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International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This paper presents traction as a multidimensional concept and discusses a comprehensive and complementary set of approaches to attempt to measure it based on the Fund’s value added to policy dialogue and formulation and public debate in member countries.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This technical assistance report on the Republic of Uzbekistan states that the mission achieved all its objectives and Uzbekistan’s country page is now ready to be introduced in International Financial Statistics. Uzbekistan has recently intensified its efforts to improve its financial sector statistics. With the ongoing liberalization of the Uzbek economy, availability of granular data for an assessment of risks related to the financial sector is becoming more important. Uzbekistan reports 11 core and one additional financial soundness indicators (FSI) for deposit takers on a quarterly basis for publication on the IMF’s website. The one important improvement needed, particularly for the other depository corporation survey, is the enhancement of the counterparty sector classifications. The mission also assisted the Central Bank of Uzbekistan in establishing an initial framework for the compilation of a quarterly other financial corporation survey using the Standardized Report form 4SR. The Prudential Supervision Department is now ready to report all core and additional FSIs for deposit takers (DT), as well as their underlying financial statements, with the reporting frequency to be increased from quarterly to monthly. In order to support progress in the several areas, the mission recommended a detailed action plan with the priority recommendations summarized.
Mishel Ghassibe, Maximiliano Appendino, and Samir Elsadek Mahmoudi
This paper offers empirical evidence that greater financial inclusion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can promote higher economic growth and employment, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia regions. First, we show that countries with higher SME financial inclusion exhibit more effective monetary policy transmission and tax collection. Second, we find substantial employment and labor productivity growth gains at the firm level from access to credit, gains that are higher for SMEs. We also obtain evidence of a substantial positive impact on SME employment and labor productivity growth from improved credit bureau coverage and insolvency regimes. Finally, cross-country aggregate evidence confirms the employment and growth gains from SME financial inclusion, which appear larger in the Middle East and Central Asia than in other regions.
International Monetary Fund


This paper reports a brief description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its objectives, size, scope, and use, as well as assessments of its activities, with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2008—and the TA activities and scholarship programs that it finances. The IMF finances technical assistance for its member countries, devoting some 25 percent of its annual operating budget to TA work and training. Although most technical assistance is financed through internal resources, external financing from bilateral and multilateral partners has been increasing over the past few years and constitutes an important pillar. The responsibilities of the Regional Office in Tokyo include collaborative efforts between the IMF and Japan that strengthen economic prospects in the Asia-Pacific region, and also include support of various regional policy forums, such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Pacific Islands Forum.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


Strong economic performance across the Middle East and Central Asia is examined against the background of high prices for energy and other commodities. Common economic trends are presented, while prospects and policies are reviewed for the coming year in light of the global economic environment. This latest REO includes boxes treating specific regional topics, such as financial sector reforms and integration in Maghreb countries; economic developments in oil-exporting countries in response to changes in petroleum prices; and the growth boom in the Caucasus and Central Asia.

International Monetary Fund


This paper discusses Fiscal Year 2003 Annual Report for Japan Administered Account for Selected IMF Activities (JSA). The report consists of a brief description of the IMF and its activities, with a particular focus on its technical assistance activities. It provides greater detail with regard to the JSA and the scholarship programs. It also describes the objectives, size and scope, and use with a focus on fiscal year 2003. The report highlights that in FY2003, JSA financing accounted for 18 percent of total IMF technical assistance, 33 percent of the assistance delivered in the field, and 66 percent of the total external financing.

Mr. Gianni De Nicolo, Mr. Sami Geadah, and Mr. Dmitriy L Rozhkov
This paper documents the great divide in the level of financial development between the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) 7 countries and the more advanced economies in transition, in particular those of Central and Eastern Europe and Baltic states. It discusses the roots of financial underdevelopment in the CIS-7 countries by examining the differentials in interest rate spreads between the CIS-7 countries and the transition economies that have achieved faster financial development. The roots of the divide are traced to weaknesses in the institutional infrastructure for financial intermediation, which lead to a combination of low depositor trust in the banking system and high credit risk. High credit risk stems mainly from the poor creditor-rights protection and weak auditing and accounting standards. Financial sector reform strategies that fail to give priority to the resolution of weaknesses in the basic financial infrastructure are unlikely to be successful in letting the CIS-7 countries bridge the great divide.