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Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Padamja Khandelwal, and Mr. Alexander Lehmann
We assess the current barriers to trade in financial services in the six Central American countries seeking a free trade agreement with the United States (the CAFTA) and examine the relative merits of regional and multilateral liberalization. Even though there are few formal barriers, deficiencies in regulatory and competition standards and in the judicial systems still restrict the participation of foreign institutions in the financial systems in the region. A greater presence of such institutions could support other objectives of trade and investment liberalization, though it would require several adjustments in prudential supervision at national levels and greater cooperation between members of the CAFTA.
International Monetary Fund
The paper is an elaborated report on Nicaragua’s potential economic growth. The challenges and idiosyncratic shocks were immense but the policies of better education, labor contracts, and accomplishments in public investments paved the way for movement of the economy. The external competitiveness and exchange rate assessment also have an important hand. The achievements in the electricity sector and the improvement in reforming the pension system are the prominent aspects. On the whole, the Board considers this growth as a positive trial of development in the global panorama.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Nicaragua reports that the Central America–Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) provides a general framework for country-specific bilateral agreements. In addition to the phased liberalization of trade in goods, CAFTA-DR provides broad market access for services and includes provisions in areas such as intellectual property rights, investment, government procurement, and competition policies. Labor provisions are slightly tighter than under other similar agreements by offering a platform to examine the quality of existing legislation, rather than only ensuring its implementation.
International Monetary Fund
This note reviews the effects of dollarization on the ability of the Bank of the Republic of Haiti (BRH) to conduct monetary policy and the risks to macroeconomic stability and the banking system. Haiti's external indebtedness has been compared with that of countries eligible for debt relief under the Initiative for Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs). Haiti's accession to the Caribbean Common Market and the impact of trade liberalization measures on the strategic rice sector is discussed. The causes of poverty in Haiti are also analyzed.
Leonardo Cardemil, Juan Carlos Di Tata, and Ms. Florencia Frantischek

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.

Joyce Sherwood

THE USUAL PURPOSE of multiple exchange rates is to cope with over-all balance of payments problems. Sometimes, e.g., when multiple rates are designed to deal with problems of particular exports or the relative holdings of various currencies, they may have a direct effect on these problems. But when they are designed to reduce or to counteract internal inflationary pressure, they may have an indirect effect. If multiple rates are to produce such an anti-inflationary effect, they must yield revenue or exchange profits. Frequently, indeed, the raising of revenue is a specific secondary purpose of a multiple rate practice; but in any case, irrespective of the purpose, the result often is an increase of revenue.