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.
This paper discusses Fiscal Year 2003 Annual Report for Japan Administered Account for Selected IMF Activities (JSA). The report consists of a brief description of the IMF and its activities, with a particular focus on its technical assistance activities. It provides greater detail with regard to the JSA and the scholarship programs. It also describes the objectives, size and scope, and use with a focus on fiscal year 2003. The report highlights that in FY2003, JSA financing accounted for 18 percent of total IMF technical assistance, 33 percent of the assistance delivered in the field, and 66 percent of the total external financing.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
NEOLIBERALISM IS NOW the go-to moniker for everything that went wrong in the late 20th century and the new millennium. Often a term of abuse, it is a synonym for a crassly materialistic and superficial belief in the inherent superiority of markets. Its standard bearers were British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan.
Mr. Alexander D Klemm, Mr. Dennis P Botman, and Reza Baqir
We compare the general tax provisions and investment incentives in the Philippines to six other east-Asian economies-Malaysia, Indonesia, Lao, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. We calculate effective tax rates and find that general effective tax rates are relatively high in the Philippines, while investment incentives are comparable to those in neighboring countries. Tax holidays are most attractive for very profitable firms, creating redundancy, and for investment in short-lived assets. We also consider recently-proposed tax reforms that would replace tax holidays by a reduced corporate income tax rate or a low tax on gross receipts. The results suggest that this would result in stronger incentives to invest, while government revenue increases. Alternatively, replacing holidays with a general reduction in the corporate tax rate and offering accelerated depreciation will either not provide the same incentives or be very costly.
Ms. Priyadarshani Joshi and Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer
We compute realized transfers implicit in IMF lending from 1973-2003, based on 2003 IMF repayment projections and promised debt relief. IMF lending rates to high-and middleincome countries fell short of industrial country borrowing rates by 30-150 basis points over the period as a whole, but exhibited a small premium after 1987. The subsidy received by low-income and HIPC countries was much higher (400-600 basis points, respectively). In 2002 NPV terms, cumulative transfers were 12-15 percent of 2002 GDP for the HIPCs, 2-3 percent for low income countries, and less than ¾ percent for the emerging market countries.
In 1990, Japan agreed to provide financial support for the IMF’s technical assistance to its member countries to strengthen their capacity to formulate, implement, and maintain macroeconomic and structural adjustment programs. Since then, Japan has been, and continues to be, the largest contributor to the IMF’s technical assistance (TA) activities.1 Japan’s contributions are provided through the “Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities” (JSA).2 In addition, Japan also finances two scholarship programs, one under the JSA and the other under a separate account, the “Subaccount for Japan Advanced Scholarship Program.”