other regions? The paper shows that better initial conditions—in the form of lower external and financial vulnerabilities—contributed significantly to Asia’s resilience. Key pre-crisis factors included moderate credit expansion, reliance on deposit funding, enhanced bank asset quality, reduced external financing, and improved current accounts. These improvements reflected the lessons from the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s, which helped reshape both public policies and private sector behavior. For example, several countries stepped up their use of macroprudential policies, well before they were recognized as an essential component of the financial stability toolkit. They also overhauled financial regulations and strengthened oversight of financial institutions, which helped reduce risk-taking by households and firms before the global financial crisis. Looking ahead, Asia is in the process of adjusting to more volatile external conditions and higher risk premiums. By drawing the right lessons from its pre-crisis experiences, Asia’s economies will be better equipped to address new risks associated with increased cross-border capital flows and greater integration with the rest of the world.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2013 Article IV consultation highlights Australia’s below-trend GDP growth and the beginning of the decline of the investment phase of the mining boom, which has passed its peak. A key issue now is how Australia can manage the mining-production/export phase and encourage broader-based growth. The main external risks include a slowdown in China over the medium term and surges in global financial market volatility. The pickup in housing market activity, though welcome to date, could pose a future risk if prices accelerate and lead to overshooting. The financial sector is resilient and has strengthened in recent years, although banks’ reliance on offshore funding will continue. The emphasis on tight lending standards and intensive supervision should help limit financial sector risks.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
GDP growth is likely to remain strong, although narrowly driven by a mining investment boom, increasing the economy’s vulnerability to terms of trade shocks. Outside the mining sector, growth is expected to be slow with still weak consumer confidence and a strong exchange rate weighing on business investment. The main risks are external, and include an intensification of the euro crisis and a sharper-than-expected slowdown in China.