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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes energy price reform in Kuwait. It emphasizes that Kuwait should take advantage of current low global energy prices to strengthen efforts to reform domestic energy prices. In the longer term, this would benefit growth by increasing efficiency in the economy and creating space for higher public and private investment. In the short-term, one-off effects on inflation should be manageable. Productive activities more sensitive to energy costs, particularly the transport sector, would be able to adjust to higher energy prices more easily if the reform is gradual.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

At a time when job creation tops the policy agenda globally, this issue of the Fiscal Monitor explores if and how fiscal policy can do more for jobs. It finds that while fiscal policy cannot substitute for comprehensive reforms, it can support job creation in a number of ways. First, deficit reduction can be designed and timed to minimize negative effects on employment. Second, fiscal policy can facilitate structural reforms in the labor market by offsetting their potential short term costs. And third, targeted fiscal measures, including labor tax cuts, can help tackle challenges in specific segments of the labor market, such as youth and older workers.

Samya Beidas-Strom, Mr. Tobias N. Rasmussen, and Mr. David Robinson
Departmental papers are usually focused on a specific economic topic, country, or region. They are prepared in a timely way to support the outreach needs of the IMF’s area and functional departments.
International Monetary Fund

The 2005 Article IV Consultation for the United Arab Emirates reports that the prices in real estate and stock markets, have soared aided by stronger economic fundamentals and investor optimism. An outward-oriented development strategy and prudent financial policies have resulted in impressive economic growth over the years. Economic diversification has advanced rapidly, underpinned by an increasing role of the private sector. There is a need for full rationalization and consolidation of the regulatory oversight related to the capital markets and nonfinancial bank intermediaries.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper on the United Arab Emirates highlights the achievements in the diversification of the economy and the developments and outlook of the hydrocarbon sector. The political structure of the Federation gives a great deal of independence to the individual Emirates in pursuing an economic strategy based on their respective comparative advantages. Openness to trade, trade facilitation, and a favorable business environment have enhanced non-oil diversification by stimulating trade and trade-related services.

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
This paper reviews Guyana’s progress under the Enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). The staff of the IMF and IDA considers that Guyana’s performance with respect to the conditions for reaching the completion point under the enhanced HIPC Initiative has been satisfactory. The authorities were able to establish a track record of satisfactory policy implementation under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)-supported program, evidenced by the completion of the first program review in early September and good progress toward meeting the conditions of the second review due in February 2004.
Mr. Ugo Fasano-Filho and Rishi Goyal
Unemployment pressures among nationals are emerging in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). 2 At a time when a rapidly growing number of young nationals are entering the labor force and governments are no longer able to act as employers of first and last resort, the non-oil sector continues to rely on expatriate labor to meet its labor requirements in most GCC countries. In this environment, policymakers face the related challenges of addressing unemployment pressures while striking a balance between maintaining a liberal foreign labor policy and a reasonable level of competitiveness of the non-oil sector. Using a matching function framework, this paper examines labor market policies that are likely to expand the ability to hire nationals in the non-oil sector. It finds that an effective labor strategy should focus on strengthening investment in human capital, adopting institutional reforms, and promoting a vibrant non-oil economy.
International Monetary Fund
The statistical data on gross domestic product, cost structure of vanilla exports, production of meat, fish, and dairy products, consumer price index, and consolidated government financial operations of Comoros have been presented in this paper. The wage bill developments, consolidated net statement of public enterprises, monetary survey, summary statement of the central bank, volume and value of principal exports, geographical distribution of trade, external debt payments, arrears by creditors, and related economic indices have been included in the statistical data.
Mr. Zubair Iqbal and Mr. Ugo Fasano-Filho

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of the unprecedented economic and social transformation witnessed by the member countries of the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)-Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates-over the last three decades.