This chapter evaluates whether a monetary union makes economic sense and discusses the institutional requirements for a successful Monetary Union in West Africa (ECOWAS). The chapter considers how best the political momentum for a union can be channeled toward a fundamental improvement in underlying policies. The paper also reviews the economic situation of the ECOWAS members, with the objective of evaluating the ease with which they can proceed to a common currency. Regional integration resulting in greater trade among ECOWAS countries may help increase efficiency of production. Trade among developing countries, in general, is likely to have fewer efficiency benefits than trade with developed countries, however, because the possibilities of exploiting complementarities are less. The foregoing considerations suggest that the momentum in favor of monetary union should be channelled into the crucial first phase of enhanced mutual surveillance and emphasis on each country improving its macroeconomic and structural policies. Success in this endeavor would in and of itself help to increase exchange rate stability.
This study, another in the series focusing on special issues in transition, reviews the experience of output decline and recovery in the 25 countries of eastern and central Europe and the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Although these countries began the process of economic transformation with similar circumstances of output decline, the extent of decline, its duration, and the sustainability of recovery in growth varied considerably. The authors explore the factors behind this variation and find that the most important policies promoting early and sustained recovery were ones that supported financial stabilization and structural reforms in key areas such as private sector development, the tax system, economic liberalization, and secure property rights.
Mr. R. B. Johnston, Mrs. Piroska M Nagy, Mr. Roy Pepper, Mr. Mauro Mecagni, Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Mario I. Bléjer, and Mr. Richard J Hides
This study reviews Albania's historical and political background, as well as economic developments in 1991. It describes the centrally planned economic system up to the onset of reform and analyzes economic performance in the 1980s.
This paper discusses reviews major issues and developments in the trade area and outlines the problems in the multilateral trading system that governments face as they seek to liberalize trade in the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations. The paper’s emphasis is on policy developments in the major trading nations as they relate to trade in both industrial and agricultural products. The survey also includes a review of trade policies in developing countries and refers to available quantitative evidence on protectionism wherever possible. The increased use of nontariff measures reflects, in part, the fact that most industrial countries have “bound” a considerable proportion of their tariffs, particularly on industrial products, at relatively low levels. Restrictions are particularly widespread in industries suffering from excess capacity (such as steel) and where comparative advantage has generally shifted to developing countries. The lack of major liberalization in agriculture in the US–Canada Free Trade Agreement has led some industrial countries to suggest that the US interest in multilateral negotiations is now primarily in agriculture and in some selected new areas, such as telecommunications, banking, and patent protection.
This chapter discusses principles and consequences of the common agricultural policy (CAP) of the European Community (EC). It shows that agricultural pricing policies aimed at supporting farm incomes were already in place in EC member countries before the inception of the CAP; indeed, in the presence of these policies, the CAP was a logical consequence of the extension of the common market to the agricultural sector. Thus, the flaws of the CAP can be traced back to national policies and attitudes toward agriculture. Recognition of the burden of agricultural support on the rest of the economy, as well as the growing budgetary costs, has elicited a greater public interest in the CAP. Equally, the trade frictions caused by export subsidies have underlined the CAP's international implications. For these reasons, the member states appear more determined than hitherto to bring agricultural expenditure under control. Given the wider effects of the CAP both on EC economies and the international community, it is to be hoped that current efforts at reform will be successful.
This paper deals with trade policy issues of particular interest to the Fund. It is motivated both by the revival of protectionist attitudes in the industrial countries and the prevalence of liberalization proposals for developing countries. In veiw of Fund concerns with the functioning of the International monetary system and with the individual countries' macroeconomic policy, and especially exchange rate issues, relate to protection.
Ms. Naheed Kirmani, Mr. Shailendra J. Anjaria, and Mr. Arne B. Petersen
This paper discusses the salient features of recent developments and outlines the prospects for trade policy by highlighting the main issues that will determine the scope and timing of liberalization under a possible new General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) round of multilateral trade negotiations. As the more advanced developing countries acquire the skills and investments to diversify exports toward more sophisticated manufactured products, restrictions against them tend to multiply. These not only impede the export prospects of the developing countries directly affected, but also slow specialization and diversification, thus severely affecting the smaller developing country exporters. Across-the-board protectionist measures have been avoided in the industrial countries because it is widely acknowledged that trade restrictions and protectionism are inappropriate responses to exchange rate developments. Exchange rate movements reflect financial flows as well as trade flows, and the importance of exchange rates that correspond to underlying economic fundamentals is unquestioned.
Mr. Vito Tanzi, M. Zühtü Yücelik, Mr. Peter S. Griffith, and Mr. Carlos A. Aguirre
This study indentifies some of the taxation problems most frequently encountered by Fund member countries in sub-Saharan Africa and seeks solutions that may be useful to either the region as a whole or to groups of countries in the region.
The European Communities (EC) were established by the Treaty of Paris (1951) and the Treaties of Rome (1957).1 The original six EC members2 were later joined by the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark in 1973, Greece in 1981, and Spain and Portugal in 1986. Excluding intra-area trade, the EC now accounts for almost one fifth of world exports and nearly as much of world imports. Its weight in world trade is thus somewhat less than that of the United States and Japan taken together (Table 9).
Ministers, meeting on the occasion of the Special Session of CONTRACTING PARTIES at Punta del Este, have decided to launch Multilateral Trade Negotiations (The Uruguay Round). To this end, they have adopted the following Declaration. The multilateral trade negotiations (MTN) will be open to the participation of countries as indicated in Parts I and II of this Declaration. A Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) is established to carry out the negotiations. The Trade Negotiations Committee shall hold its first meeting not later than 31 October 1986. It shall meet as appropriate at Ministerial level. The Multilateral Trade Negotiations will be concluded within four years.