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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) have recorded significant macroeconomic achievements since independence. These countries have grown more rapidly-—on average by 7 percent over 1996–2011—-than those in many other regions of the world and poverty has declined. Inflation has come down sharply from high rates in the 1990s and interest rates have fallen. Financial sectors have deepened somewhat, as evidenced by higher deposits and lending. Fiscal policies were broadly successful in building buffers prior to the global crisis and those buffers were used effectively by many CCA countries to support growth and protect the most vulnerable as the crisis washed across the region. CCA oil and gas exporters have achieved significant improvements in living standards with the use of their energy wealth.
Mr. James M. Boughton
IMF lending is conditional on a country's commitment to carry out an agreed program of economic policies. Unless that commitment is genuine and broadly held, the likelihood of implementation will be poor. Is there a conflict between national commitment and conditional finance? Are national authorities or other agents in the country less likely to "own" a reform program simply because it is conditionally financed? This paper argues that potential conflicts are reduced when program design takes the country's interests and circumstances into account and when conditionality results from a genuine process of interaction between the IMF and the borrower.
Mr. Anil Ari, David Bartolini, Vizhdan Boranova, Gabriel Di Bella, Mr. Kamil Dybczak, Ms. Keiko Honjo, Raju Huidrom, Andreas Jobst, Nemanja Jovanovic, Ezgi O. Ozturk, Ms. Laura Papi, Mr. Sergio Sola, Michelle Stone, and Petia Topalova

CESEE countries lag in terms of infrastructure compared to the EU15, and deficient infrastructure is often cited as a constraint to growth and convergence. Investing in infrastructure is therefore an important long-standing policy issue for the region. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, infrastructure investment has also gained some ground as economies look to support activity in the recovery phase once the virus has been contained. Against this backdrop, this project seeks to benchmark infrastructure in CESEE, assess the macro impact of higher infrastructure investment, and discuss policies issues to maximize such impact. First, we benchmark infrastructure in the region versus the EU15, across various infrastructure sectors and using different methodologies. Second, deploying empirical estimates and model-based simulations, we analyze the macroeconomic impact of boosting infrastructure investment. Third, we present an in-depth analysis of policy issues: enhancing public investment management, managing fiscal risks, and mobilizing private sector participation.

Chishiro Matsumoto, Rui Monteiro, Isabel Rial, and Ozlem Aydin Sakrak

Investment in infrastructure can be a driving force of the economic recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of shrinking fiscal space. Public-private partnerships (PPP) bring a promise of efficiency when carefully designed and managed, to avoid creating unnecessary fiscal risks. But fiscal illusions prevent an understanding the sources of fiscal risks, which arise in all infrastructure projects, and that in PPPs present specific characteristics that need to be addressed. PPP contracts are also affected by implicit fiscal risks when they are poorly designed, particularly when a government signs a PPP contract for a project with no financial sustainability. This paper reviews the advantages and inconveniences of PPPs, discusses the fiscal illusions affecting them, identifies a diversity of fiscal risks, and presents the essentials of PPP fiscal risk management.

International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
This paper is the sixth in a series that examines macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income countries (LICs). LICs are defined in this report as the countries eligible to PRGT facilities (69 countries). The first section of the paper discusses recent macroeconomic developments and trends across LICs. The second section estimates LICs’ financing needs up to 2025 to resume and accelerate their income convergence with advanced economies (AEs). It does this by estimating the additional financing that would enable LICs to step up spending response to COVID, including vaccination needs, while rebuilding or keeping external buffers to enhance resilience, and then the paper considers the financing needed to allow LICs to accelerate convergence with AEs. The paper then discusses a mix of financing options, including concessional financing from the international financial institutions, grants and loans from bilateral donors, private financing and debt operations, but also domestic reforms within LICs themselves as a key component to foster growth, enhance private investment, raise public revenues, and increase efficiency of spending.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This Note prepared for the G20 Infrastructure Working Group summarizes the main finding of the IMF flagships regarding the role of environmentally sustainable investment for the recovery. It emphasizes that environmentally sustainable investment is an important enabler for a resilient greener, and inclusive recovery—it creates jobs, spurs economic growth, addresses climate change, and improves the quality of life. It can also stimulate much needed private sector greener and resilient investment.