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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

This is the 64th issue of the AREAER. It provides a description of the foreign exchange arrangements, exchange and trade systems, and capital controls of all IMF member countries. It also provides information on the operation of foreign exchange markets and controls on international trade. It describes controls on capital transactions and measures implemented in the financial sector, including prudential measures. In addition, it reports on exchange measures imposed by member countries for security reasons. A single table provides a snapshot of the exchange and trade systems of all IMF member countries. The Overview describes in detail how the general trend toward foreign exchange liberalization continued during 2012, alongside a strengthening of the financial sector regulatory framework. The AREAER is available in several formats. The Overview in print and online, and the detailed information for each of the 191 member countries and territories is included on a CD that accompanies the printed Overview and in an online database, AREAER Online. In addition to the information on the exchange and trade system of IMF member countries in 2012, AREAER Online contains historical data published in previous issues of the AREAER. It is searchable by year, country, and category of measure and allows cross country comparisons for time series.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

01/12: Second Review of Cambodia’s PRGF Loan, January 30

T. N. SRINIVASAN

This paper examines contractionary currency crashes in developing countries. It explores the causes of India’s productivity surge around 1980, more than a decade before serious economic reforms were initiated. The paper finds evidence that the trigger may have been an attitudinal shift by the government in the early 1980s that, unlike the reforms of the 1990s, was pro-business rather than pro-market in character, favoring the interests of existing businesses rather than new entrants or consumers. A relatively small shift elicited a large productivity response, because India was far away from its income possibility frontier.

Karim Barhoumi, Ha Vu, Shirin Nikaein Towfighian, and Mr. Rodolfo Maino
There is significant room to improve public investment efficiency in sub-Saharan Africa. Investment in sub-Saharan African countries is lagging vis-à-vis peers such as emerging and developing Asia as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, and the region’s infrastructure is perceived as being of relatively low quality. Improving the efficiency of sizable investment programs in the region could contribute to more solid economic growth and help achieve desired social priorities and development goals. Results point to some variability in public investment efficiency within the region. Comparing efficiency scores across country groups suggests that investment efficiency in sub-Saharan African oil exporters tends to be lower than in sub-Saharan African non-resource-intensive countries. Additionally, countries in East African Community (EAC) perform better than those in Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) and West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Stronger institutions could foster more efficient public investment. The regression results in this paper show a positive correlation between public investment efficiency and the quality of institutions, suggesting that devel-oping stronger institutions in sub-Saharan Africa could lead to a significant improvement in investment efficiency. This is particularly relevant for coun-tries with weak institutional quality, where governments may use capital spending as a vehicle for rent-seeking, leading to inefficient spending. Given the current drive for scaling up investment in sub-Saharan Africa, the task of improving institutions quickly should become a priority.