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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The 2023 Article IV Consultation discusses that a successful vaccination strategy allowed Tuvalu to lift coronavirus disease (COVID) containment measures at the end of 2022, but the economic cost of the pandemic has been significant. Real gross domestic product growth was -4.3 percent in 2020, with at-the-border containment measures leading to delays in much-needed infrastructure projects. Growth is expected to accelerate as the lifting of COVID restrictions leads to the resumption of construction activity, shipping bottlenecks ease and the trade and hospitality sectors recover. Tuvalu is among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change; its remote economy is dominated by the public sector; and its revenue base is narrow, with reliance on donor commitments further complicating fiscal planning. The economic setback due to the pandemic makes addressing these significant structural challenges more difficult. The report recommends promoting fiscal sustainability and building buffers by mobilizing revenues and rationalizing current expenditures.
Mouhamadou Sy, Mr. Andrew Beaumont, Enakshi Das, Mr. Georg Eysselein, Mr. David Kloeden, and Katrina R Williams
Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face daunting spending needs related to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and adapting to the effects of climate change. Boosting tax revenues will need to be an essential pillar in creating the fiscal space to meet SDG and climate-adaptation spending needs. This paper assesses the additional tax revenue that PICs could potentially collect and discusses policy options to achieve such gains. The main objectives of the paper are to (1) review the critical medium-term development spending requirements and available financing options, (2) document the main stylized facts about tax revenues in the PICs and estimate the additional tax revenue that countries could raise, (3) highlight the main bottlenecks preventing the PICs from further increasing their tax revenue collection with an emphasis on weaknesses in VAT systems, (4) draw lessons from successful emerging and developing countries that have managed to substantially and durably increased their tax revenues, and (5) propose tax policy and revenue administration reform priorities for Pacific Island Countries to boost tax revenues. The paper’s main findings are (1) The current revenue mix is skewed toward non-tax revenues, (2) PICs could collect an additional 3 percent of tax revenue in the short to medium term, (3) Many bottlenecks are preventing the PICs from boosting their tax revenue collection, and (4) The potential offered by efficient VAT systems is not fully exploited. To increase tax revenue in the Pacific Islands, the paper proposes the following reforms: (1) unwinding recent fiscal relief measures, (2) strengthening or introducing a VAT system; (3) rationalizing tax exemptions, (4) closing loopholes in the tax system, (5) reforming tax administration, and (6) introducing a medium-term revenue strategy.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Swift implementation of containment measures, limited spillovers from tourism, and COVID-related fiscal spending financed by buoyant fishing revenues and donor grants have allowed Tuvalu—a fragile Pacific micro-state—avoid a recession in 2020. The economy is expected to expand by 2.5 percent in 2021, supported by fiscal expenditures and resumption of infrastructure projects. But significant challenges remain: Tuvalu is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, its economy is dominated by the public sector, and its revenue base is narrow. Uncertainty around donor commitments complicates fiscal planning.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Tuvalu is a fragile micro state. The country’s remoteness, narrow production base, and weak banking sector constrain private sector activity, leaving public expenditure as the main source of growth. The DSA finds that Tuvalu remains at high risk of debt distress.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the macroeconomic outlook for Tuvalu is stable. Real GDP growth in 2015 is estimated at 2.6 percent and is projected to rise to 4 percent in 2016 owing to several large infrastructure projects and recovery spending following Cyclone Pam. Inflation remained steady in 2015 at 3.2 percent. The fiscal position is expected to turn into a small deficit in 2016 and is projected to remain in deficit over the medium term. Risks to the outlook relate to the effects of climate change, volatility in fishing revenues, and volatile global financial conditions, which could affect distributions to the budget from the Tuvalu Trust Fund.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Tuvalu is one of the smallest and most isolated countries in the world. With a population of some 11,000 people living on 26 square kilometers, Tuvalu is more than 3,000 kilometers away from its nearest major external market (New Zealand). The country faces tremendous challenges stemming from its remoteness, lack of scale economies, weak institutional capacity, and, above all, climate change and rising sea levels, which threaten the country’s very existence. (Appendix III)
Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Mr. Xuefei Bai, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

The work on the small states is an important component of the IMF’s global policy agenda. Among the 36 member countries covered by the IMF Asia and Pacific Department (APD), 13 countries are developing small states—most of which are Pacific islands. As part of APD’s ongoing effort to increase its engagement with regional small states and their development partners and enhance information sharing within the IMF, this issue marks the launch of the APD Small States Monitor, a quarterly bulletin featuring the latest economic developments, country notes from the most recent Article IV staff reports, special topics, past and upcoming events, and forthcoming IMF research on small states. In future issues, we will also host contributions from the authorities of small states and their development partners on key policy topics. Our goal is to exchange knowledge and deepen our understanding of the policy challenges these economies face to better tailor our policy advice.

Ms. Patrizia Tumbarello, Ezequiel Cabezon, and Mr. Yiqun Wu
The small states of the Asia and Pacific region face unique challenges in raising their growth potential and living standards relative to other small states due to their small populations, geographical isolation and dispersion, narrow export and production bases, exposure to shocks, and heavy reliance on aid. Higher fixed government costs, low access to credit by the private sector, and capacity constraints are also key challenges. The econometric analysis confirms that the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) have underperformed relative to their peers over the last 20 years. Although these countries often face more limited policy tools, policies do matter and can further help build resilience and raise potential growth, as evidenced in the recent business cycle. The Asia and Pacific small states should continue rebuilding buffers and improve the composition of public spending in order to foster inclusive growth. Regional solutions should also continue to be pursued.
International Monetary Fund
During the 2012 Review of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) Eligibility, Executive Directors expressed a number of concerns about the eligibility framework. The Board decided to bring forward the next review of eligibility by one year, to early 2013, in light of these concerns. In particular, Directors called for the review to assess: Possible shortcomings of the gross national income (GNI) per capita criterion in the case of small states, and whether additional or alternative variables should be used to better capture members‘ circumstances, particularly those of small states; as well as further options to enhance the flexibility of the PRGT-eligibility framework to cover small and very small countries; The application of the short-term vulnerabilities criterion for graduation, which can lead to repeated non-graduation of members that meet either the income or the market access criteria for graduation.