This Selected Issues paper assesses Cyprus’s export competitiveness and understands factors that could explain export developments, particularly in the services sector. Although Cyprus has been able to leverage its strategic location to diversity its markets for goods exports, as a small island economy, opportunities for diversifying its products mix is more limited. Services exports have performed better in the post-crisis period buoyed by the recovery in Europe and the impact of technological advances on global Information and Communication Technologies-enabled trade. Policies to support greater market diversification, enhance competition and efficiency and strengthen technological adoption would help exports growth. Studies have established the relationship between price and cost competitiveness with trade performance. Cyprus has performed reasonably well with strong service exports over the past few years, aided by improvements in cost competitiveness and a recovery in the European export markets. Policymakers should exploit opportunities brought by the digital transformation while addressing the accompanied risks.
As a follow-up to the Executive Board's May 2013 discussion, this paper considers a possible direction for reform of the Fund's lending framework in the context of sovereign debt vulnerabilities. The primary focus of this paper relates to the Fund's exceptional access framework, since it is in this context that the Fund will most likely have to make the difficult judgment as to whether the member's problems can be resolved with or without a debt restructuring. The objective of the preliminary approaches set forth in this paper is to reduce the costs of crisis resolution for both creditors and debtors—relative to the alternatives—thereby benefitting the overall system. These ideas are market-based and their eventual implementation would require meaningful consultation with creditors.
The 2011 Article IV Consultation report discusses the Cypriot economy, which faces strong headwinds and downside risks owing to financial turbulence in the euro area and the large exposure of Cypriot banks to Greece. Executive Directors noted that Cyprus faces daunting economic challenges in the face of faltering external demand and worsening domestic financial conditions. Directors urged the authorities to act forcefully to restore sound public finances and safeguard the stability of the banking system.
This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite its resilience so far, the economy of Cyprus is slowing down and risks are increasing. The expected slowdown will increase credit risk in banks, which, in some plausible but unlikely extreme scenarios, could have systemic implications given the size and concentration of the banking sector. Executive Directors have endorsed the government’s objective to achieve a balanced budget over the medium term. Directors have also recommended the adoption of a medium-term budget framework and more effective management of public sector liabilities.