This paper concludes that the existing framework remains broadly appropriate, but proposes methodological refinements to improve the assessment of market access, clarifies how serious short-term vulnerabilities are assessed, and proposes a modest extension of the transition period before graduation decisions become effective.
This paper is the fifth in a series that examines macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries (LIDCs). LIDCs are a group of 59 IMF member countries primarily defined by income per capita below a threshold level. LIDCs contain one fifth of the world’s population—1.5 billion people—but account for only 4 percent of global output.
The first chapter of the paper discusses recent macroeconomic developments and trends across LIDCs and, using growth decompositions, explores the key drivers of growth performance in LIDCs. A second chapter examines the challenges faced by LIDCs in implementing a value-added tax system, generally seen as a key component of a strong national tax system. The third chapter discusses how financial safety nets can be appropriately tailored to the specific needs of LIDCs, recognizing that an effective safety net is important for ensuring financial stability and underpinning public confidence in the financial system, thereby promoting financial intermediation.
"Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries continue their considerable past achievements. The Millennium Development Goals—which were to have been met by 2015—helped focus attention on achieving progress towards poverty reduction, better health outcomes, and improvements in education in the ASEAN developing countries. The 17 SDGs—adopted in 2015 and to be met by 2030—cover a wider set of interlinked development objectives, such as inclusion and environmental sustainability, which are important for all countries, including all ASEAN member countries.
ASEAN countries have made significant progress in improving incomes and economic opportunities, including for women, and reducing poverty since 2000. Reflecting the economic dynamism of the region, strong income growth, structural transformation, and infrastructure improvements continue to support sustainable development in ASEAN. With continued income growth and strong policy efforts, most ASEAN countries are on track to eradicate absolute poverty by 2030, a major milestone. Also, several ASEAN countries already do relatively well in terms of gender equality. As a result, given support from continued income gains, economic welfare in ASEAN countries is expected to continue converging towards advanced Asia levels.
Ensuring more inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth presents a key challenge for ASEAN. Despite some progress, income inequality remains relatively high in several countries and the shift towards manufacturing strains environmental sustainability. These challenges hamper ASEAN welfare convergence relative to advanced Asia. Policies to close these gaps in sustainable development can lead to significant gains. For the lower-middle-income ASEAN countries, in particular, more determined policy efforts are needed to improve infrastructure, as well as health and education outcomes. Remaining sustainable development challenges call for comprehensive, country-specific SDG strategies formulated in the context of national development plans and close monitoring through the voluntary review process.
Pursuing sustainable development entails sizeable spending needs. Estimates for Indonesia and Vietnam, the two cases studies considered in this paper, show that reaching the level of best performers in their income group in infrastructure, health, and education by 2030 could entail an additional cost of 5½–6½ percent of GDP per year. While development needs vary across countries, estimates suggest large spending needs for most ASEAN countries. Meeting them will require efforts on multiple fronts, including improvements in spending efficiency, tax capacity, and support from the private sector. For developing ASEAN countries, concessional financing from development partners will be required.
The IMF continues to engage ASEAN countries in key areas as they pursue their SDGs. As called for in their mandates, ASEAN and the IMF both strive for economic growth and sustainable development through economic integration and collaboration among their member countries. The IMF has increased its engagement with ASEAN countries to support their policy efforts through its policy diagnostics, advice, and capacity development. ASEAN countries have also received support through IMF initiatives in strengthening revenue mobilization, building state capacity for infrastructure provision, pursuing economic and financial inclusion, addressing the challenges of climate change, strengthening economic institutions for good governance, and building statistical capacity. While fundamental reforms to improve sustainable development take time to bear fruit, there is evidence that efforts have started to pay off. "
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
"The changing contours of the global economy and the rapid transformation of the global financial safety net (GFSN) have strengthened the case for more structured collaboration between its different layers, particularly with Regional Financing Arrangements (RFAs). RFAs have become an important part of the GFSN, and their roles have also evolved. Over recent years, their coverage has expanded to encompass many major advanced and emerging market economies; the resources under their control has risen. Moreover, since the global financial crisis, some RFAs have become key financing counterparts of Fund-supported programs. These developments have heightened the importance of close and timely collaboration with RFAs.
However, there is currently no formal framework for an exchange of Board documents with RFAs, leaving a gap in Fund collaboration with RFAs. The Fund has a long-standing practice for collaborating and sharing documents with other international organizations, primarily under the Transmittal Policy that was amended most recently in November 2017. However, some RFAs do not meet the criteria under the Transmittal Policy and, in view of the unique and heterogeneous institutional and governance structures of RFAs, there is a need for a dedicated and coherent framework that facilitates the exchange of documents on both routine and non-routine bases.
This paper proposes a policy framework for the exchange of documents between the Fund and RFAs. The proposed framework establishes a set of criteria to be met by RFAs for document exchange—based on the consideration of whether a certain entity shares common operational interest with the Fund, and provides satisfactory confidentiality and reciprocity assurances. Under routine document sharing arrangements with RFAs, Board documents would be provided after Board consideration. In cases of UFR arrangements involving current or potential co-financing by the Fund and RFAs, or Policy Coordination Instruments (PCIs) and Policy Support Instruments (PSIs) that may help unlock RFA financing to the country, staff proposes that relevant Board documents be exchanged prior to their consideration by the Board, following notification to the Board. The proposed framework builds on the principles of the Transmittal Policy and does not impact the transmittal of documents to international organizations currently governed by the Transmittal Policy."
This note develops a definition of a new category of countries (Low Income Developing Countries (acronym: LIDCs)) that can be deployed to (a) facilitate enhanced coverage of low income country issues in the Fund’s flagship products and (b) serve as a standardized definition of the “low income country” universe in staff analytical work.1 While use of the proposed definition in analytical work would be encouraged, it would not be required.
On February 24, 2012, the Executive Board approved a partial distribution of the general reserve equivalent to SDR 700 million attributed to part of the gold sales windfall profits to all members in proportion to their quotas.
This paper revisits the use of the remaining gold sales windfall profits (SDR 1.75 billion). Directors previously considered three main options: using them as part of a strategy to boost the capacity of the PRGT; counting them towards precautionary balances; or investing them in the Investment Account’s endowment. In past discussions, Directors expressed a wide range of views on these options, and the resources have continued to be held in the Investment Account pending a decision by the Executive Board.
This report provides an update of the assessment of Lao P.D.R.’s macroeconomic conditions and outlook presented at the time of the 2004 Article IV Consultation and in the Assessment Letter of March 10, 2005.
Building on initial discussions of the proposed framework in February/March 2004, and further considerations in September 2004, this paper responds to remaining concerns that need to be resolved to make the framework operational. These concerns relate to the indicative debt-burden thresholds (Section II); the interaction of the framework with the HIPC Initiative (Section III); and the modalities for Bank-Fund collaboration in deriving a common assessment of sustainability (Section IV). This note should be read in conjunction with the original proposal, which presented the wider issues on the use of the indicative thresholds, the evaluation of policies and institutions, and the need for discretion when assessing sustainability on a forward-looking basis.