This Joint Staff Advisory Note provides IMF staff advice on key priorities for strengthening the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS II) for Ghana and for ensuring its effective implementation. It highlights critical areas that could justify renewed focus. IMF staff commends the Ghanaian authorities for the breadth and scope of the document, as well as the candid treatment of some of the issues. IMF staff also welcomes the progress in several areas reported in the annual progress report.
The Joint Staff Advisory Note (JSAN) of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Progress Report for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) reviews the strengths and weaknesses of poverty reduction objectives and strategies. The Lao PDR National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy (NGPES) is the first full poverty reduction strategy prepared by the government. The NGPES describes the participatory process underpinning the development of the strategy. Capacity constraints, weak governance, and a difficulty translating strategic objectives into concrete actions are the main obstacles to the reform process.
This Selected Issues paper for Peru shows that during the years of strong growth and high commodity prices, the Peruvian authorities have conducted a prudent fiscal policy, maintaining a broadly neutral fiscal stance. During 2004–08, while the revenue-to-GDP ratio increased 3.7 percentage points, the expenditure ratio rose only 0.9 percentage points. Expenditure control focused on current spending and coincided with increasing government investment aimed at enhancing public access to infrastructure and social services. Fiscal policy has also outperformed budgets approved by congress, owing to higher-than-anticipated revenue, as well as the need to limit inflation pressures.
Economic performance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has improved markedly. To safeguard the fiscal position, the government has to rigorously monitor budget execution and reduce nondiscretionary spending. The current monetary and floating exchange rate regime should be maintained. Recent efforts to shore up financial stability and develop the banking sector give opportunities for closer regional and global financial integration. Institutional weaknesses, the business environment, and establishing a strong foundation for the exploitation and development of DRC’s natural resources will be critical.
Real GDP growth slowed somewhat to 5.3 percent in 2009, its slowest pace since 2000, though Vietnam was among the better performers in developing Asia. An immediate challenge is to consolidate the current stable macroeconomic conditions through prudent policies and better communications. Over the medium term, Vietnam needs to implement fiscal consolidation with a view to lowering the public debt-to-GDP ratio. IMF staff welcomed the move to modernize and strengthen fiscal management. Staff argued for further reforms, as state-owned commercial banks (SOCBs) still do not totally follow market-based business principles.