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Martin Wolf, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Philippe Legrain, Franklin Foer, David Hawley, James Raymond Vreeland, and Mr. Rodney Ramcharan

This paper highlights that for the IMF, July 2004 marked the 60th anniversary of the conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, when delegations from 44 allied countries drafted and agreed upon the IMF’s charter. The IMF’s role and work have evolved in response, but like any large organization, its ability to change has been limited by its own rules and mandate and has been held back by inertia. This year’s anniversary offers an opportunity to reflect on how gaps between the reality and the ideal might be closed in the coming years.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

With a sustained economic recovery under way and another successful enlargement of the European Union (EU) under its belt, Europe should finally have something to cheer about. Instead, reform fatigue has gripped many policymakers, and Europe’s citizens seem intent on blaming the EU and globalization for their countries’ woes. For instance, a new FT-Harris poll showed that an overwhelming majority of citizens in the big euro area countries now believe that the euro has damaged their national economies. In this interview with Camilla Andersen of the IMF Survey, Michael Deppler, head of the IMF’s European Department, explains why the notion that Europe’s problems are caused by excessive globalization is badly off the mark.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Despite attempts to spur recovery and accelerate reforms, many countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration. How can the region reinvigorate growth and reignite the reform process? On September 9, a panel of experts—Amer Bisat (Senior Economist and Portfolio Manager, UBS Asset Management), Hani Findakly (Director, Clinton Group), Mustapha Kamel Nabli (Chief Economist and Director, Middle East/North Africa, World Bank), and Shibley Telhami (Professor, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland)—gathered at an IMF Economic Forum to discuss the opportunities for reform and the constraints that will need to be faced. The discussion was moderated by George T. Abed (Director, IMF Middle Eastern Department).

Vito Amendolagine, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, Roberta Rabellotti, Marco Sanfilippo, and Adnan Seric
The local sourcing of intermediate products is one the main channels for foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers. This paper investigates whether and how participation and positioning in the global value chains (GVCs) of host countries is associated to local sourcing by foreign investors. Matching two firm-level data sets of 19 Sub-Saharan African countries and Vietnam to country-sector level measures of GVC involvement, we find that more intense GVC participation and upstream specialization are associated to a higher share of inputs sourced locally by foreign investors. These effects are larger in countries with stronger rule of law and better education.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes Senegal’s real effective exchange rate (REER) and external competitiveness. A REER significantly above its equilibrium, as determined by economic fundamentals, can impede a country’s external competitiveness, calling for corrective macroeconomic measures. This paper finds no conclusive evidence of a REER overvaluation, implying that structural reforms are key to improving Senegal’s external competitiveness. The paper also describes Senegal’s export performance, developments of the REER, and an empirical analysis of the equilibrium REER. Structural measures of competitiveness are also illustrated.