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Mr. Gilles Montagnat-Rentier
This note discusses administrative measures that can be implemented by customs administrations of low-income and fragile countries in a short period (about a year) to improve traders’ compliance and improve revenue collection. These suggested actions have been identified based on the experience acquired through the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Fiscal Affairs Department’s (FAD) technical assistance (TA), particularly the findings and recommendations of TA missions to sub-Saharan African countries. Strengthening low-capacity customs administrations requires structural reforms to support the effective implementation of defined strategies. Developing core operational functions such as risk management, audit, investigation and intelligence are good examples of such reforms. Modernizing human resource management policies or achieving a fully automated environment in a customs administration are longer-term reform projects. Long-term reforms are not addressed here. The note focuses on targeted actions with a potential to increase trade revenue in the short term, and which can be taken without mobilizing large resources or engaging in a broad reorganization. It is hoped that the suggestions in this note will help stakeholders, including country authorities, customs management, donors and TA partners, area departments of the IMF, FAD, and the IMF regional TA centers, identify, design, and implement short-term changes in customs administrations. If implemented effectively, these changes should contribute to a noticeable improvement of revenue performance.
Mr. Alexei P Kireyev, Mr. Boaz Nandwa, Ms. Lorraine Ocampos, Mr. Babacar Sarr, Mr. Ramzy Al Amine, Mr. Allan G Auclair, Mr. Yufei Cai, and Mr. Jean-Francois Dauphin
Individual countries of the Maghreb have achieved substantial progress on trade, but, as a region they remain the least integrated in the world. The share of intraregional trade is less than 5 percent of their total trade, substantially lower than in all other regional trading blocs around the world. Geopolitical considerations and restrictive economic policies have stifled regional integration. Economic policies have been guided by country-level considerations, with little attention to the region, and are not coordinated. Restrictions on trade and capital flows remain substantial and constrain regional integration for the private sector.
Mr. Alexei P Kireyev, Mr. Boaz Nandwa, Ms. Lorraine Ocampos, Mr. Babacar Sarr, Mr. Ramzy Al Amine, Mr. Allan G Auclair, Mr. Yufei Cai, and Mr. Jean-Francois Dauphin
Individual countries of the Maghreb have achieved substantial progress on trade, but, as a region they remain the least integrated in the world. The share of intraregional trade is less than 5 percent of their total trade, substantially lower than in all other regional trading blocs around the world. Geopolitical considerations and restrictive economic policies have stifled regional integration. Economic policies have been guided by country-level considerations, with little attention to the region, and are not coordinated. Restrictions on trade and capital flows remain substantial and constrain regional integration for the private sector.
Mr. Alexei P Kireyev, Mr. Boaz Nandwa, Ms. Lorraine Ocampos, Mr. Babacar Sarr, Mr. Ramzy Al Amine, Mr. Allan G Auclair, Mr. Yufei Cai, and Mr. Jean-Francois Dauphin
Individual countries of the Maghreb have achieved substantial progress on trade, but, as a region they remain the least integrated in the world. The share of intraregional trade is less than 5 percent of their total trade, substantially lower than in all other regional trading blocs around the world. Geopolitical considerations and restrictive economic policies have stifled regional integration. Economic policies have been guided by country-level considerations, with little attention to the region, and are not coordinated. Restrictions on trade and capital flows remain substantial and constrain regional integration for the private sector.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Economic Development Document summarizes Mauritania’s Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP) for 2016–30. The first five-year phase of the SCAPP will complete projects under way and lay the foundations for a new, politically more peaceful Mauritania, with infrastructure put in place to support growth and encourage development of the country's natural resources. Steps will be taken to complete the reforms needed to improve the business climate and promote the private sector. In the second five-year period, the economy will be more diversified and competitive, with the real rate of growth averaging at about 10 percent a year. The third five-year phase will consolidate Mauritania's “new look” and the economic growth will exceed 12 percent a year.
Romina Kazandjian, Ms. Lisa L Kolovich, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, and Ms. Monique Newiak
We show that gender inequality decreases the variety of goods countries produce and export, in particular in low-income and developing countries. We argue that this happens through at least two channels: first, gender gaps in opportunity, such as lower educational enrollment rates for girls than for boys, harm diversification by constraining the potential pool of human capital available in an economy. Second, gender gaps in the labor market impede the development of new ideas by decreasing the efficiency of the labor force. Our empirical estimates support these hypotheses, providing evidence that gender-friendly policies could help countries diversify their economies.
Mr. Olivier D Jeanne and Mr. Damiano Sandri
Financially closed economies insure themselves against current-account shocks using international reserves. We characterize the optimal management of reserves using an open-economy model of precautionary savings and emphasize several results. First, the welfare-based opportunity cost of reserves differs from the measures often used by practitioners. Second, under plausible calibrations the model is consistent with the rule of thumb that reserves should be close to three months of imports. Third, simple linear rules can capture most of the welfare gains from optimal reserve management. Fourth, policymakers should place more emphasis on how to use reserves in response to shocks than on the reserve target itself.