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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Estonia examines impact of assessing competitiveness and exposure to shocks integrating global value chains (GVCs). This paper strengthens the analytical underpinnings of competitiveness assessments and exposure to shocks by incorporating GVCs. Standard real effective exchange rates (REER) indexes assume trade is only in final goods. However, like most European economies, Estonia is highly integrated into GVCs. This implies that assessments of competitiveness should consider trade in value added. Based on a structural model, the paper assesses competitiveness and exposure to trade shocks accounting for the GVC participation in Estonia. The analysis using a REER index considering the GVC architecture suggests potential competitiveness problems in Estonia. The paper also estimates the impact of overvaluation (and appreciation) of the GVC related REER measure on value added export and real GDP growth and finds observable effects. Further, trade tension induced tariff hikes may have important costs for value added produced in Estonia.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Armenia seeks to quantify the macroeconomic impact of the government’s reform agenda, which covers three broad areas: tax policy and pension; governance, government efficiency, and corruption; and labor market and competition. Strengthening growth and competitiveness and addressing governance problems requires comprehensive reform efforts. The new government has made it clear that fighting corruption and improving governance remain top priorities. Measures have been proposed to enhance corporate transparency, including through accounting and auditing reforms. A more systematic support program for small and medium-sized enterprises, along with labor market reforms, should also help alleviate unemployment difficulties. The simulations suggest that the government’s tax policy reform can have a positive impact on output in the medium run if it is accompanied by supporting measures. The results suggest that a full implementation of the reform package would yield substantial benefits for the economy. In particular, it could increase real GDP by as much as 7 percent over the long run.