International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that IMF activities in the first three months of 1977 were marked by a number of “firsts.” In addition to approving the largest stand-by arrangement in its history—the SDR 3.36 billion for the United Kingdom—the IMF welcomed its first new member of the year: Guinea-Bissau; held its first gold auction on behalf of the Trust Fund under the new schedule of monthly auctions; made its first loan disbursements as a Trustee of the Trust Fund; and held the first sale of gold for “restitution.”
This paper discusses a request from Samoa's authorities for a Disbursement Under the Rapid-Access Component of the Exogenous Shocks Facility (ESF-RAC). The tsunami that hit Samoa on September 29, 2009 has undercut Samoa’s economic resilience and prospects for a quick recovery from the global recession. Real GDP is likely to contract in 2010. The authorities have requested a disbursement equivalent to 50 percent of quota (SDR 5.8 million) under the IMF’s ESF-RAC. IMF staff supports the request on Samoa’s low public debt and credible commitment to sound macroeconomic policies.
This Selected Issues paper on Samoa reports that remittances are the main source of foreign exchange to the Samoan economy. In addition to remittances, travel credits also play an important role in the economy. Official transfers are also significant, and should remain an important source of balance-of-payments support over the medium term. Remittances are relatively more stable when measured in the remitting country’s currency compared with talas. Remittance receipts account for a similar share of income across different household income groups, except for the richest one.
This report discusses the report of technical assistance mission to support the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) in further strengthening external sector statistics compilation and dissemination. The mission recommended that ESS compilers convert to using the International Merchandise Trade Statistics (IMTS) data as the source of exports data starting 2019; and adjust historical data at least as far back as 2014. Also, it would be beneficial to switch the source of trade in goods exports from exchange control records to Customs data to ensure better coverage and improve consistency with the IMTS published by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics. The CBS should adopt a step-by-step approach for the collection of offshore units’ data, initially focusing on offshore banks. As international requirements for the reporting of offshore units evolves, it is likely that the Samoa International Finance Authority (SIFA) and the offshore company trustees will need to expand data collection from the offshore units under their jurisdiction. The CBS should, therefore, keep abreast of developments with respect to offshore reporting and continue to liaise with the SIFA.
This Selected Issues paper on Samoa reviews limitations to the existing framework of monetary policy, and suggests ways to improve its effectiveness. It examines current instruments at the disposal of the central bank to conduct monetary policy, before showing why monetary policy execution can be sometimes difficult. It also shows that such problems are not uncommon in economies with shallow financial markets. The paper also takes stock of developments since the early 1990s, and asks what major impediments to sustained private development remain.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation for Samoa reports that the combination of sound economic management and structural reform had led to robust growth, low inflation, sound public finances, and a comfortable external position. With continued commitment to sound macroeconomic and reform policies, Samoa became one of the best managed economies in the Pacific Island region. The level of public debt has steadily declined from more than 90 percent to about 50 percent. Samoa also made progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses Samoa’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. Samoa has shown resilience to multiple past economic shocks, underpinned by the authorities’ strong commitment to support the economy, and financial assistance provided by the international community. The global coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has exacerbated the impact of the measles outbreak of late-2019 on Samoa’s economy. The border closure, combined with a sudden stop of tourist arrivals and decline in remittances, has led to a precipitous fall in two vital sources of foreign earnings and resulted in an urgent balance of payments need. Beyond the immediate response, the authorities will continue to implement structural reforms, with policies appropriately balanced between safeguarding debt sustainability and promoting economic growth. They also need to continue their efforts to enhance spending efficiency, strengthen social protection programs and safety nets, further improve tax administration, strengthen public financial management, and safeguard financial stability. Addressing vulnerability to climate change remains a key medium-term challenge to create a fiscal buffer.
This paper reviews the literature on the macroeconomic impact of natural disasters and presents the IMF’s role in assisting countries coping with natural catastrophes. Focusing on seven country cases, the paper describes the emergency financing, policy support, and technical assistance provided by the Fund to help governments put together a policy response or build a macro framework to lay the foundation for recovery and/or unlock other external financing. The literature and experience suggests there are ways to strengthen policy frameworks to increase resilience to natural disaster shocks, including identifying the risks and probability of natural disasters and integrating them more explicitly into macro frame-works, increasing flexibility within fiscal frameworks, and improving coordination amongst international partners ex post and ex ante.
Jihad Alwazir, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Dongyeol Lee, Niamh Sheridan, and Ms. Patrizia Tumbarello
Access to financial services in the small states of the Pacific is being eroded. Weaknesses in Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism compliance in the context of high levels of remittances are contributing to banks’ decisions to withdraw corresponding banking relationships and close bank accounts of money transfer operators. In this paper, we gather evidence on these developments in the small states of the Pacific, discuss the main drivers, and the potentially negative impact on the financial sector and macroeconomy. We then identify the collective efforts needed to address the consequences of withdrawal of corresponding banking relationships and outline policy measures to help the affected countries mitigate the impact.
Samoa has suffered severe social and economic shocks. The outlook is challenging and subject to considerable uncertainty. Because of the tsunami’s potentially severe impact on tourism, real GDP is likely to contract this financial year. The fiscal strategy to shoulder the rebuilding costs, minimize capacity risks, and ensure fiscal sustainability is appropriate. Prudent management of monetary policy and the basket peg will be critical. The Samoan economy will have to rely on the private sector for growth. Executive Directors welcome the commitment to structural reform.