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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the unconventional energy boom in North America, and its macroeconomic implications and challenges for Canada. The unconventional energy boom has had significant positive effects on Canada’s economic activity and has the potential to contribute even more in the future with the appropriate extension of infrastructure capacity. The findings suggest that although limited exports capacity would result in output losses over the medium term, the potential output gains from a full market access of Canada’s energy products could reach about 2 percent of GDP over a 10-year horizon.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the unconventional energy boom in North America, and its macroeconomic implications and challenges for Canada. The unconventional energy boom has had significant positive effects on Canada’s economic activity and has the potential to contribute even more in the future with the appropriate extension of infrastructure capacity. The findings suggest that although limited exports capacity would result in output losses over the medium term, the potential output gains from a full market access of Canada’s energy products could reach about 2 percent of GDP over a 10-year horizon.

Mr. Ahmed I Al-Darwish, Naif Alghaith, Mr. Alberto Behar, Mr. Tim Callen, Mr. Pragyan Deb, Mr. Amgad Hegazy, Padamja Khandelwal, Ms. Malika Pant, and Mr. Haonan Qu
Saudi Arabia: Tackling Emerging Economic Challenges to Sustain Strong Growth
Mr. Ahmed I Al-Darwish, Naif Alghaith, Mr. Alberto Behar, Mr. Tim Callen, Mr. Pragyan Deb, Mr. Amgad Hegazy, Padamja Khandelwal, Ms. Malika Pant, and Mr. Haonan Qu
Saudi Arabia: Tackling Emerging Economic Challenges to Sustain Strong Growth
Philippe Bourcier and Mohsen Shirazi

Many developing countries could use natural gas to reduce oil imports or allow larger oil exports. What are the economic, institutional, and contractual issues that need attention?

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper looks at the factors behind the accumulation of cash positions by Canadian nonfinancial corporations. Focusing only on listed firms and running a model of changes in cash holdings suggest that greater macroeconomic and business uncertainty may have induced firms to raise the cash buffer at their disposal over the last decade. This is especially the case for firms in the energy and mining sector, which account for the majority of cash accumulation in the sample used in current analysis. The analysis also shows that firms’ high cash balances are typically associated with higher levels of capital expenditure, which bodes well for the acceleration of business investment in the near future.
Mr. Tamim Bayoumi and Mr. Martin Mühleisen
This paper describes potential benefits from Canada's expanding oil sands production, higher energy exports, and further improvements in the terms of trade. Contrary to the previous Canadian exchange rate literature, this paper finds that both energy and nonenergy commodity prices have an influence on the Canadian dollar, and some upward pressure on the exchange rate would therefore be expected. Model results suggest, however, that the impact on other tradable goods exports is limited.
SELIM ELEKDAG, RENÉ LALONDE, DOUGLAS LAXTON, DIRK MUIR, and PAOLO PESENTI

This paper develops a five-region version—Canada, a group of oil-exporting countries, the United States, emerging Asia, and Japan plus the euro area—of the global economy model encompassing production and trade of crude oil. In the presence of real adjustment costs that reduce the short- and medium-term responses of oil supply and demand, our simulations can account for large endogenous variations of oil prices with large effects on the terms of trade of oil-exporting versus oil-importing countries, and result in significant wealth transfers between regions. This is especially true when we consider a sustained increase in productivity growth or a shift in production technology toward more oil-intensive goods in regions such as emerging Asia. In addition, we study the implications of higher taxes on gasoline, showing that such a policy could increase world productive capacity while being consistent with a reduction in oil consumption. IMF Staff Papers (2008) 55, 297-311. doi:10.1057/imfsp.2008.3; published online 25 March 2008

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that the current round of trade talks under the auspices of the World Trade Organization aims at better integrating developing countries—especially the small and poor ones—into the global trading system. For that reason, it was named the Doha Development Agenda when it was launched in late 2001. However, more than three years on, little progress has been made. It took a late July 2004 accord outlining “negotiating frameworks” in agriculture and industrial products just to keep the talks afloat.