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

Abstract

This issue of the Asia & Pacific Small States Monitor focuses on the challenges facing Asia and Pacific small states associated with natural disasters and climate change. Most tourism-oriented economies experienced a robust increase in arrivals, partly reflecting country-specific factors. Among commodity exporters (Bhutan, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste) and other Asia and Pacific small states, growth remains uneven: robust activity in Bhutan was driven mainly by hydropower-related construction activities; Solomon Islands experienced a continuing decline of logging stocks and a short-term disruption of gold production; and Timor-Leste’s ongoing depletion of oil reserves has led to a tighter budget constraint and lower government spending in the non-oil sector.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

(www.imf.org)

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

After several years of slow or negative growth, economic activity has picked up in the Republic of Palau, while inflation has remained low, according to the IMF’s latest economic review. Real GDP, driven by higher visitor arrivals and externally funded government projects, grew by 5 percent in FY2004 and 5½ percent in FY2005. Palau, a small island economy in the Pacific, relies heavily on tourism and on external assistance from its 50-year Compact of Free Association with the United States and grants from Japan and Taiwan Province of China to finance budget expenditure and infrastructure projects.

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

Abstract

Context: Bhutan is a small, until recently fast-growing, lower middle-income country with deep economic ties to India and a peg to the Indian rupee. Growth in Bhutan was robust during the last Five-Year Plan (2008/09 to 2012/13), driven by the development of the hydropower sector (exporting electricity to India) and a credit-fueled private consumption boom.

Mr. Adriaan M. Bloem and Cor Gorter

On February 16-20, the IMF’s Statistics Department hosted the first in a series of meetings to discuss updates to the System of National Accounts 1993. The manual sets standards for the measurement of GDP and serves as a reference guide for most economic and financial statistics. Impetus to update it stems from changes in the economic environment over the past decade, advancements in methodological research, and efforts to further harmonize various macroeconomic statistics.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

We, the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors, have today adopted an integrated Action Plan to increase predictability and reduce uncertainty about official policy actions in the emerging markets. The Action Plan is part of an overall endeavor whereby the sovereign debt of all countries would ultimately be investment grade, a rating that every country could eventually achieve with the right policies. The Action Plan would help prevent financial crises and better resolve them when they occur, thereby creating the conditions for sustained growth of private investment in emerging markets and helping raise living standards of the people in emerging market countries. We pledge to work together to carry out this Action Plan. The plan comprises the following elements that are complementary and reinforce each other.

International Monetary Fund

This 2001 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Republic of Palau faces a number of development challenges. Substantial improvements in human and physical infrastructure are needed to sustain higher growth rates. About 80 percent of the land area is on the Babeldaob Island, which is virtually inaccessible now, but it is expected to develop rapidly after the completion of a Japan-funded bridge in 2002 and a United States-funded island access road in 2004. Asset balances have been declining as a result of drawdowns to finance fiscal deficits, as well as recent investment losses.