International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights Bolivia's substantial economic and social progress, boosted by the commodity boom. Growth has been strong, averaging about 5 percent since 2006, and poverty has fallen by a third. During this time, the authorities built up sizable buffers and largely dedollarized the financial system. Real GDP growth is projected at 3.7 percent in 2016, which is still relatively strong by regional standards. In the medium term, growth is expected to converge toward 3.5 percent, consistent with the new commodity price normal, amid persistent twin deficits.
This paper discusses Niger’s Second Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement, and Request for Modification of a Performance Criterion (PCs). With all PCs met, implementation has been satisfactory, except for the large miss of the indicative target on fiscal revenue augmentation—an important concern, considering that it is instrumental for fiscal consolidation and fiscal space to address pressing social and infrastructure needs. The indicative target on domestic arrears clearance in the first quarter of 2018 was also missed, but by less than the overperformance in 2017. The structural reform agenda is advancing, though more slowly than envisaged. The IMF staff supports the conclusion of the second review under the ECF.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Somalia’s Second Review Under the Staff-Monitored Program and Request for Three-Year Arrangements Under the Extended Credit and the Extended Fund Facility. The three-year financing package will support the implementation of the authorities’ National Development Plan and anchor reforms between the heavily indebted poor countries Decision and Completion Points. Reforms will focus on a continued strengthening of public finances to meet Somalia’s development needs in a sustainable manner; a deepening of central bank capacity; improvement of the business environment and governance; and enhancing statistics. Risks to the program and outlook remain elevated, although there is also upside potential. The immediate political risks concern the upcoming elections, while frequent climate shocks continue to contribute to agricultural loss and human displacement. On the upside, greater-than-expected impact from reforms under the program and additional development financing, together with the development of new industries, could lead to higher and more inclusive growth than the baseline.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Economic policy oversight—in IMF parlance, “surveillance”—is a key responsibility of the institution and of its member countries. The challenge for the IMF, particularly over the past decade, has been to ensure that its surveillance remains effective and in step with the dramatic changes taking place in the world economy. Every two years, the IMF undertakes a review of its surveillance. John Hicklin, a Senior Advisor in the IMF’s Policy Development and Review Department, talked with the IMF Survey about the results of the most recent biennial review.
"Capacity development (CD) is one of the Fund’s three core activities and has grown in importance in recent years. It supports member countries’ efforts to build the institutions and capacity necessary to formulate and implement sound economic policies, thereby complementing the Fund’s surveillance and lending mandates. Member countries, partners, and external commentators give the Fund high marks for the quality of its CD. At the same time, efforts need to continue to strengthen Fund CD to serve members’ current and evolving needs.
The 2018 CD Strategy Review examines progress under the Fund’s 2013 CD Strategy and proposes a CD strategy for the next five years.
It notes substantial progress in addressing the 2013 recommendations, which included strengthening the CD governance structure, enhancing the prioritization processes, clarifying the funding model, strengthening monitoring and evaluation, promoting greater integration of TA and training, exploiting new technologies for delivery, and leveraging CD as outreach. However, background work for this review also pointed to the need to strengthen the CD framework further.
The review builds upon the existing CD strategy, focusing on two mutually reinforcing objectives. First, the impact of Fund CD needs to be increased by further strengthening integration with the Fund’s policy advice and lending operations, while continuing to make progress in framing CD through comprehensive strategies tailored to each member’s needs, capacity, and conditions, focusing on implementation and outcomes. Stronger coordination between CD and the Fund’s other core functions will better connect CD with countries’ risks and vulnerabilities and ensure surveillance and lending integrate lessons from CD more effectively. Second, the efficiency of CD needs to be increased by improving CD processes and systems. This will enhance transparency and strengthen the basis for strategic decision making.
Five specific areas of recommendations support the strategy. Likewise, they mitigate institutional risks stemming from the Fund’s CD activities. They include clearer roles and responsibilities for key internal and external stakeholders in the CD process; continued strengthening of prioritization and monitoring; better tailoring and modernization of CD delivery with a focus on implementation of TA recommendations; greater internal consultation and sharing of CD information; and further progress in external coordination, communication, and dissemination of information (Annex I)."
This paper focuses on the economic development in Taiwan. The paper highlights that it was under the Japanese that the first significant commercial development took place in Taiwan as the colony was transformed into a supplier of foodstuffs, particularly rice and sugar, for sale in Japan, in accordance with the normal views of that time of the role of a colonial dependency. The Japanese established an infrastructure in the form of power, communications, and water control systems. The last was an important contribution.
This 2001 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Republic of Palau faces a number of development challenges. Substantial improvements in human and physical infrastructure are needed to sustain higher growth rates. About 80 percent of the land area is on the Babeldaob Island, which is virtually inaccessible now, but it is expected to develop rapidly after the completion of a Japan-funded bridge in 2002 and a United States-funded island access road in 2004. Asset balances have been declining as a result of drawdowns to finance fiscal deficits, as well as recent investment losses.