International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Grenada’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. IMF financing support provides resources to the countries’ authorities for essential health-related expenditures and income support to ease the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on the population. The countries’ governments have responded to the pandemic by swiftly implementing containment measures, allocating scarce budgetary resources to critical health care spending, and introducing income support to the most affected sectors and households. Protection of the financial system will help cushion the economic impact of the pandemic. Measures have also been taken by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to facilitate the provision of credit and safeguard financial stability. Going forward, and once the current crisis dissipates, the authorities intend to push ahead with a comprehensive Disaster Resilience Strategy aimed at building resilience to natural disasters. They are also committed to further strengthening financial sector oversight to safeguard macro-financial stability.
This paper assesses recent developments in gas markets and the implications for Algerian gas demand and prices. Algeria’s gas production is stable but its share in global gas production has been on a downward trend since the early 2000s. The impact of a change in the spot oil price (WTI) on gas prices can be statically examined with a vector autoregression (VAR). The impact of spot oil prices on Algeria’s contracted gas price remains strong, but export volumes are under pressure.
Algeria’s local corporate bond market provides a good basis for further diversifying the economy’s financing channels. This study analyzes the nexus of bank financing of public enterprises in the ongoing national investment program (NIP) and also sets Algeria’s local corporate bond market in a cross-country perspective. It develops options for developing local capital markets during the timeframe of the NIP, and considers improvements in some aspects of market functioning. The authorities have taken measures to help the banking system increase lending to public enterprises over the next few years.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
The paper investigates whether the market size of a regional trade agreement (RTA) is a determinant of foreign direct investment (FDI) received by countries participating in the RTA. This hypothesis is tested on a sample of 71 developing countries during the period 1980-99. Evidence is found that the RTA market size had a positive impact on the FDI received by member countries, even more so in the 1990s when such agreements were revived and became more widespread. The size of domestic population also seemed to matter, possibly because of its effect on the availability of the labor supply. It appears, however, that not all countries in the RTA benefited to the same extent from the RTA: countries with a relatively more educated labor force and/or a relatively more stable financial situation tended to attract a larger share of FDI at the expense of their RTA partners. This evidence suggests it is essential for all RTA countries to improve their business environment to the best available in the region. Finally, a partial negative correlation between the FDI received by RTA countries and that received by non-RTA countries possibly reflects a diversion of FDI from non-RTA to RTA countries. As an illustration, FDI benefits are simulated from the creation of a regional trade agreement between Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the recent developments in the Moroccan economy and its policy challenges over the medium term. It assesses the sustainability of public debt in Morocco. The paper uses the analytical framework for assessing debt sustainability in emerging market countries endorsed by the IMF Executive Board and compares Morocco’s vulnerabilities with those of the average emerging market country. The paper also examines the effects on Morocco’s trade pattern of the ongoing integration with the European Union within the Barcelona process.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The IMF has added its voice to the debate over the euro area’s Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), urging the three largest countries—France, Germany, and Italy—to rein in their fiscal deficits. It also trimmed its economic growth forecasts for the 12-nation monetary union and urged the European Central Bank (ECB) to adopt a bias toward lowering interest rates.
Amer Bisat, Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, Mr. Mahmoud El-Gamal, and Mr. Francesco P Mongelli
The paper considers investment and growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Notwithstanding cross-country differences, investment as a whole has been too low, too heavily tilted toward the public sector, too highly dependent on external influences, and less productive than in many other regions. Improving the region’s investment performance is critical if policymakers are to succeed in increasing the region’s economic growth rate. After discussing the relationship between investment and growth, the paper analyzes the investment responsiveness of various countries in the region and notes the policy priorities for strengthening the basis for rapid and sustained economic growth.
This volume, edited by Said El-Naggar, is the fifth in a series of seminars dealing with economic issues of particular importance to the Arab countries. Held in Manama, Bahrain, in February 1993, it covered topics pertaining to economic development of the Arab countries in the nineties. The seven papers that were presented comprised economic reform in the Arab countries, including particularly structural issues; investment policies and capital flows; inter-Arab labor movements; environment and development; development of human resources; and European economic integration. An overview of the topics is presented by the seminar moderator, Said El-Naggar.