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Bassirou Sarr

The IMF and the World Council of Churches (WCC), the main international organization of Protestant churches, along with the World Bank, met to discuss the evolution of their mandates and their views on development, poverty, and social justice. Academics from various countries and disciplines, invited by the WCC, also attended the February 13-14 meeting in Geneva.

Thomas Reichmann and Mr. Richard T. Stillson

Countries facing temporary balance of payments problems may use Fund resources, usually in the form of stand-by arrangements, to support programs designed to correct maladjustments in their balance of payments. The authors of this article recently conducted a study of such programs. They report here on their analysis and their evaluation of the policies followed by a selected number of countries which used Fund resources under stand-by arrangements.

John W. Lowe

The International Finance Corporation, an affiliate of the World Bank which provides finance for private sector projects in the developing countries, has been involved in providing finance for agribusiness since 1964. This article discusses the Corporation’s experience in this sector.

International Monetary Fund

This paper assesses Nicaragua’s 2002 Article IV Consultation and Requests for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and for Interim Assistance Under the Enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). A key program objective is medium-term fiscal sustainability. This will require a significant reduction of primary spending, while protecting poverty-reducing outlays, and an increase in tax revenues. The IMF staff recommends that the authorities’ request for a new three-year PRGF arrangement and interim HIPC assistance be approved.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses Nicaragua’s 2005 Article IV Consultation and Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Reviews Under the Three Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). The economy continued to perform well, notwithstanding pressure from higher oil prices. Strong performance under the program in 2003–04 allowed Nicaragua to reach the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries completion point in January 2004. Since then, growth has moderated toward 4.1 percent y/y in 2005. Key medium-term challenges include addressing vulnerabilities arising from weak balance sheets, reflected in high levels of debt and dollarization.

International Monetary Fund

This paper is a report of Nicaragua’s performance under the 2007–11 program. The period was marked by a stern financial crisis, price shocks, and disasters, but the program maintained the macroeconomic stability. Although the program had several hurdles, its achievements were remarkable—approval of tax reforms, improvements in banks' framework, power and electricity framework, dwindled poverty rate, and strong foreign relations. Overall, the Board is in high spirits in the triumph of the program in a critical situation though it had some flaws.

Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Padamja Khandelwal, and Mr. Alexander Lehmann
We assess the current barriers to trade in financial services in the six Central American countries seeking a free trade agreement with the United States (the CAFTA) and examine the relative merits of regional and multilateral liberalization. Even though there are few formal barriers, deficiencies in regulatory and competition standards and in the judicial systems still restrict the participation of foreign institutions in the financial systems in the region. A greater presence of such institutions could support other objectives of trade and investment liberalization, though it would require several adjustments in prudential supervision at national levels and greater cooperation between members of the CAFTA.
International Monetary Fund
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.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Nicaragua’s robust macroeconomic performance in 2016. Real GDP grew by 4.7 percent in 2016, supported by strong domestic demand, while inflation remained subdued at 3.1 percent as of the end of 2016, owing largely to the contribution of food prices. The current account deficit for 2016 is estimated to have narrowed to 8.6 percent of GDP, compared with 9 percent in 2015. This consolidation is largely explained by maquila exports, which have been better captured owing to improvements in statistical compilation. The current account deficit remained financed by foreign direct investment and other long-term inflows.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that structural reforms, strengthened policy frameworks and the ongoing smooth political transition have laid the foundations for sustained growth in El Salvador. The discussions focused on policies that build on these achievements and address fiscal vulnerabilities, boost long-term growth, and strengthen the governance, anticorruption and Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism frameworks. Continued US dollar appreciation led to a significant decline in inflation and widening of the current account deficit. The authorities agreed that debt would continue to drift upward in the absence of measures, and that weaker-than-expected global growth could have a negative impact on the domestic economy. The authorities emphasized their commitment to guarantee a smooth political transition by sharing information with the new administration and by inviting the Audit Office to oversee the handover process. It is recommended to improve the governance and anticorruption frameworks by increasing the fiscal transparency of the 2020 budget laws, strengthening audit and spending controls, and promptly implementing electronic invoicing.