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International Monetary Fund

This paper reviews the progress report on implementation of the National Strategy for Socio-Economic Development (NSSED) during 2004 in Albania. The NSSED established a multiyear plan to combat poverty and strengthen governance. The main implication of the Integrated Planning System for the NSSED is that it will evolve into a comprehensive strategic planning framework. Its focus will accordingly shift toward medium to long-term planning, ensuring that a coherent, costed, mutually consistent sector and cross-cutting strategies are developed that serve as the policy basis for the annual Medium-Term Budget Program process.

David C. Fulton

Articles in Finance and Development generally deal with the world’s economic problems as they appear to the generals in the operations room, or to senior officials in the field. In this series of articles, an attempt is made to give some glimpses of development as it affects the lives of the private soldiers of development.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

During July 23-27, the IMF Institute offered a course on economic growth as part of its in-house training program. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Professor of Economics at Columbia University, came to the IMF for the seventh time to discuss growth from a theoretical and empirical perspective. As on previous occasions, there was a large demand for this very popular course. Sala-i-Martin spoke with the Alicia Jiménez of the IMF Institute about the main factors that need to be present in order to stimulate growth.

International Monetary Fund

The Russian economy has improved after the recession, but recovery is fragile. Executive Directors appreciated the pre-crisis policy of taxing and saving oil revenues in a stabilization fund, which had created significant space for fiscal expansion, monetary easing, and extraordinary liquidity support to the banking system while helping to prevent an abrupt ruble depreciation. Directors agreed that the main challenges will be to implement medium-term fiscal consolidation, mitigate pressures for real appreciation and inflation, restore the health of the banking system, and improve the investment climate through ambitious structural reforms.