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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.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has lagged in growth and globalization. Despite attempts to spur recovery and initiate structural reforms, many countries in the region remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration with the rest of the world. The benefits from oil failed to generate a sustained growth dynamic or bring about greater regional economic integration. The paper highlights that the slowdown in economic reforms is a key factor for the economic depression in the MENA region.
Mario Pessoa, Andrew Okello, Artur Swistak, Muyangwa Muyangwa, Virginia Alonso-Albarran, and Vincent de Paul Koukpaizan
The value-added tax (VAT) has the potential to generate significant government revenue. Despite its intrinsic self-enforcement capacity, many tax administrations find it challenging to refund excess input credits, which is critical to a well-functioning VAT system. Improperly functioning VAT refund practices can have profound implications for fiscal policy and management, including inaccurate deficit measurement, spending overruns, poor budget credibility, impaired treasury operations, and arrears accumulation.This note addresses the following issues: (1) What are VAT refunds and why should they be managed properly? (2) What practices should be put in place (in tax policy, tax administration, budget and treasury management, debt, and fiscal statistics) to help manage key aspects of VAT refunds? For a refund mechanism to be credible, the tax administration must ensure that it is equipped with the strategies, processes, and abilities needed to identify VAT refund fraud. It must also be prepared to act quickly to combat such fraud/schemes.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Algeria analyzes the potential economic impact of Algeria’s Association Agreement with the European Union (AAEU). The paper lays out the major elements of Algeria’s AAEU and makes a comparison with other AAEUs. It discusses the potential economic implications (costs and benefits) of the agreement, and elaborates economic policy issues and challenges. The paper also takes stock of Algeria’s business climate as the authorities consider the use of the fiscal space created by higher hydrocarbon revenues to tackle Algeria’s jobs challenge.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Turbulences sur les marchés financiers ; Strauss-Kahn prend la tête du FMI ; réchauffement climatique ; intégration financière en Europe ; finance islamique ; vulnérabilité des marchés émergents ; leçons de la crise des subprimes ; intégration du Maghreb ; gestion des finances publiques dans les pays producteurs de pétrole ; point sur l'actualité.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Global market turmoil; Strauss-Kahn to head IMF; Global warming; Europe: Financial integration; Islamic finance; Emerging market vulnerability; Subprime turmoil: Lessons; Maghreb integration; Oil producers: Fiscal management; News briefs.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Turbulencias del mercado mundial; Strauss-Kahn, nuevo Director Gerente del FMI; Calentamiento global; Europa: La integración financiera; Las finanzas islámicas; Vulnerabilidad de los mercados emergentes; Agitación en el mercado de hipotecas de alto riesgo: Lecciones; La integración del Magreb; Los productores de petróleo: Gestión fiscal; Notas breves.
Mr. Karim A. Nashashibi
This paper reviews the fiscal revenue performance of Southern Mediterranean Arab countries (SMCs) over the last decade and compares this performance with selected middle income and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. These revenues have been declining over the past few years, and this trend is expected to continue because of a fall in mineral receipts and trade liberalization. Individual income tax yields are substantially lower than in other regions but the introduction of the value-added tax has proven to be highly successful. Higher trade protection than in other regions must be reduced, if SMCs are to be integrated into the global economy. Loss of nontax and customs revenues can be offset by reforms in income tax systems, petroleum product pricing, and by ensuring, through flexible exchange rate policies, that competitiveness is maintained
GEORGE A. MACKENZIE and DAVID W.H. ORSMOND

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.