Hilary Devine, Adrian Peralta-Alva, Hoda Selim, Preya Sharma, Ludger Wocken, and Luc Eyraud
The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the tension between large development needs in infrastructure and scarce public resources. To alleviate this tension and promote a strong and job-rich recovery from the crisis, Africa needs to mobilize more financing from and to the private sector.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Cambodia discusses stable macroeconomic environment, strong growth and ongoing structural reforms have contributed to significant progress toward Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, uncertainties including slower global growth and potential suspension of preferential market access under the Everything but Arms (EBA) scheme highlight the importance of maintaining macroeconomic stability while meeting still large development needs, addressing elevated financial sector vulnerabilities, and accelerating structural reforms. Continued strong revenue mobilization efforts and a prudent fiscal stance supported by restraining nondevelopment current spending will allow additional spending to address development needs. Expenditures should be oriented toward supporting inclusive growth through priority infrastructure investment, as well as health and education spending. Policies should be geared toward addressing sizeable spending needs to reach SDG targets in health, education and infrastructure, with support from the private sector and international donors. Accelerated implementation of structural reforms is needed to remove structural constraints to growth, correct external imbalances, address governance and corruption weaknesses and promote sustainable and inclusive development.
Raising living standards continues to be the main challenge facing Guatemala, as a matter of economic success and social cohesion. This paper discusses the spending, financing, and delivery capacity aspects of a viable development strategy for Guatemala couched within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. Overall, Guatemala faces additional spending of about 8½ percent of GDP in 2030 to attain health, education, and roads, water, and sanitation infrastructure SDGs. While substantial, these cost estimates are commensurate with a well-defined financing strategy encompassing continuing tax administration efforts, broad-based tax reform, scaled-up private sector participation, and greater spending efficiency. Improving delivery capacities is also essential to secure access of those public goods to all Guatemalans, irrespective of their place of residence, ethnic group, or ability to pay.
Thomas Alexander, Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, and Tadeusz Galeza
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 represent a new global consensus to end poverty, promote prosperity, and protect the environment. Goal 8 seeks to improve global resource efficiency in consumption and production and to decouple economic growth (GDP) from environmental degradation while Goal 12 focuses on sustainable consumption and production. While GDP does not capture these broader goals, we suggest that the System of National Accounts which incorporates but goes well beyond GDP, can be used for the measurement of these SDGs and to support policy. We construct a conceptual “super balance sheet” with an expanded asset boundary to include durable consumer goods used to produce services, human capital, and access to resources such as clean water and air, education, health, and infrastructure, to produce an expanded household net worth.
Following a benchmarking exercise, we estimate the spending required to reach satisfactory progress in the Sustainable Development Goals in the health, education, and infrastructure sectors in Brazil. We find that there is room for savings in education (up to 1.5 percentage point of GDP) and health (up to 2.5 percentage points of GDP) without compromising the quality of services but additional investments for over 3 percent of GDP per year are needed to close large infrastructure gaps in roads, water, and electricity by 2030. Brazil can do more with less, but increasing efficiency of public spending will require substantial reforms.
"Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries continue their considerable past achievements. The Millennium Development Goals—which were to have been met by 2015—helped focus attention on achieving progress towards poverty reduction, better health outcomes, and improvements in education in the ASEAN developing countries. The 17 SDGs—adopted in 2015 and to be met by 2030—cover a wider set of interlinked development objectives, such as inclusion and environmental sustainability, which are important for all countries, including all ASEAN member countries.
ASEAN countries have made significant progress in improving incomes and economic opportunities, including for women, and reducing poverty since 2000. Reflecting the economic dynamism of the region, strong income growth, structural transformation, and infrastructure improvements continue to support sustainable development in ASEAN. With continued income growth and strong policy efforts, most ASEAN countries are on track to eradicate absolute poverty by 2030, a major milestone. Also, several ASEAN countries already do relatively well in terms of gender equality. As a result, given support from continued income gains, economic welfare in ASEAN countries is expected to continue converging towards advanced Asia levels.
Ensuring more inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth presents a key challenge for ASEAN. Despite some progress, income inequality remains relatively high in several countries and the shift towards manufacturing strains environmental sustainability. These challenges hamper ASEAN welfare convergence relative to advanced Asia. Policies to close these gaps in sustainable development can lead to significant gains. For the lower-middle-income ASEAN countries, in particular, more determined policy efforts are needed to improve infrastructure, as well as health and education outcomes. Remaining sustainable development challenges call for comprehensive, country-specific SDG strategies formulated in the context of national development plans and close monitoring through the voluntary review process.
Pursuing sustainable development entails sizeable spending needs. Estimates for Indonesia and Vietnam, the two cases studies considered in this paper, show that reaching the level of best performers in their income group in infrastructure, health, and education by 2030 could entail an additional cost of 5½–6½ percent of GDP per year. While development needs vary across countries, estimates suggest large spending needs for most ASEAN countries. Meeting them will require efforts on multiple fronts, including improvements in spending efficiency, tax capacity, and support from the private sector. For developing ASEAN countries, concessional financing from development partners will be required.
The IMF continues to engage ASEAN countries in key areas as they pursue their SDGs. As called for in their mandates, ASEAN and the IMF both strive for economic growth and sustainable development through economic integration and collaboration among their member countries. The IMF has increased its engagement with ASEAN countries to support their policy efforts through its policy diagnostics, advice, and capacity development. ASEAN countries have also received support through IMF initiatives in strengthening revenue mobilization, building state capacity for infrastructure provision, pursuing economic and financial inclusion, addressing the challenges of climate change, strengthening economic institutions for good governance, and building statistical capacity. While fundamental reforms to improve sustainable development take time to bear fruit, there is evidence that efforts have started to pay off. "