Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Mr. Wendell Daal, and Ms. Katja Funke
To provide policymakers in the Caribbean with a governance framework for improving infrastructure through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), while limiting their fiscal costs and risks for the government. And to showcase Canada support to FAD technical assistance in the region and FAD collaboration with CARTAC and the Caribbean Development Bank
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Trinidad and Tobago is poised for a modest recovery in 2013, after disappointing growth in 2012 that was owing to largely supply constraints, including maintenance operations in the energy sector and an industrial dispute in the nonenergy sector. The IMF staff projects real GDP growth of some 1.5 percent in 2013, with risks slightly to the downside, should development spending be under-executed. Headline inflation rose to 9.3 percent in 2012. Executive Directors welcomed the signs of economic recovery, fueled by growth of the nonenergy sector.
Managing resource revenues is a critical policy issue for small open resource-rich
countries. This paper uses an open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium
model to analyze the transmission of resource price shocks and a shock to resource
production in the Trinidad and Tobago economy. It also applies alternative fiscal rules to
determine the optimal allocation of resource windfalls between spending today and saving
in a sovereign wealth fund. The results show that spending all the resource windfall on
consumption and investment creates more volatility and amplifies Dutch disease effects,
when compared to the case where all the excess revenues are saved. Also, neither a policy
of full spending nor full saving of the surplus revenue inflows is optimal if the
government is concerned about both household welfare and fiscal stability. In order to
minimize deviations from both objectives, the optimal fiscal response suggests that a
larger fraction of the resource windfalls should be saved.
The countries that were once British colonies in the Caribbean share a common language and a colonial history of slavery, dominance of a plantation-based sugar industry, and broadly similar government and administrative traditions. Following independence in the late-1960s economic strategies and performance across the region diverged. However, by the end of the 1980s, in the face of economic collapse Guyana had abandoned its strategy of "cooperative socialism", and its economic policies converged with those generally supported by the IMF and World Bank. Despite this policy convergence and shared colonial origins, economic performance and social indicators in Guyana and Barbados have continued to diverge. The paper explores some of the origins of this divergence, and, in particular, the deep seated factors that derive from the countries' history, geography, and demographics. In Guyana, while the focus on sound macroeconomic policies and donor support has been important, the most pressing requirement for sustained progress is to strengthen domestic institutions and build consensus on the country's future direction.
Investment-to-GDP ratios across the Caribbean tend to be relatively high. In many countries, these ratios have been trending higher since the mid-1990s, largely reflecting public investment and foreign direct investment. Private domestic investors have been less prominent. This may be one reason why such high investment has delivered Caribbean growth rates below the middle-income average. This paper seeks to understand how higher private investment may be encouraged. Using new data, it concludes that: the multiplier effects of public investment and FDI on private domestic investment are weak; and private domestic investment (PDI) is sensitive to the cost of capital. Public policy designed to raise PDI should focus on creating conditions for a lower cost of capital. The focus should be on removing barriers to lower real interest rates, rather than the further extension of costly tax concessions.