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Vybhavi Balasundharam, Ms. Leni Hunter, Iulai Lavea, and Mr. Paul G Seeds
Pacific island countries (PICs) rely on national airlines for connectivity, trade, and tourism. These airlines are being struck hard by COVID-19. Losses will weigh on public sector balance sheets and pose risks to economic recovery. With a backdrop of tight fiscal space and increasing government debt, losses in airlines are adding to fiscal risks in some PICs. This paper discusses tools to evaluate and manage the fiscal risks from national airlines in the Pacific. We present a snapshot of the current state of Public Financial Management (PFM) practices in PICs and detail the best practices. This exercise would illustrate the areas in which PICs have scope to improve their risk management with regard to national airlines. We then discuss the use of diagnostic tools and capacity development to enhance monitoring and risk management. Greater transparency and accountability in the airlines, combined with rigorous oversight, would be the first step towards improved financial management of national airlines.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Republic of Nauru highlights that it remains vulnerable to climate change and has a narrow economic base and limited capacity. Development challenges are increased by unavailability of land and high incidence of noncommunicable diseases. Growth was stronger than expected in FY2018 but slowed in FY2019. The outlook is subdued, with growth expected to reach 2 percent in the medium term. Revenues are projected to decline, necessitating a fiscal adjustment. Risks are skewed to the downside and include the scaling down of Regional Processing Centre activity and revenues, volatile fishing revenues, climate change, and delays in fiscal and structural reforms. Fiscal adjustment is required to avoid a breach of the fiscal anchor, contain debt, and maintain the Trust Fund contributions. New sources of economic growth and income are needed to support Nauru’s development agenda. Policies should be implemented in the near term to support private sector activity, including through financial sector development, state-owned enterprises reform, and land rehabilitation. The effectiveness of education and health spending needs to be improved to meet development goals.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The year was marked by difficult challenges and milestone achievements. To reinvigorate modest growth at a time of uncertainty about a complicated global economy, the IMF membership endorsed a three-pronged approach of monetary, fiscal, and structural policies to get the world economy back on a stronger and safer growth track. Highlights of the IMF’s work during the year included entry into effect of its quota and governance reforms approved in 2010, which increase the Fund’s core resources and make it more representative of the membership; commitments for increased financial support, policy advice, expertise, and training to help low-income developing countries achieve the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals; analysis of the international monetary system; inclusion of the Chinese currency in the basket of currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right; and policy advice on the economic repercussions of mass migration of refugees from Syria and other conflict-afflicted states. The IMF Annual Report, which covers the period May 1, 2015 to April 30, 2016, discusses all of these issues, plus a wide range of policy matters that the Executive Board addressed during the year.

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Mr. Xuefei Bai, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

The work on the small states is an important component of the IMF’s global policy agenda. Among the 36 member countries covered by the IMF Asia and Pacific Department (APD), 13 countries are developing small states—most of which are Pacific islands. As part of APD’s ongoing effort to increase its engagement with regional small states and their development partners and enhance information sharing within the IMF, this issue marks the launch of the APD Small States Monitor, a quarterly bulletin featuring the latest economic developments, country notes from the most recent Article IV staff reports, special topics, past and upcoming events, and forthcoming IMF research on small states. In future issues, we will also host contributions from the authorities of small states and their development partners on key policy topics. Our goal is to exchange knowledge and deepen our understanding of the policy challenges these economies face to better tailor our policy advice.

International Monetary Fund
This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of the Marshall Islands is on a path to recovery. A gradual expansion with growth reaching 0.5 percent in 2010 is supported by further growth in the fish processing industry and additional foreign grant assistance. Rising prices could stoke inflation and stifle domestic demand. Executive Directors have encouraged the authorities to continue to strengthen the statistical base, especially the coverage and timeliness of fiscal and balance of payments data, in order to improve policy analysis and decision-making.