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Ms. Susan Creane, Rishi Goyal, A. Mushfiq Mobarak, and Miss Randa Sab

This paper analyzes why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has lagged in growth and globalization. Despite attempts to spur recovery and initiate structural reforms, many countries in the region remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration with the rest of the world. The benefits from oil failed to generate a sustained growth dynamic or bring about greater regional economic integration. The paper highlights that the slowdown in economic reforms is a key factor for the economic depression in the MENA region.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the First Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) for the Islamic Republic of Mauritania explains the macroeconomic outlook and fiscal policy. Despite a substantial oil revenue shortfall, the fiscal deficit target was met and significant reserves were maintained in the oil fund. The prudent monetary stance contributed to strengthening confidence in the ouguiya and reining in inflation. Mauritania needs to continue to mobilize concessional support to finance its poverty reduction strategy.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Economic Development Document summarizes Mauritania’s Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity (SCAPP) for 2016–30. The first five-year phase of the SCAPP will complete projects under way and lay the foundations for a new, politically more peaceful Mauritania, with infrastructure put in place to support growth and encourage development of the country's natural resources. Steps will be taken to complete the reforms needed to improve the business climate and promote the private sector. In the second five-year period, the economy will be more diversified and competitive, with the real rate of growth averaging at about 10 percent a year. The third five-year phase will consolidate Mauritania's “new look” and the economic growth will exceed 12 percent a year.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The adoption of internationally recognized standards and codes of good practice can help to improve economic policymaking and strengthen the international financial system. The international community has called on the IMF and other forums and standard-setting agencies to develop standards and codes covering a number of economic and financial areas. As part of an ongoing outreach process, the IMF and the World Bank jointly sponsored a conference on international standards and codes in Washington, DC, during March 7-8. Participants in the conference included senior officials from selected industrial countries and from emerging market, transition, and other developing countries; IMF Executive Directors; and representatives from international agencies, standard-setting bodies, and the private sector.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

On December 22, the IMF and the World Bank announced that their Executive Boards had endorsed the adoption of the Poverty-Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) as the central mechanism for developing and coordinating concessional lending to low-income member countries, including the commitment of resources under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The text of Press Release No. 99/65, which follows, is also available on the IMF’s website (