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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper discusses the project financed by the World Bank for controlling the flow of the Chao Phya River in Thailand. Chao Phya is the lifestream of the Thai people. However, this river, and its principal tributaries are, in their natural state, capricious rivers. In the early 1950s, the World Bank began assisting the Thai government in a series of projects designed to break this ancient tyranny of the rivers’ violent changes. The paper describes how the river is being tamed for irrigation and navigation, and how they are providing electric power and other benefits.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper discusses the study on development planning conducted by a small group within the World Bank. The study reveals that most countries not only encounter the same planning problems, they make the same mistakes. The paper highlights that although most countries with development plans have not succeeded in carrying them out, some countries without national development plans or national planning agencies have been developing rapidly. The paper also highlights that the lack of government support is the prime reason why so few development plans are carried out.
Hollis B. Chenery

An understanding of the relationship between overall growth and structural change is central to any choice of priorities in development policy. The author summarizes results from several econometric studies of structural change and the source of economic growth, and identifies the principal strategies that have led to successful development in the past 20 years.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Based on a simple but powerful promise—that international economic integration will improve economic performance—globalization has tremendous appeal to policymakers and world leaders as a development strategy, according to Dani Rodrik of Harvard University. Speaking at a seminar organized by the IMF Institute in Washington on May 15, Rodrik explained that as countries reduce tariff and nontariff barriers to trade and open up to international capital flows, the expectation is that growth increases. This, in turn, will reduce poverty and improve the quality of life for most of the population of developing countries.

Jie Yang and Dan Nyberg
Despite substantial debt relief to HIPC Initiative completion point countries, long-term debt sustainability remains a challenge. This paper examines a number of structural factors affecting external debt sustainability. It shows that in HIPC completion point countries (i) the export base broadly remains narrow; (ii) fiscal revenue mobilization lags behind in some countries; and (iii) policy and institutional frameworks are still relatively weak. Achieving and maintaining longterm debt sustainability in completion point countries will require continued structural reforms, timely donor support, and close monitoring of new non-concessional borrowing.
International Monetary Fund
This paper analyses the economic costs of current agricultural policies in Turkmenistan. It argues that the opportunity cost of continuing with these policies is very high for the budget, the average farmer, and the economy as a whole. The paper calls for the development of nontraditional agricultural crops, which are more profitable than wheat and cotton in the international commodity markets, and a comprehensive and sustained reform strategy for the agricultural sector.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.