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Mr. Enrique A Gelbard and Jimmy McHugh

Over the past four years, real GDP growth in Armenia has outpaced that of its neighbors and other low-income countries, averaging 12 percent a year (see chart). Also, since 2001, inflation has been low, at an annual average rate of 4 percent, and poverty and inequality have fallen rapidly. The government’s sustained commitment to economic stability and reform, especially since 2001, has been a critical element in this progress. Armenia is now at a cusp—more reforms can spur further gains, but faltering could put them at risk.

International Monetary Fund

This paper evaluates Azerbaijan’s 2003 Article IV Consultation, Second Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and Requests for Waivers of Performance Criteria, Extension of Arrangement and Rephasing of Purchases. Performance relative to the quantitative targets under the program was strong, as all quantitative performance criteria and most indicative targets were met. Implementation of the structural reforms under the program was slower than planned, delaying completion of the second review. The authorities are requesting several waivers related to delays in structural reforms.

International Monetary Fund

This paper assesses Azerbaijan’s 2001 Article IV Consultation, First Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria. Economic and financial performance was satisfactory, and all quantitative performance criteria were met. Implementation of structural reforms was somewhat slower than programmed, and the authorities are requesting waivers for nonobservance of three structural performance criteria for end-September 2001 and the continuous performance criterion on the stock of external arrears. The adoption of regulations on the oil fund budget was done on time.

International Monetary Fund

Tajikistan’s growth potential is constrained by government interference in markets, and poor energy and transport infrastructure. The report focuses on Tajikistan’s combined 2009 Article IV Consultation, final review under the Staff-Monitored Program, and request for a Three-Year Arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Macroeconomic policies may need to be tightened further if external developments turn out worse than currently projected. Alternatively, additional donor support could ease the domestic adjustment burden.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the Second Review under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) of Cape Verde discusses the macroeconomic framework and recent developments. Cape Verde’s economic program under the PSI is designed to help the country prepare for the opportunities and challenges associated with its graduation from the United Nations least-developed-country (LDC) status in 2008. IMF staff recommended, and the authorities agreed, that a comprehensive medium-term investment plan be prepared, including for state-owned enterprises. This approach would support prioritization of public investment and the planning needed to secure concessional external financing.

International Monetary Fund

This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that since the last Article IV Consultation, Bangladesh’s economy has continued to expand, supported by a stable macroeconomic environment and progress in implementing structural reforms, broadly in line with the recommendations made by the IMF Executive Board. Good progress has been made in strengthening the banking system. Bangladesh Bank has raised minimum capital requirements, taken steps to reduce insider lending, and improved the institutional framework for the prudential supervision of the financial system.

International Monetary Fund

Cape Verde showed strong economic performance owing to its strong policies and macroeconomic stability under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI). Executive Directors appreciated the authorities' plan to consolidate macroeconomic stability, improve public sector financial management and tax administration, and strengthen regulation and supervision of the financial sector while reducing fiscal risks. They applauded the Bank of Cape Verde's (BCV) role in strengthening its framework for regulation and supervision. They stressed the need to strengthen the energy sector to enhance growth and poverty reduction. They welcomed the framework to combat money-laundering and financing of terrorism.

International Monetary Fund
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.
International Monetary Fund
This Joint Staff Advisory Note focuses on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper–II for Cape Verde. Important progress was made in poverty reduction, but rural poverty still remains high. The strategy reports that Cape Verde is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty by 2015. Despite progress made to date, the gap between urban and rural income growth is still wide; thus, efforts to raise rural incomes further and a more effective design of social inclusion programs are needed.
International Monetary Fund
This paper evaluates the Republic of Armenia’s Third Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and a Request for Waiver of Performance Criterion. The PRGF-supported program remains on track. All but one of the December 2002 quantitative performance criteria were met, and all structural measures envisaged for implementation up until February 2003 have been carried out or implemented as a prior action for the third review. The targets on tax revenue, stock of domestic arrears, fiscal deficit, and net international reserves were met with comfortable margins.