Ms. Manuela Goretti, Mr. Lamin Y Leigh, Aleksandra Babii, Mr. Serhan Cevik, Stella Kaendera, Mr. Dirk V Muir, Sanaa Nadeem, and Mr. Gonzalo Salinas
This departmental paper analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, and Caribbean countries. Many tourism dependent economies in these regions, including small states in the Pacific and the Caribbean, entered the pandemic with limited fiscal space, inadequate external buffers, and foreign exchange revenues extremely concentrated in tourism. The empirical analysis leverages on an augmented gravity model to draw lessons from past epidemics and finds that the impact of infectious diseases on tourism flows is much greater in developing countries than in advanced economies.
A technical assistance (TA) mission was conducted by IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa (AFS)1 during June 8–12, 2020 to assist Statistics Botswana (SB) in improving the quality of the national accounts statistics. The mission was conducted remotely respecting the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak. Reliable national accounts are essential for informed economic policymaking by the authorities. It also provides the private sector, foreign investors, rating agencies, donors and the public in general with important inputs in their decision-making, while informing economic analysis and IMF surveillance. Rebasing the national accounts is recommended every five years. Rebasing requires comprehensive surveys and ideally, supply and use tables (SUT) to support coherence checking of data.
This paper discusses the United Republic of Tanzania’s Request for Debt Relief Under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. IMF debt service relief will help free up resources for public sector health needs and other emergency spending, as well as mitigate the balance of payments shock resulting from the pandemic. Given the risks ahead, it would be important to ensure close cooperation with multilateral organizations and donors and ensure enough budget allocations on health and other priority spending. The authorities are committed to using the additional resources for their intended purposes and in a transparent manner, including through ex-post audits of corona virus-related spending. To deal with the remaining risks, it will be important to safeguard appropriate funding for health and other priority social spending in the FY2020/21 budget, as well as ensure close cooperation with the World Health Organization, multilateral agencies, and donors. The focus includes addressing arrears on value-added tax refunds and government expenditures, enhancing human capital and the business environment, and improving the affordability of bank credit.
The progress made by Moldova toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has not been uniform since 2007. Domestic economic and political crises are likely to undermine the achievement of several MDG targets set for 2010 and 2015. The goals were to reduce extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal access to general secondary education, promote gender equality and empower woman, and so on. After growing dramatically in 1998–1999, poverty in Moldova began to decline in 2000. Addressing the environmental challenges and risks is imperative for Moldova.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s (PDR) economy has performed well in recent years, owing to generally stable macroeconomic conditions and a rapidly expanding natural resource sector. Real GDP growth has averaged more than 7 percent since 2004. Growth is projected to reach 7½ percent in 2008, driven by similar factors as last year, as well as higher mining output. The medium-term outlook for Lao PDR remains positive, but hinges on sound development of the resource sector and other steps to strengthen competitiveness.
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that real GDP growth of Solomon Islands rose to an estimated 6 percent in 2006, driven by fish, palm oil production, and services. However, it is expected to ease to 5½ percent in 2007, as a further escalation in logging will be likely offset by lower growth of fish and traditional crops. With the natural forest expected to be depleted within the next few years, structural reforms are necessary to generate higher sustainable growth, raise living standards, and reduce the economy’s vulnerability to shocks.
This paper discusses key findings of the Second Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). Program performance has been generally satisfactory. The quantitative performance criteria were observed, as was most of the structural conditionality. One structural performance criterion was missed at end-December: the increase in tariffs for district heat and water was briefly delayed in Chisinau. IMF staff supports completion of the review and granting a waiver for nonobservance of the structural performance criterion. The authorities’ commitment to implement supplementary measures provides assurance that the program’s objectives remain attainable.