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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

After a decade of sluggish growth, in part the result of external shocks, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s economic growth reached 4 percent for two years in a row in 2004-05 and is expected to stay at that rate in 2006. Inflation has also remained under control, the current account deficit has narrowed, international reserves have increased, and the fiscal position is sound, the IMF said in its recent economic review.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

02/19: IMF Completes Review Under Sierra Leone’s PRGF Arrangement and Approves $12 Million Disbursement, March 12

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

“The Challenges Facing the IMF,” Agustin Carstens, IMF Deputy Managing Director, Canberra, Australia, July 27

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Recent efforts to review the functions and effectiveness of the multilateral financial institutions have given rise to a debate about the most appropriate role for multilateral development banks in emerging markets, particularly given the increased reliance on private capital by the big, middle-income emerging markets. On July 13, the U.S.-based Bretton Woods Committee—a bipartisan, nonprofit group organized to build public understanding of international financial and development issues—hosted a symposium on reassessing the role of multilateral banks in emerging markets. Participants were drawn from the private and public sectors, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations.

Ebrahim-zadeh Christine

One of the main points of contention surrounding globalization is whether the flow of technology, skills, culture, ideas, news, information, entertainment, and people across borders consigns many parts of the world to grinding poverty. On February 18, Jagdish Bhagwati (Professor, Columbia University), in discussing his new book, In Defense of Globalization, took on the skeptics, arguing that, when properly managed, globalization is the most powerful force for social good in the world today. The venue was an IMF Economic Forum moderated by Raghuram Rajan (Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department) and with commentary by Daniel Yergin (Chair, Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy).

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Before the iron curtain fell, most firms in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union either were owned by the state or were socially owned. Their behavior was driven by political and social considerations, such as achieving employment targets, rather than by profit-maximizing considerations. Changing the structure of incentives in which enterprises operate is a necessary condition for the successful transition to a market economy. This article, based on a Working Paper by Juan Zalduendo, Senior Economist in the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department, examines the performance of firms in the former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, comparing the performance of firms created following privatization (new firms) with that of firms that predated the transition (surviving or old firms).

Miss Gita Bhatt

ASpecial Session of the United Nations General Assembly met in Geneva on June 26–30 to assess the progress that had been made in the five years since the March 1995 Copenhagen Summit adopted a Declaration on Social Development and Program of Action. In the Copenhagen declaration the heads of state or government of 117 countries had committed themselves to fighting poverty, unemployment, and social disintegration. In the intervening five years, there has been heightened concern over the economic and social consequences of international financial crises, growing insecurity over globalization, and, in some regions, a deepening of poverty and unemployment.