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Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Mr. Xuefei Bai, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

How involved is the IMF in the Pacific?

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Mr. Xuefei Bai, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

Average growth in the small states in the Asia and Pacific region remained weak (1 percent) in 2013 and underperformed that in other small states—2 percent. However, activity within the Asia-Pacific small states was uneven, with commodity exporters growing at the rate of 3 percent which, while robust, was lower than past rates (Figure 1). Economic performance in the microstates (i.e., countries with a population below 200,000—Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu) lagged behind with growth estimated at less than 1 percent. Inflation has remained broadly in check. These countries remain highly vulnerable to natural disasters as shown by the recent cyclones in Tonga and Vanuatu, and severe floods in Solomon Islands.

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Mr. Xuefei Bai, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

Context: The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is going through a period of output fluctuations. The economy expanded in FY2012 by 3.2 percent, supported by export growth, but in FY2013 is estimated to have slowed to 0.8 percent due to the postponement of infrastructure projects. A fiscal deficit of 0.8 percent of GDP was recorded in FY2012 and another deficit of similar magnitude is estimated for FY2013.

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Mr. Xuefei Bai, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

Fishing license fees are a major source of revenue in several Pacific island countries (Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Tuvalu). In 2013 the fee earnings ranged from 15 percent of total revenues in the Marshall Islands to 65 percent in Kiribati. Despite the large fishery-derived wealth, PICs still have enormous untapped marine resources and further efforts are under way to properly leverage and manage them. First, the ratio of the income PICs receive by selling fishing rights to foreign companies to the value of the fish catch is very low. Second, an improperly designed access right scheme could lead to the overexploitation of marine resources. This would mean a decline in the fish supply (mainly tuna) and, eventually, a depletion of fish stocks, which would undermine fiscal sustainability. Finally, the intrinsic volatility of revenue from fishing license fees poses a challenge for fiscal policy.2

Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Mr. Xuefei Bai, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

The work on the small states is an important component of the IMF’s global policy agenda. Among the 36 member countries covered by the IMF Asia and Pacific Department (APD), 13 countries are developing small states—most of which are Pacific islands. As part of APD’s ongoing effort to increase its engagement with regional small states and their development partners and enhance information sharing within the IMF, this issue marks the launch of the APD Small States Monitor, a quarterly bulletin featuring the latest economic developments, country notes from the most recent Article IV staff reports, special topics, past and upcoming events, and forthcoming IMF research on small states. In future issues, we will also host contributions from the authorities of small states and their development partners on key policy topics. Our goal is to exchange knowledge and deepen our understanding of the policy challenges these economies face to better tailor our policy advice.

Aldo W. Zanzi

This paper highlights that the financial activity of the IMF reached a new peak in the first three quarters of 1981 in terms of the number of arrangements with members involving high conditionality on the use of the IMF’s resources, the total amount of resources committed under existing arrangements, and the magnitude of actual purchases. There were 25 stand-by arrangements in effect at the end of September 1981, as well as 16 extended arrangements. The total amount of resources made available to member countries in the first nine months of 1981 was SDR 9.3 billion.

International Monetary Fund

This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite frequent shocks and an uncertain policy environment in Vanuatu, macroeconomic stability has been maintained. Real GDP growth was 2½ percent in 2000 owing to an agriculture-led recovery. However, the economy contracted by 2 percent in 2001, owing to the effects of several major cyclones and a global downturn in agriculture and tourism. Inflation remained subdued, increasing from 2½ percent in 2000 to 3¾ percent in 2001. The current account surplus declined from 2 percent of GDP in 2000 to ¾ percent in 2001.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Devastating Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu on March 13, destroying a large share of housing, infrastructure, tourist facilities, crops, and livestock. Estimated damage and losses to the economy exceed 60 percent of GDP.

International Monetary Fund

This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that Vanuatu’s real GDP growth rebounded to 2.4 percent in 2003, and the recovery continued in 2004 with growth of an estimated 3 percent. The improvement was bolstered by a strong supply response to a recovery in export prices and the liberalization of trading in two key exports (cocoa and copra), the discovery of new markets for kava following the ban by several countries in 2002, and higher tourist arrivals with an expansion in airline capacity to Vanuatu. Progress has also been made in strengthening Vanuatu’s financial sector.