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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes economic developments over the past decade in the Central African Republic (CAR). It examines the regional integration efforts of the CAR in the context of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The paper presents an overview of the CEMAC customs union reform, and investigates the status of the implementation of the CEMAC trade reform in the CAR. The paper also evaluates the impact of the regional trade reform on the CAR’s trade performance, based on trade developments in the CAR during 1994–2002.

Sebastian Beer and Dan Devlin
Profit shifting remains a key concern in international tax system debate, but discussions are largely based on aggregate estimates, with less attention paid to individual sectors. Drawing on a novel dataset, we quantify tax avoidance risks in the extractive industries, a sector which is revenue critical for many developing economies. We find that a one percentage point increase in the domestic corporate tax rate has historically reduced sectoral profits by slightly over 3 percent; and the response tends to be more pronounced among mining than among hydrocarbon firms. There is only weak evidence transfer pricing rules contain tax minimization efforts of MNEs in our sample, but interest limitation rules (e.g., thin capitalization or earnings based rules) do reduce the observable extent of profit shifting. Our findings highlight the challenge of taxing income in the natural resource sector and suggest how fiscal regime design might be strengthened.
Mr. Matthias Vocke and Nienke Oomes
This paper provides an overview of diamond mining in sub-Saharan African countries, and explores the reasons for substantial differences in their tax rates and fiscal revenues from the sector, which mainly arise from differences in the incentives for smuggling. In a theoretical model, we show that optimal diamond tax rates increase with the degree of competition among diamond buyers, as well as with the corporate share of diamond production, which is confirmed by the data. We then discuss policies to increase revenue, including by enhancing mining productivity, stimulating the exploration of new areas, reducing barriers to entry, and attracting investment into value-adding downstream operations.
Mr. Emmanuel Mathias and Bert Feys
The trade in precious metals and stones has been linked to illicit financial flows, corruption, smuggling, drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, and the financing of terrorism. In addition, the extraction of precious minerals and the subsequent trade in these resources, if properly managed, present significant revenue opportunities, particularly for countries facing development needs. Building on staff expertise in anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and technical support and analytical advice on the management of natural resources, this note is a reference guide to aid countries in using the AML/CFT framework to help combat crime related to and affecting the precious minerals sector while raising revenue.