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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Palau is a middle-income micro state in the Pacific (population: 18,000) that relies heavily on tourism and grants, and is exposed to natural disasters. The economy grew strongly at 9.4 percent in FY2015 led by robust tourism and construction activity, but the surge in tourist arrivals strained infrastructure and was tilted to low budget tourism. The fiscal position has improved, but further efforts are needed to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability. The outlook is favorable although subject to significant downside risks. The discussions focused on

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

This issue of the Asia & Pacific Small States Monitor focuses on the challenges facing Asia and Pacific small states associated with natural disasters and climate change. Most tourism-oriented economies experienced a robust increase in arrivals, partly reflecting country-specific factors. Among commodity exporters (Bhutan, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste) and other Asia and Pacific small states, growth remains uneven: robust activity in Bhutan was driven mainly by hydropower-related construction activities; Solomon Islands experienced a continuing decline of logging stocks and a short-term disruption of gold production; and Timor-Leste’s ongoing depletion of oil reserves has led to a tighter budget constraint and lower government spending in the non-oil sector.

International Monetary Fund

The key findings of the Republic of Palau’s 2010 Article IV Consultation shows that the single most important issue in Palau remains fiscal policy, including its effect on medium-term growth, as fiscal consolidation proceeds. The global financial crisis followed on the heels of a massive terms-of-trade shock, leading to a sharp curtailment of foreign direct investment and private credit. Tourism tumbled following an airline bankruptcy, and construction activity fell as major infrastructure projects reached completion.

Sabina Bhatia

Under the aegis of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank, approximately 190 legislators from over 80 countries gathered in Paris on February 14-16 to discuss a wide range of development issues. This fifth annual meeting of the organization, which also drew governmerit officials, civil society I organizations, and representatives from the World I Bank and the IMF, I focused on rising concerns over the prospects for meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); continued frustration with trade and market access; the importance of improving the accountability of the international financial institutions; donor policies; and efforts to strengthen the role of parliamentarians in promoting development.

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

Context: Bhutan is a small, until recently fast-growing, lower middle-income country with deep economic ties to India and a peg to the Indian rupee. Growth in Bhutan was robust during the last Five-Year Plan (2008/09 to 2012/13), driven by the development of the hydropower sector (exporting electricity to India) and a credit-fueled private consumption boom.

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

By Adam Gorajek, Head of the Economics Department at the National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT) during May 2012-May 2014. This article is based on research conducted in the NRBT.

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

This issue of the Asia & Pacific Small States Monitor focuses on the challenges facing Asia and Pacific small states associated with natural disasters and climate change. Most tourism-oriented economies experienced a robust increase in arrivals, partly reflecting country-specific factors. Among commodity exporters (Bhutan, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste) and other Asia and Pacific small states, growth remains uneven: robust activity in Bhutan was driven mainly by hydropower-related construction activities; Solomon Islands experienced a continuing decline of logging stocks and a short-term disruption of gold production; and Timor-Leste’s ongoing depletion of oil reserves has led to a tighter budget constraint and lower government spending in the non-oil sector.

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

Owing to their small population size, geographical dispersion, and lack of economies of scale, the government sector in the APD small states plays a large role in supporting growth and employment. The importance of the government is even greater in the most remote and dispersed Pacific island countries (PICs). Moreover, some Pacific islands (Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, and Tuvalu) do not have a central bank and some could face a significant loss of fiscal resources (the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau) when Compact grants from the United States expire after 2023. Therefore, assessing the impact of fiscal policy on growth is critical for helping governments design fiscal policies that take into account output dynamics and ensure long-term fiscal sustainability. Fiscal multipliers allow us to measure the impact of fiscal policy on growth.

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

The unique economic characteristics and constraints facing small developing states were presented in a March 2013 Fund Board paper Macroeconomic Issues in Small States and Implications for Fund Engagement. While all small states have populations of under 1.5 million, they are a diverse group representing various income categories, but all of them face size-related constraints. The IMF has 33 members2 that are considered small developing states. Three out of four small states are islands or widely dispersed multi-island states, such as in the Pacific region; others are landlocked, and some are located far from major markets.