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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses how Mauritius is currently dealing with two separate tax transparency and anti-avoidance initiatives, one by the OECD-G20 and one by the European Union. Under the BEPS initiative, Mauritius has committed to including minimum standards and possibly other BEPS-compliant features into its domestic laws and bilateral double taxation avoidance agreements (DTAs). Mauritius has been involved in intensive DTA negotiations and re-negotiations. Sixteen DTAs have been added in the past 6 years. Arguably, even more important for investors has been the favorable tax framework offering benefits that are in part being challenged. Mauritius currently has a 15 percent corporate income tax (CIT) rate and a worldwide system that taxes foreign earnings but allows for foreign tax credits (FTCs), including the contested Deemed Foreign Tax Credit. Important macrofinancial linkages between the GBC sector and the financial sector present vulnerabilities that need to be managed carefully. The GBC sector is a major provider of inexpensive funding to banks, but by nature of the GBC investment pattern, these deposits are potentially highly volatile.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper describes Uganda’s experience under the 2013 Policy Support Instrument (PSI). The current 2013 PSI was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board in June 2013 with an initial duration of three years. Overall, performance under this PSI has been assessed to be satisfactory. Most quantitative assessment criteria were met, and macroeconomic stability maintained. However, the pace of structural reforms slowed down compared with the past, and only about half of the structural benchmarks were ultimately met. The experience shows the importance of ensuring commitment to the reforms, explaining them better, and getting broad-based buy-in to achieve progress.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that Senegal’s macroeconomic situation is stable. Growth is expected to exceed 6 percent in 2016, while inflation remains low. The fiscal deficit has been declining steadily from 5.5 percent of GDP in 2013 and is projected to reach 4.2 percent of GDP in 2016. The current account deficit has narrowed and is projected to reach 6.5 percent of GDP in 2016, driven by lower oil prices and improved export performance. The outlook for the Senegalese economy is positive and risks are manageable, provided there is a concerted effort to continue improving economic governance.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses key issues related to Senegal’s economy. Government proposals for constitutional reforms were approved by 63 percent of the vote in a referendum held on March 20, 2016. Growth was robust at 6.5 percent in 2015 and is projected to continue at a similar level this year. Although the economic outlook remains favorable, downside risks remain. Economic policies and structural reforms are needed to sustain growth and continued fiscal consolidation to meet regional convergence criteria. To keep growth buoyant, steadfast action is needed in following three areas: (1) improving business environment to open economic room for small- and medium-sized enterprises and foreign direct investment; (2) strengthening public financial management and governance; and (3) rebuilding government's fiscal space.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes policies that can raise potential growth in small middle-income countries (SMICs) of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The findings suggest that although macroeconomic stability and trade openness are necessary for productivity growth, they are not sufficient. SMICs in SSA need to improve the quality of their public spending, most notably on education, to solve the problem of skill mismatch in the labor market, reduce the regulatory burden on firms, improve access to financing by small and medium-size enterprises, and pave the way for structural transformation in these economies. Given the short-term cost of these reforms, the timing and sequencing of reforms and the role of quick wins is important for their implementation. In some cases, a social bargain can be a mechanism to generate consensus around a package of mutually reinforcing reforms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on the challenges of small middle-income countries (MIC) in sSub-Saharan Africa (SSA) comprising Cape Verde, Namibia, and the Kingdom of Swaziland. The IMF report summarizes the analytic underpinnings that support the IMF staff’s advice on policies to strengthen macroeconomic stability, foster more inclusive growth, and enhance the resilience of their financial systems. It recommends that macroeconomic policies should aim to rebuild policy buffers to help cushion against large external shocks especially given the prevalence of pegged exchange rate regimes in these economies.