International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for an initial discussion under the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (15th Review) in line with the work plan agreed by the Executive Board. It discusses issues related to further reforms of the quota formula and realigning quota shares, based on updated quota data through 2015. A companion paper, to be discussed separately, will address issues related to the size of the Fund and mix of quota and borrowed resources. Both these papers seek to facilitate initial discussions on some of the key issues for the 15th Review. No proposals are made at this stage, recognizing that further deliberations will be needed before the issues under discussion can begin to be narrowed down.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, and Review Department
The paper revisits the two-pillar framework for assessing the adequacy of Fund resources. Responding to Directors suggestions, the quantitative pillar is updated to include alternative assumptions and to provide a longer-term perspective on likely resource needs. While quantitative estimates are generally somewhat lower after factoring in the alternative assumptions, these reductions are more than outweighed when the analysis is extended through the middle of the next decade, recognizing that the outcome of the 15th Review will likely determine permanent Fund resources through at least the middle of the next decade. The updated qualitative pillar analysis highlights reforms since the global financial crisis and discusses uncertainties in the global environment. It also provides an assessment of the general impact of the various qualitative considerations. Taken together, the two pillars continue to make a case for at least maintaining existing Fund resources. Against this background, the simulations in the paper cover three illustrative sizes for quota increases (50, 75, and 100 percent), centered on broadly maintaining Fund resources, assuming the New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) is maintained at its current level and Bilateral Borrowing Agreements (BBAs) expire.
Karim Barhoumi, Ha Vu, Shirin Nikaein Towfighian, and Mr. Rodolfo Maino
There is significant room to improve public investment efficiency in
sub-Saharan Africa. Investment in sub-Saharan African countries is lagging vis-à-vis peers such as emerging and developing Asia as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, and the region’s infrastructure is perceived as being of relatively low quality. Improving the efficiency of sizable investment programs in the region could contribute to more solid economic growth and help achieve desired social priorities and development goals.
Results point to some variability in public investment efficiency within the region. Comparing efficiency scores across country groups suggests that investment efficiency in sub-Saharan African oil exporters tends to be lower than in sub-Saharan African non-resource-intensive countries. Additionally, countries in East African Community (EAC) perform better than those in Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).
Stronger institutions could foster more efficient public investment. The regression results in this paper show a positive correlation between public investment efficiency and the quality of institutions, suggesting that devel-oping stronger institutions in sub-Saharan Africa could lead to a significant improvement in investment efficiency. This is particularly relevant for coun-tries with weak institutional quality, where governments may use capital spending as a vehicle for rent-seeking, leading to inefficient spending. Given the current drive for scaling up investment in sub-Saharan Africa, the task of improving institutions quickly should become a priority.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This is the 64th issue of the AREAER. It provides a description of the foreign exchange arrangements, exchange and trade systems, and capital controls of all IMF member countries. It also provides information on the operation of foreign exchange markets and controls on international trade. It describes controls on capital transactions and measures implemented in the financial sector, including prudential measures. In addition, it reports on exchange measures imposed by member countries for security reasons. A single table provides a snapshot of the exchange and trade systems of all IMF member countries. The Overview describes in detail how the general trend toward foreign exchange liberalization continued during 2012, alongside a strengthening of the financial sector regulatory framework. The AREAER is available in several formats. The Overview in print and online, and the detailed information for each of the 191 member countries and territories is included on a CD that accompanies the printed Overview and in an online database, AREAER Online. In addition to the information on the exchange and trade system of IMF member countries in 2012, AREAER Online contains historical data published in previous issues of the AREAER. It is searchable by year, country, and category of measure and allows cross country comparisons for time series.
Longer-term program engagement (LTPE) occurs when a member has spent at least seven of the past 10 years under Fund-supported financial arrangements.2 In response to the Executive Board’s request for periodic updates on the incidence of LTPEs, this is the thirteenth such report and provides information through June 27, 2012.
Mr. Paolo Dudine, Sibabrata Das, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Yongzheng Yang, Eteri Kvintradze, and Miss Nkunde Mwase
Low-income countries were hit especially hard by sharp increases in world food and fuel prices in 2007-08 and the global financial crisis that followed. In response, the International Monetary Fund scaled up its financial assistance to low-income countries and revamped its concessional lending facilities to make them more flexible in meeting the diverse needs of these countries. Creating Policy Space in Low-Income Countries during the Recent Crises assesses empirically the outcome of the IMF response, and provides insight into how IMF-supported programs in low-income countries have been adapted to the changing economic circumstances in these countries. The authors report that these programs have provided expanded policy space in the face of the global price shocks and financial crisis.
This forthcoming title in the Departmental Paper Series describes the special challenges facing low-income countries as economic growth contracts by an estimated 1.1 percent globally. Coping with the Crisis: Challenges Facing Low-Income Countries provides an assessment of the implications of the financial crisis for low-income countries, evaluates the short-term macroeconomic outlook for these countries, and discusses the policy challenges they face. Chapters cover the outlook for global economic growth and commodity prices, an overview of how low-income countries have been affected, fiscal policy, monetary and exchange rate policy responses, potential external financing needs and how the international community, including the IMF, can help countries meet them. The challenges ahead for low-income countries are delineated, including debt vulnerabilities and the need for countries to develop well-regulated local capital markets and banking systems, as well as enhanced public sector efficiency.
The objective of the joint Bank-Fund debt sustainability framework for low-income countries is to support LICs in their efforts to achieve their development goals without creating future debt problems. Countries that have received debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) need to be kept on a sustainable track. Under the framework, country DSAs are prepared jointly by Bank and Fund staff, with close collaboration between the two staffs on the design of the macroeconomic baseline, alternative scenarios, the debt distress rating, and the drafting of the write-up
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about policy options for emerging market countries (by Marcos Chamon, Chris Crowe, and Jun Il Kim); research summaries on “Does Trade and Financial Globalization Cause Income Inequality?” (by Chris Papageorgiou) and “The Current Account of Oil-Exporting Countries (by Irineu E. de Carvalho Filho); an article on the launch of the IMF’s new research journal, IMF Economic Review, and the contents of the upcoming IMF Staff Papers, which the new the new journal will succeed in 2010; an article on the upcoming Tenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference; a listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July–September 2009; and listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Position Notes.