The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia is a program for graduate studies in macroeconomics or related fields at various universities in Japan. The program is aimed at promising, young officials in central banks or in ministries of finance, economy, or planning in the Asia, Central Asia, and Pacific regions.9 The program, which is operated under the JSA, offers 12- and 24-month scholarships and is in the process of being expanded from the previous 25 scholarships per year to about 50 scholarships each year. For the academic year 2002, 31 scholarships were awarded.10 There are two forms of scholarships. Scholars accepted under the “partnership track” participate in specially designed courses offered by one of four participating universities,11 while the “open track” is available to candidates who have already been accepted to a graduate-level program in macroeconomics or a related field at any leading university in Japan. The program is currently administered by the IMF’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo.
The IMF began to provide technical assistance to its member countries in the early 1960s in response to requests from newly independent nations in Africa and Asia. By the mid-1980s, resources devoted to technical assistance had nearly doubled. As a result of the expansion of the IMF’s membership and the adoption of market-oriented economies by a large number of countries worldwide, IMF technical assistance activities grew even more rapidly in the early 1990s. The demand increased further in the late 1990s as significant technical assistance resources had to be directed to countries hit by financial crisis. In addition, in recent years, the IMF has had to mount significant efforts to provide prompt policy advice and operational assistance to countries emerging from conflict situations. Currently, the IMF devotes some 350 person years to technical assistance activities, plus some $10 million for training and scholarships annually.5 The delivery of IMF technical assistance over the period FY1998–FY2003 is shown in Figure 1.
The IMF, an international organization of currently 184 member countries, was established in 1946 to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements; to provide temporary financial assistance to countries with balance of payments difficulties; and to foster economic growth and high levels of employment. To achieve these objectives, the IMF carries out three types of operational activities: surveillance, financial assistance, and technical assistance.
Japan has provided grant contributions to support the IMF’s technical assistance to member countries since 1990. In 1997, the administered account was amended in order to widen the scope of activities for which contributions could be made to finance other IMF activities in Asia and the Pacific carried out through its Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo.
Hawala can be simply defined as an alternative or parallel remittance system that exists and operates outside the traditional banking system. Typically, a hawala transaction transfers the value of money from one country to another without the corresponding movement of cash or cover across borders. Another way of looking at the transaction is that it is a transfer of debt.
On behalf of the Somali people, I would like to take this occasion to thank H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.); Their Highnesses, the members of the Supreme Council; and the government and the people of the U.A.E. for their generous hospitality in accommodating such a big community of Somalis who live and work in their country. The U.A.E. has been our second home for a long time and especially during the past 14 years since the state of Somalia collapsed.
In September 2004, Da Afghanistan Bank, the country’s central bank, introduced legislation to regulate and supervise the activities of money service providers in Afghanistan. This regulation applies to all individuals and legal entities that provide money services in Afghanistan, whether or not the individuals and legal entities are domiciled in Afghanistan. For the purposes of the regulation, money services are defined to include safekeeping, money transmission, check cashing, and currency exchange. A licensed money service provider is entitled to engage in all of the activities of a foreign exchange dealer, but a licensed foreign exchange dealer may not engage in safekeeping, money transmission, or check cashing without upgrading its license to that of a money service provider.1
In recent years, as remittance flows and funds transfer systems have become increasingly important for international policymakers, the broad concepts of remittance phenomena have become well documented. This essay compares the key features of two remittance corridors, identifying two distinct stages for inducing a comprehensive shift from informal to formal channels. The main source of analytical information is work conducted by the World Bank in support of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Remittance Initiative. Additional research could explore in more detail how the features of a given corridor should be addressed in implementing regulations and how operators in the formal sector can best reach remittance senders.