Vahram Stepanyan, Gohar Abajyan, Anta Ndoye, and Ms. Marwa Alnasaa
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a cornerstone of Arab economies, accounting for over 90 percent of all businesses and providing a major source of new job creation. Governments across the Arab World recognize the important role that SMEs can play in delivering higher and more inclusive growth. Many have rightly placed SME development at the center of growth and jobs strategies to meet the needs of young populations. Authorities have initiated policy interventions and schemes to support SME development. But progress so far has been patchy, and more comprehensive policy action is needed.
Fostering vibrant and competitive SMEs that contribute to employment opportunities and high value-added output requires various stakeholders to deliver on a broad range of factors. Arab governments need a holistic policy approach that addresses the gaps in access to finance, creates an enabling business environment, and upgrades human capital and infrastructure. The approach should also promote an entrepreneurial mindset.
This technical assistance report on Malaysia highlights that the mission aimed to support the Malaysian authorities in improving government finance statistics (GFS) for decision making. The mission reviewed the progress in the implementation of the accounting project to introduce accrual financial reporting standards at the federal government level. The mission identified considerable potential for collaboration between Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) with respect to fiscal data collection for other general government sublayers and public nonfinancial corporations. The mission concluded that the general ledger structure is sufficient to produce GFS on both cash and an accrual basis. The mission suggested that collaboration between MOF and DOSM going forward would be necessary to ensure data consistency and to facilitate the explanation of remaining minor differences to users. The mission recommends that the authorities verify the causes for inconsistencies based on recent annual data, and to formally align the collaboration between the institutions.
Industrial policy is tainted with bad reputation among policymakers and academics and is often viewed as the road to perdition for developing economies. Yet the success of the Asian Miracles with industrial policy stands as an uncomfortable story that many ignore or claim it cannot be replicated. Using a theory and empirical evidence, we argue that one can learn more from miracles than failures. We suggest three key principles behind their success: (i) the support of domestic producers in sophisticated industries, beyond the initial comparative advantage; (ii) export orientation; and (iii) the pursuit of fierce competition with strict accountability.
The Research Summaries in this issue of the IMF Research Bulletin cover “Tax Capacity and Growth” (by Vitor Gaspar, Laura Jaramillo, and Philippe Wingender), and “U.S. Shale Revolution and Its Spillover Effects on the Global Economy” (Ravi Balakrishnan, Keiko Honjo, Akito Matsumoto, and Andrea Pescatori). The Q&A coauthored by Amadou Sy and Mariama Sow covers “Seven Questions about the Relationship between Country Finance and Governance.” A listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from IMF Publications is included in the IMF Research Bulletin. Readers can also find news on free-to-view articles from IMF Economic Review and a call for conference papers in this issue of the Bulletin.
The December issue of the Research Bulletin looks at “Seven Questions about Climate Change” (Rabah Arezki and Akito Matsumoto). The Research Summaries review “Winning the Oil Lottery: The Impact of Natural Resource Extraction on Growth” (Tiago Cavalcanti, Daniel Da Mata, and Frederik Toscani) and “Malaysia: Achieving High-Income Status through Resilience and Inclusive Growth” (Alex Mourmouras and Naimh Sheridan). The issue also includes regular updates on new IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, IMF books, and the IMF Economic Review.