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International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the Second Review under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) of Cape Verde discusses the macroeconomic framework and recent developments. Cape Verde’s economic program under the PSI is designed to help the country prepare for the opportunities and challenges associated with its graduation from the United Nations least-developed-country (LDC) status in 2008. IMF staff recommended, and the authorities agreed, that a comprehensive medium-term investment plan be prepared, including for state-owned enterprises. This approach would support prioritization of public investment and the planning needed to secure concessional external financing.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Research Summaries in this issue of the IMF Research Bulletin cover “Tax Capacity and Growth” (by Vitor Gaspar, Laura Jaramillo, and Philippe Wingender), and “U.S. Shale Revolution and Its Spillover Effects on the Global Economy” (Ravi Balakrishnan, Keiko Honjo, Akito Matsumoto, and Andrea Pescatori). The Q&A coauthored by Amadou Sy and Mariama Sow covers “Seven Questions about the Relationship between Country Finance and Governance.” A listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from IMF Publications is included in the IMF Research Bulletin. Readers can also find news on free-to-view articles from IMF Economic Review and a call for conference papers in this issue of the Bulletin.
International Monetary Fund
Since the conclusion of the last Article IV Consultation in October 2001, Georgia's macroeconomic performance has been encouraging. The 2003 Article IV Consultation and program discussions were held against the backdrop of protracted deviations from the IMF-supported program. Discussions with government officials and the business community highlighted the need for bolder efforts to improve Georgia's business environment and investment climate.
International Monetary Fund
This report reviews Georgia's performance under the two IMF-supported programs, covering the period 1996–2003. It also discusses the key challenges that Georgia faces in realizing the goals of its recently finalized Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Program (EDPRP). Georgia has broadly maintained a liberal trade and payments system. The authorities have made substantial progress in implementing financial sector reforms.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Qatar is implementing an ambitious diversification strategy, while retaining its systemic role in the global natural gas market. Qatar accounts for one-third of global liquefied natural gas trade and has emerged as an important global financial investor, labor importer, and donor. The authorities are executing a large public infrastructure program to advance economic diversification and prepare for the FIFA 2022 World Cup. The economy has maintained strong growth momentum so far despite the large drop in oil prices since summer 2014. The short-term growth outlook is positive, but lower oil prices will lead to a substantial deterioration of the fiscal and external balances.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Sudan provides a first stock-taking of the scale, main transmission channels and potential costs of poor governance and corruption in Sudan and offers preliminary recommendations. A large body of literature and country analyses confirm that weak governance and corruption undermine economic growth, amplify income inequality and erode public trust in the institutions. According to international agencies and existing literature, Sudan has scored very poorly on compliance with rule of law best practices in the past. Effective implementation of preventive measures is important; particularly in relation to politically exposed persons. Transparency on beneficial ownership of legal persons and arrangements to prevent their misuse for laundering the proceeds of corruption are necessary. Transparency, accountability, and comprehensive communication should be the backbone of governance and anti-corruption reforms in each sector. Rationalizing tax exemptions and phasing out tax holidays would strengthen governance while boosting fiscal revenues.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper presents an assessment of Nigeria’s past economic reform efforts—in particular the program supported by the 2000–01 Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The paper also reviews weaknesses in the current fiscal management framework in Nigeria and proposes reforms to further strengthen the budget process. It describes weaknesses in the current public debt management framework and the government’s reform strategy. It highlights the reform implication and addresses further actions that will be needed to put the government’s domestic debt reform strategy on a solid foundation.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF): A 36 month, SDR 4,393 million (425 percent of quota) Extended Arrangement under the EFF was approved by the Executive Board on September 4, 2013 and the fourth and fifth reviews were completed on December 17, 2014, for a total disbursement of SDR 2,160 million. The sixth tranche amounting to SDR 360 million will be available upon the completion of this review. Status of the program: All end-December 2014 quantitative performance criteria (PCs) were observed, as well as the indicative target on cash transfers under the Benazir Income Support program (BISP). Although the indicative target on federal tax revenues was missed, the authorities have taken actions to address the shortfall and are on track to meet the end-March 2015 indicative target. The end-December 2014 structural benchmark (SB) on amendments to the relevant tax laws and submission of the Anti- Money Laundering Act (AMLA) was met, as were the end-February SBs on enhancing internal operations and risk management of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and improving monetary policy operations. Adjustments to the end-March PCs on NIR and NDA are proposed to reflect higher reserves accumulation by the SBP and new end- June PCs and four new SBs are proposed. Key issues: Discussions focused on: (i) saving the windfall from falling oil prices to strengthen buffers?including foreign exchange reserves and the fiscal stance?against adverse shocks; (ii) preventing a further loss of export competitiveness; (iii) reducing electricity subsidies; (iv) introducing compensatory measures to cover the revenue shortfall; (v) steps to broaden the tax base and improve tax administration; (vi) progress on safeguarding financial stability and expanding credit growth; (vii) enhancing structural reforms in the energy sector, central bank independence, anti-money laundering framework, public debt management, trade, and the business climate to unlock Pakistan’s long-term growth potential. The mission retained its growth projection at 4.3 percent, but lowered inflation forecast to 5.5 percent for FY2014/15. Risks are balanced with downside risks due to political uncertainties and security challenges, and upside risks from further falls in oil prices. Outreach activities included a press release, press conference (held in Dubai) and bilateral interviews with journalists.