International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The paper reports to the Executive Board on its decision of April 29, 2019, to prepare an IMF Central Bank Transparency Code (CBT), which is linked to the 2017 Review of the Standards and Codes Initiative (RSCI), for a revision and update of the 1999 Monetary and Financial Policies Transparency Code (MFPT). Directors asked that the CBT should remove the overlap on financial policies covered by other international standards, expand the transparency standards to broader set of activities undertaken by many central banks since the 2008 financial crisis, and reorient the transparency standards to facilitate risk-based assessments to support policy effectiveness and address macroeconomic risks.
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.
Structural policies have become a prominent feature of today’s macroeconomic policy discussion. For many countries, lackluster economic growth and high unemployment cloud the outlook. With fewer traditional policy options, policymakers are increasingly focused on the complementary role of structural policies in promoting more durable job-rich growth. In particular, the G20 has emphasized the essential role of structural reforms in ensuring strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
Against this backdrop, the 2014 Triennial Surveillance Review (TSR) called for further work to enhance the Fund’s ability to selectively provide more expert analysis and advice on structural issues, particularly where there is broad interest among member countries. The purpose of this paper is to engage the Board on staff’s post-TSR work toward strengthening the Fund’s capacity to analyze and, where relevant, offer policy advice on macro-relevant structural issues.
As a companion piece to the Board paper on Structural Reforms and Macroeconomic Performance: Initial Considerations for the Fund, this paper presents a selection of case studies on the structural reform experiences of member countries. These papers update the Board on work since the Triennial Surveillance Review toward strengthening the Fund’s capacity to analyze and, where relevant, offer policy advice on macro-relevant structural issues. The paper builds on the already considerable analytical work underway across the Fund, setting out considerations to support a more strategic approach going forward.
After narrowing modestly in 2013, the global scale of current account imbalances, and of excess imbalances, held steady in 2014. Over the last several years, while the country composition of imbalances has rotated somewhat, overall there has been little progress on reducing excess imbalances. Excess deficits narrowed in some cases, but widened in others; progress on reducing excess surpluses has stalled.
An unfinished policy agenda to reduce excess imbalances remains. Efforts by both surplus and deficit economies would be mutually reinforcing and support growth.
Several significant recent developments will affect external positions in 2015: sharply lower oil prices, cyclical divergence and different monetary policies among the major economies, and related currency movements. Those developments do not overturn the previous pattern of excess imbalances and associated policy agenda, but they will have significant effects and raise new issues.
Diversification and structural transformation play important roles in influencing the macroeconomic performance of low-income countries (LICs). Increases in income per capita at early stages of development are typically accompanied by a transformation in a country’s production and export structure. This can include diversification into new products and trading partners as well as increases in the quality of existing products.
This is the companion background paper to the staff report on Financial Soundness Indicators (FSIs): Experience with the Coordinated Compilation Exercise and Next Steps. It provides detailed information on the modalities of the Coordinated Compilation Exercise (CCE), the experience with the CCE, the issues that arose in that exercise regarding the compilation methodology in the Financial Soundness Indicators: Compilation Guide (Guide), and the matters that were taken into account in considering the specific amendments to the Guide, presented in the staff report.