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Dinar Prihardini and Ms. Aleksandra Zdzienicka
Small Developing States (SDS) face substantial challenges in achieving sustainable development. Many of these challenges relate to the small size and limited diversification of their economies. SDS are also among the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change and natural disasters. Meeting SDS sustainable development goals goes hand-in-hand with building their climate resilience. But the additional costs to meet development and resilience objectives are substantial and difficult to finance. This work adapts the IMF SDG Costing methodology to capture the unique characteristics and challenges of climate-vulnerable SDS. It also zooms into financing options, estimating domestic tax potential and discussing the possibility of accessing ‘climate funds.’
Hippolyte W. Balima, Deirdre Daly, and Mr. Boileau Loko
Domestic revenue mobilization (DRM) is essential for low-income and emerging economies to sustainably finance their development needs and has received increasing attention in recent years. Studies have centered on structural factors such as the size and the structure of the economy, and the quality of institutions, notably to account for weaknesses in revenue administrations. Nevertheless, DRM can take time and carry political costs. Raising more financing through donors or private investors may be an easier and more politically palatable way for countries to meet spending needs. Using an impact assessment methodology and panel regressions over a sample of 72 developing countries, we found no evidence that access to bond markets or external commercial loans undermines the countries’ efforts to collect tax revenue. On the contrary, we found that access to markets has a positive impact on domestic revenue mobilization. Plausible explanations are that private financing must be repaid, and strong macroeconomic fundamentals are key for maintaining market access. We have also found that macroeconomic stability and the strength of institutions do matter for domestic revenue mobilization.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
The level of public investment in Belize has varied over the past years in the context of existing constraints. The sharp increase in public debt has limited available fiscal space.1 This has resulted in an increase in externally financed investments as a share of the capital budget and a growing interest in public private partnerships (PPPs) to help achieve the government of Belize’s national strategy objectives.2 However, the correlation between Belize’s public investment and GDP growth remains weak, and the public capital stock as a ratio to GDP shows a sharp deterioration, possibly pointing to investment inefficiencies.
Abdullah Al-Hassan, Mary E. Burfisher, Mr. Julian T Chow, Ding Ding, Fabio Di Vittorio, Dmitriy Kovtun, Arnold McIntyre, Ms. Inci Ötker, Marika Santoro, Lulu Shui, and Karim Youssef
Deeper economic integration within the Caribbean has been a regional policy priority since the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the decision to create the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). Implementation of integration initiatives has, however, been slow, despite the stated commitment of political leaders. The “implementation deficit” has led to skepticism about completing the CSME and controversy regarding its benefits. This paper analyzes how Caribbean integration has evolved, discusses the obstacles to progress, and explores the potential benefits from greater integration. It argues that further economic integration through liberalization of trade and labor mobility can generate significant macroeconomic benefits, but slow progress in completing the institutional arrangements has hindered implementation of the essential components of the CSME and progress in economic integration. Advancing institutional integration through harmonization and rationalization of key institutions and processes can reduce the fixed costs of institutions, providing the needed scale and boost to regional integration. Greater cooperation in several functional policy areas where the region is facing common challenges can also provide low-hanging fruit, creating momentum toward full integration as the Community continues to address the obstacles to full economic integration.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Belize focused on structural reforms to raise growth and social inclusion; strengthening resilience to natural disasters; balanced medium-term fiscal consolidation; tax reform; and strengthening financial oversight and anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism actions. Public debt remains above 90 percent of gross domestic product, the current account deficit is projected to remain large over the medium term, and international reserves are just below three months of imports of goods and services. The pace of structural reform has been slow. Downside risks, including from slower US growth, natural disasters, crime, and renewed pressures on correspondent banking relationships could weaken growth and financial stability. Belize is adapting its tax regime in response to concerns from multilateral institutions regarding potentially harmful features. Sustaining Belize’s recent economic expansion, spurring private investment, and facilitating structural diversification hinges on strengthening the business environment.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper provides an overview of Belize’s tourism sector and main achievements and discusses the country’s comparative advantages and bottlenecks in tourism. It also analyzes the impact of structural and institutional reforms on tourist arrivals. The outturns in tourism have significantly exceeded targets set in the authorities’ National Sustainable Tourism Masterplan (NSTMP). The implementation of the NSTMP reforms has supported the tourism sector’s expansion. In order to guide the development of the tourism sector, the NSTMP 2011 proposes reforms and targets to propel Belize into an internationally recognized tourist destination by 2030. The emergence of the shared economy business model has also brought new challenges, in addition to opportunities. The benefits of the peer-to-peer accommodation available to customers on digital platforms include the expansion of tourism product, service, and sector offerings; improved access to market; and opportunities for income generation. It is imperative that reforms in the near term should focus on addressing the impact of recurring natural hazards, infrastructure bottlenecks, fortifying the institutional and governance framework, reducing crime, and mitigating concerns relating to the shared economy.
Mr. Jochen R. Andritzky and Julian Schumacher
Sovereign debt restructurings are perceived as inflicting large losses to bondholders. However, many bonds feature high coupons and often exhibit strong post-crisis recoveries. To account for these aspects, we analyze the long-term returns of sovereign bonds during 32 crises since 1998, taking into account losses from bond exchanges as well as profits before and after such events. We show that the average excess return over risk-free rates in crises with debt restructuring is not significantly lower than the return on bonds in crises without restructuring. Returns differ considerably depending on the investment strategy: Investors who sell during crises fare much worse than buy-and-hold investors or investors entering the market upon signs of distress
Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Marcos d Chamon, Aitor Erce, and Akira Sasahara
Sovereign debt restructurings are associated with declines in GDP, investment, bank credit, and capital flows. The transmission channels and associated output and banking sector costs depend on whether the restructuring takes place preemptively, without missing payments to creditors, or whether it takes place after a default has occurred. Post-default restructurings are associated with larger declines in bank credit, an increase in lending interest rates, and a higher likelihood of triggering a banking crisis than pre-emptive restructurings. Our local projection estimates show large declines in GDP, investment, and credit amplified by severe sudden stops and transmitted through a “capital inflow-credit channel”.