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John A. Holsen

The non-oil middle-income developing countries have so far been remarkably successful in cushioning the effects of both the recession and their worsened terms of trade through increased international borrowing. This article suggests that they have the ability to maintain a reasonably high rate of growth over the medium term, while progressively reducing their reliance upon external borrowing as their exports expand. Success will depend heavily upon internal policies in these countries, as well as upon trends in the world economy.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the various transmission channels of the Syrian crisis—though quantification is hampered by the lack of reliable data—with focus on the impact on fiscal performance and labor markets; it also takes stock of international donor efforts to date. The paper also provides overviews of main effects on Lebanon’s economy, the expenditure pressures associated with the refugee presence, the impact on poverty and inequality, and the added strains on labor markets. A section of the paper describes the response by the international community to help Lebanon cope with the Syrian crisis. Absent additional international support, the needs of both refugees and affected Lebanese communities will not be met. Sound government policies—including implementation of a concerted policy framework to deal with refugee issues and a commitment to fiscal discipline—will send credible signals to donors and help mobilize budget support. Tackling the unprecedented refugee crisis requires strong international support. There has been a large international humanitarian response, but much more is needed.
International Monetary Fund
An informal Executive Board seminar in December 2006 made an important start in the development of a new quota formula.2 The discussion was wide ranging, raising a number of important issues that need to be considered further in the development of a formula that can achieve the objectives of the quota reform and command the required broad support within the membership. This paper seeks to provide a basis for a second discussion, including by exploring issues raised at the December meeting. The paper also provides further simulations based on a wider range of assumptions regarding possible variables and their weights, as requested by many Directors. As with the last paper, it should be emphasized that this paper does not seek to propose any particular formula and that all the simulations presented should be seen as illustrative and as merely an aid to discussion. Nevertheless, it is hoped that the discussion of this paper will help lay the groundwork for beginning to narrow options and moving toward formulation of a specific proposal in the coming months. The paper does not address the size of the second round ad hoc quota increases. This question, which is closely linked to the magnitude of the increase in basic votes, will be taken up at a later stage once the discussion of the formula is more advanced.
International Monetary Fund
The Board of Governors in a Resolution adopted on September 18 requested that the Executive Board reach agreement on a new quota formula, starting discussions soon after the Annual Meetings in Singapore. According to the Resolution, this work should be completed by the Annual Meetings in 2007, and no later than the IMFC Meeting in the Spring of 2008. The Resolution states that the new formula should provide a simpler and more transparent means of capturing members’ relative positions in the world economy. This new formula would provide the basis for a second round of ad hoc quota increases, as part of the program of quota and voice reform to be completed by the Annual Meetings in 2007, and no later than by the Annual Meetings of 2008. This paper explores key issues related to a new quota formula as background for an informal Board seminar. This seminar is the first opportunity for the Board to discuss the new formula since the adoption of the Resolution. The paper first reviews the broad considerations and principles that should guide the design of a new quota formula, taking as a starting point the roles of quotas in the Fund. The paper also considers more specific issues in that light, such as the selection of variables and possible functional forms for the new formula. In examining these issues, the paper draws on the extensive discussion of the quota formulas in recent years, taking up questions raised both within the Board and in other fora.
International Monetary Fund
At its Spring Meeting, the IMFC reiterated the importance of implementing the program of quota and voice reforms in line with the timetable set out by the Board of Governors in Singapore. The Committee welcomed the initial informal Board discussions on a new quota formula and stressed the importance of agreeing on a new formula, which should be simple and transparent and should capture members’ relative positions in the world economy. It noted that this reform would result in higher shares for dynamic economies, many of which are emerging market economies, whose weight and role in the global economy have increased. The Committee also stressed the importance of enhancing the voice and participation of low-income countries, a key issue for which is an increase in basic votes, at a minimum preserving the voting share of low-income countries. The Committee called on the Executive Board to continue its work on the reform package as a matter of priority.