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

Abstract

How involved is the IMF in the Pacific?

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

Abstract

Average growth in the small states in the Asia and Pacific region remained weak (1 percent) in 2013 and underperformed that in other small states—2 percent. However, activity within the Asia-Pacific small states was uneven, with commodity exporters growing at the rate of 3 percent which, while robust, was lower than past rates (Figure 1). Economic performance in the microstates (i.e., countries with a population below 200,000—Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu) lagged behind with growth estimated at less than 1 percent. Inflation has remained broadly in check. These countries remain highly vulnerable to natural disasters as shown by the recent cyclones in Tonga and Vanuatu, and severe floods in Solomon Islands.

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

Abstract

Fishing license fees are a major source of revenue in several Pacific island countries (Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Tuvalu). In 2013 the fee earnings ranged from 15 percent of total revenues in the Marshall Islands to 65 percent in Kiribati. Despite the large fishery-derived wealth, PICs still have enormous untapped marine resources and further efforts are under way to properly leverage and manage them. First, the ratio of the income PICs receive by selling fishing rights to foreign companies to the value of the fish catch is very low. Second, an improperly designed access right scheme could lead to the overexploitation of marine resources. This would mean a decline in the fish supply (mainly tuna) and, eventually, a depletion of fish stocks, which would undermine fiscal sustainability. Finally, the intrinsic volatility of revenue from fishing license fees poses a challenge for fiscal policy.2

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

Abstract

Context: The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is going through a period of output fluctuations. The economy expanded in FY2012 by 3.2 percent, supported by export growth, but in FY2013 is estimated to have slowed to 0.8 percent due to the postponement of infrastructure projects. A fiscal deficit of 0.8 percent of GDP was recorded in FY2012 and another deficit of similar magnitude is estimated for FY2013.

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. Asia and Pacific Dept

This is the first Article IV Consultation since Nauru became the 189th Fund member in April 2016. Nauru's growth and government revenue have improved substantially in recent years owing to the Australian Regional Processing Center (RPC) to process asylum seekers, fishing license fees, and residual phosphate mining. However, Nauru faces daunting challenges in sustaining growth and ensuring fiscal sustainability due to its limited sources of growth and income. The country is also vulnerable to climate change, its antiquated infrastructure hampers trade and growth, and its health indicators are below those of peers due to high incidence of non-communicable diseases.

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.
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.