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Bruce Rich, Andrew Steer, Anne O. Krueger, Mr. James M. Boughton, Jahangir Amuzegar, Bahram Nowzad, Jeffrey Sachs, Mr. Mark Allen, Ludger Schuknecht, L. Alan Winters, Mr. Michael P. Leidy, Derek Crabtree, A. P. Thirtwall, Alan A. Tait, Dominique Foray, Christopher Freeman, and Ashish Arora

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund

Of the new members entering the European Union (EU) in May 2004, several had achieved a decade of impressive export growth, expanding significantly their shares of world markets. The empirical analysis shows that over the period 1994–2004, quality and technology upgrading associated with the structural transformation were, indeed, also associated with increased market share. Several bivariate relationships to motivate an empirical framework for analyzing the evolution of market shares are ascribed. It gives the basic regressions explaining the changes in market shares for 58 countries.

Wouter Bossu, Mr. Masaru Itatani, Catalina Margulis, Arthur D. P. Rossi, Hans Weenink, and Akihiro Yoshinaga
This paper analyzes the legal foundations of central bank digital currency (CBDC) under central bank and monetary law. Absent strong legal foundations, the issuance of CBDC poses legal, financial and reputational risks for central banks. While the appropriate design of the legal framework will up to a degree depend on the design features of the CBDC, some general conclusions can be made. First, most central bank laws do not currently authorize the issuance of CBDC to the general public. Second, from a monetary law perspective, it is not evident that “currency” status can be attributed to CBDC. While the central bank law issue can be solved through rather straithforward law reform, the monetary law issue poses fundmental legal policy challenges.
Chikako Baba, Cristina Batog, Enrique Flores, Mr. Borja Gracia, Ms. Izabela Karpowicz, Piotr Kopyrski, Mr. James Roaf, Ms. Anna Shabunina, and Xin Cindy Xu
Europe’s high pre-existing level of financial development can partly account for the relatively smaller reach of fintech payment and lending activities compared to some other regions. But fintech activity is growing rapidly. Digital payment schemes are expanding within countries, although cross-border and pan-euro area instruments are not yet widespread, notwithstanding important enabling EU level regulation and the establishment of instant payments by the ECB. Automated lending models are developing but remain limited mainly to unsecured consumer lending. While start-ups are pursuing platform-based approaches under minimal regulation, there is a clear trend for fintech companies to acquire balance sheets and, relatedly, banking licenses as they expand. Meanwhile, competition is pushing many traditional banks to adopt fintech instruments, either in-house or by acquisition, thereby causing them to increasingly resemble balanced sheet-based fintech companies. These developments could improve the efficiency and reach of financial intermediation while also adding to profitability pressures for some banks. Although the COVID-19 pandemic could call into question the viability of platform-based lending fintechs funding models given that investors could face much higher delinquencies, it may also offer growth opportunities to those fintechs that are positioned to take advantage of the ongoing structural shift in demand toward virtual finance.
Ms. Natasha X Che
This paper presents a set of collaborative filtering algorithms that produce product recommendations to diversify and optimize a country's export structure in support of sustainable long-term growth. The recommendation system is able to accurately predict the historical trends in export content and structure for high-growth countries, such as China, India, Poland, and Chile, over 20-year spans. As a contemporary case study, the system is applied to Paraguay, to create recommendations for the country's export diversification strategy.