Recent economic developments. Supported by a large policy package, Serbia’s economy rebounded quickly from the initial COVID-19 shock, recording a 1 percent contraction of real GDP in 2020. Job losses have mostly been contained to the informal sector, thanks to policy measures aimed at preserving formal employment. A supplementary budget for 2021 was adopted in April boosting capital expenditure and extending policy support to households and corporates, against the background of third and fourth waves of infections and related containment measures, as well as a weaker-than-expected economic recovery in key trading partners. Inflation remains low. After rising again in late February, infections tapered, helped by new containment measures and the rapid vaccine rollout.
This paper discusses Republic of Kosovo’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the associated containment measures have severely weakened Kosovo’s economic outlook. The economy is expected to contract by 5 percent in 2020 as tourism receipts, remittances, exports of goods, and foreign direct investments will decrease due to travel restrictions and the effect of COVID-19 in trading partners and remittance-originating countries. The deteriorated economic outlook is expected to result in external and fiscal financing gaps. The RFI provides rapid and low-access financial assistance to member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need, without the need for a full-fledged economic program or reviews. It can provide support to meet a broad range of urgent needs, including those arising from commodity price shocks, natural disasters, conflict and post-conflict situations. Financial assistance under the RFI is provided in the form of outright purchases.
The Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund were adopted at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference (Bretton Woods, New Hampshire) on July 22, 1944. They were originally accepted by 29 countries and since then have been signed and ratified by a total of 189 Member countries. As the charter of the organization, the Articles lay out the Fund’s purposes, which include the promotion of “international monetary cooperation through a permanent institution which provides the machinery for consultation and collaboration on international monetary problems”. The Articles also establish the mandate of the Organization and its members’ rights and obligations, its governance structure and roles of its organs, and lays out various rules of operations including those related to the conduct of its operations and transactions regarding the Special Drawing Rights. The key functions of the IMF are the surveillance of the international monetary system and the monitoring of members’ economic and financial policies, the provision of Fund resources to member countries in need, and the delivery of technical assistance and financial services.
Since their adoption in 1944, the Articles of Agreement have been amended seven times, with the latest amendment adopted on December 15, 2010 (effective January 26, 2016). The Articles are complemented by the By-laws of the Fund adopted by the Board of Governors, themselves being supplemented by the Rules and Regulations adopted by the Executive Board.
The near-term outlook is broadly positive, with robust growth and low inflation. However, growth potential remains constrained by weak external competitiveness, high informality, low labor force participation, and a large infrastructure gap. In a complex political environment, the structural reform progress has been slow and fiscal risks have increased.
This paper discusses the Second Amendment of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement. The drafting of the Second Amendment of the Articles of Agreement was a more prolonged and more complicated task than the preparation of the First Amendment. One characteristic of the Second Amendment is the transformation into law, by incorporation in the Articles, of policies that the IMF had adopted over the years. The provisions of the Second Amendment that deal with repurchase obligations, the selection of currencies for use in purchases and repurchases, and stand-by arrangements are among the many examples that are sometimes referred to as constituting the modernization of the IMF.