Mr. Sanjaya P Panth, Mr. Paul Cashin, and Mr. W. A Bauer
The Caribbean has made substantial progress in recent years in implementing economic reforms, both at the national and regional level. The Caribbean: Enhancing Economic Integration examines the product of the efforts made by Caribbean policymakers to strengthen regional cooperation and integration, which has yielded economic transformation and tighter integration with the global economy. This volume discusses regional financial integration as a means of deepening financial systems and raising regional growth; the relationship between tax incentives and investment, where harmonized regional action is important in seeking to overcome collective actions problems; and the consequences for the Caribbean of the erosion of trade preferences in key export markets. The book is based on empirical research carried out as part of the IMF's regional surveillance work in the Caribbean.
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses three important sectors of Belize economy: financial, sugar market, and energy. Belize’s banking system has continued to strengthen since the 2014 Article IV Consultation in June 2014. Despite recent improvements, some banks’ balance sheets are still weak and exposed to adverse macroeconomic developments. The sugar sector makes a very important contribution to Belize’s economy. The sector is estimated to account for about 4-5 percent of GDP, 9-10 percent of total exports, 8 percent of employment, and 5-6 percent of foreign exchange earnings. But the reform of EU sugar regime, scheduled to take full effect in 2017, will most likely cause a significant drop in the EU sugar price.
This Selected Issues paper on Belize reviews the external competitiveness, balance sheet currency mismatch, and public sector debt. Belize is a small, open economy and highly dependent on external trade. Real wages in the private sector have increased only slightly. Belize’s exports of commodities grew strongly in volume terms during the last 10 years. The currency mismatch and liquidity pressures point to a growing exchange rate risk. Belize would have to maintain a significant primary fiscal surplus to reduce indebtedness over the medium term.
This paper describes economic developments in Belize during the 1990s. Following a strong performance in the late 1980s, Belize’s economy weakened in 1991–93, mainly because of a substantial deterioration in the fiscal position. The overall deficit of the nonfinancial public sector increased from ½ percent of GDP in FY1990/91 to about 7½ percent in FY1992/93 owing to a substantial increase in the government wage bill and in domestically financed capital outlays. The net domestic assets of the financial system increased by about 20 percent a year during 1991–93.
The erosion of EU trade preferences for bananas and sugar will have immediate negative implications for Belize’s economy. This paper suggests ways to enhance public debt management in Belize. The vulnerability of the banking sector appears relatively modest. However, the current level of loan-loss provisions and collateral valuation rules are not up to the international standards. Important steps have been taken to further improve compliance with the Basel Core Principles. The importance of debt-service reduction through sound macroeconomic policies is highlighted.