International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses performance and risks posed by government-related entities (GREs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). GREs continue to be a major source of growth and development for the UAE, but they also pose significant fiscal and financial risks. GREs’ debt remains high in the UAE, although it is declining and remains actively managed. To mitigate GREs’ risks, the authorities should build on recent progress and develop an integrated approach, including implementing prudent fiscal policies, enhancing macro- and microprudential frameworks, controlling GREs’ borrowing and integrating them into the public debt management framework, and further strengthening corporate governance and transparency.
This Selected Issues paper discusses initiatives to promote export diversification and growth in Liberia. Liberia’s exports have been very concentrated in the past, but some progress in export diversification has been made in recent years, mostly in the enclave sectors. The government has launched the Liberia Agricultural Transformation Agenda (LATA) to support diversification and transformation. LATA strives to build up the agricultural sector as well as adopt a supportive industrial policy. Improving business climate and external competitiveness could play an important role in increasing export diversification in Liberia. Efficiency could also be increased through better access to markets and technology, cheaper imported inputs, as well as more competition with imports.
This paper examines Côte d’Ivoire’s growth experience and argues that the development of a manufacturing export sector, lower income inequality, and prudent fiscal policy would strengthen the sustainability of growth. This paper aims to draw lessons for Côte d’Ivoire based on experience of other comparable countries that are now emerging market economies. The financial sector could trigger a shock to the economy or reinforce impact on the real sector of nonfinancial shocks. The current economic conditions in Côte d’Ivoire offer a favorable opportunity to resolve the financial status of public entities facing difficulties and for banks to raise their capital buffers to absorb a possible rise of nonperforming loans in event of a growth shock.
This Selected Issues paper aims at identifying some of the main channels of transmission through which political instability feeds and foster fragility and provide an estimate of the “fragility gap” that haunts the Bissau-Guinean society. This paper argued that, until today, due to chronic political instability, Guinea-Bissau has been in a costly fragility trap. This analytical piece argues that the major factor behind Guinea-Bissau’s fragility has been the chronic political instability. It also uncovers some of the main transmission channels from political instability to fragility and provides simple estimates about the cost of instability. Estimates based on reasonable assumptions reveal that, considering only Guinea-Bissau’s post-war period, without chronic political instability real GDP per capita could have been at least two thirds higher than its 2013 level. This assessment shows the crucial importance of the security sector reform. It also shows that the current estimated cost of the security sector reform is modest in comparison, since it puts into perspective its monetary costs—which are easy to calculate and mostly frontloaded—vis-à-vis its wide and deep benefits, which are not as explicit and accrue over time.
This paper discusses the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s First Review under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement. The economy remains vulnerable to external and domestic shocks. Growth decelerated to 4 percent in 2012, reflecting persistent global uncertainties, particularly in Europe, which contributed to a slowdown in foreign direct investment, and in the execution of the foreign-financed public investment program. Commercial banks profitability and capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio declined in 2012, reflecting more challenging lending conditions. The central bank continues to strengthen its banking supervision function through on-site inspections and enforcement of banking regulation.
The size of the U.S. economy and, in particular, the global dominance of its financial markets creates uniquely large policy spillovers. Concerns that the end of QE2 could lead to a rapid reversal of emerging market capital flows appear overblown. A credible plan for a gradual U.S. fiscal consolidation would likely have limited short-term spillovers and substantial longer-term benefits. Overall, U.S. and foreign goals appear better aligned for U.S. fiscal and financial policies than for monetary policies. Fiscal consolidation and sounder financial regulation will help.
The Thai economy has demonstrated its strength in its rapid rebound from the global crisis. But the loss of its former dynamism has slowed trend growth and left it largely dependent on exports. Executive Directors encourage an infrastructure-led growth strategy to make a difference to Thailand’s medium-term outlook. The significant obstacles to this strategy is that large infrastructure projects are particularly complex, with difficulties at the design, contracting, and implementation phases. An infrastructure-led growth strategy would also require budgetary resources and strengthening the medium-term fiscal framework.