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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept


Asia has been hard hit by the global financial crisis. Despite strong fundamentals, its pervasive linkages to the rest of the world have exposed it to the collapse of demand and credit in advanced countries. Exports and industrial production have fallen sharply, capital has started to flow out of the region, and leading indicators suggest further weakness ahead. Against this background, the May 2009 APD REO will discuss the latest developments in Asia, examine the prospects for the period ahead, and consider the policy steps needed to revive economic activity and restore corporate and financial sector health.

International Monetary Fund
A range of indicators point to a competitiveness gap of 10–20 percent with respect to euro area competitors. Closing the competitiveness gap will require an extended adjustment period, even with a jump in total factor productivity (TFP) growth and strong wage moderation. This paper reviews several factors that could help explain the boom and bust behavior of corporate investment. Investor sentiment will recover with the deepening of structural reforms, but high corporate debt level is likely to slow the pace of investment growth in the near future.
Sarosh Sattar and Mr. Clinton R. Shiells


The CIS-7 Initiative was launched in 2002 and endorsed by ministers from the CIS-7 and donor countries, with the objective of promoting poverty reduction, economic growth, and debt sustainability among the seven poorest countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). This volume draws from the follow-up conference held in Lucerne, Switzerland, in January 2003. The objective of this conference was to achieve an understanding of the development agenda in the seven countries and the key policy measures to be taken by the governments and donors to improve future prospects for the countries’ populations.

Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Mr. Mark R. Stone
This paper reviews macroeconomic developments during the first year of the crisis in east Asia and draws some preliminary policy lessons. The crisis is rooted in the interaction of large capital inflows and weak private and public sector governance. At the same time, macroeconomic adjustment in these countries has resulted in some surprising outcomes, including severe economic contractions, low inflation, and rapid external adjustment. The lessons for crisis resolution include the importance of tight monetary policy early on for exchange rate stabilization, flexible fiscal policy, and comprehensive structural reform. Crises are avoided by prudent macroeconomic policies, diligent bank supervision, transparent data dissemination, strong governance, and forward-looking policymaking, even in good times.