This paper presents the technical assistance report on remote national accounts mission in St. Lucia. The improved estimates will improve the understanding of the Saint Lucia economy, notably the needs of the Ministry of Finance for more robust and timely national accounts statistics. This development will also help Saint Lucia meet the IMF Special Data Dissemination Standards requirements. Training has been provided on the different components of Gross Domestic Product by expenditure (GDP-E) for current price methods and price and volume measurement. The mission identified some research topics for the national accounts department as part of its development of GDP-E. This includes checking the quality of some indicators and identifying whether some sources are available at a lower level of detail. The mission also quality assured the current methods used for compiling accommodation in the production measure of GDP. In order to support progress toward the objectives, the mission recommended priority recommendations to make headway in improving Saint Lucia’s national accounts.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This technical assistance report on St. Kitts and Nevis highlights strengthening core business functions audit capacity (RTAT). In response to a request from the St. Kitts and Nevis Inland Revenue Division (IRD), Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre provided capacity development (CD) in strengthening audit capacity under the RTAT training program. The main objective of this CD was to strengthen capacity to audit and verify accuracy of reporting by taxpayers in the Financial Sector. The CD started with the provision of five days of training of IRD auditors where the purpose was to prepare the authorities to implement the necessary actions in adopting good practice in auditing the Financial Sector. The IRD will build on this training and CD when designing future audit program. Given the importance of Financial Sector in St. Kitts and Nevis, further support to ensure compliance in the sector would be beneficial. The IRD will need further assistance to strengthen the audit program of the Financial Sector and support to review of tax returns of the companies in that sector. As a first step the audit team should, develop a program of profile meetings to gather relevant information on the operations of various businesses in the sector.
Jannick Damgaard, Thomas Elkjaer, and Niels Johannesen
Macro statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) are blurred by offshore centers with enormous inward and outward investment positions. This paper uses several new data sources, both macro and micro, to estimate the global FDI network while disentangling real investment and phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investor economies. We find that phantom investment into corporate shells with no substance and no real links to the local economy may account for almost 40 percent of global FDI. Ignoring phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investors increases the explanatory power of standard gravity variables by around 25 percent.
This paper analyzes asymmetries in direct investment positions reported in the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) following a top down approach. First, it examines asymmetries at global level; second, it examines asymmetries between CDIS reported and derived data for individual economies; and third, the paper analyzes data at bilateral economy level. Then, the paper explores seven main reasons for asymmetries, including those arising even when economies follow international standards. Finally, the paper includes a section on addressing bilateral asymmetries and concludes with specific planned actions to reduce asymmetries, including initiatives led by international organizations.
This paper addresses three types of geographical decoupling in foreign direct investment (FDI), i.e., challenges when using traditional FDI data as a proxy for real economic integration between economies: (i) large bilateral asymmetries between inward and outward FDI, (ii) the role of special purpose entities (SPEs), and (iii) the effect of moving from immediate counterpart to ultimate investing economy (UIE). A unique global FDI network is estimated, where SPEs are removed and FDI positions are broken down by the UIE. Total inward FDI in the new network is reduced by one-third, and financial centers are less dominant.
Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, Mr. Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne, and Rafael Romeu
The Cuban revolution and the subsequent US embargo on Cuba helped shape the tourism sector in the Caribbean, facilitating the birth and growth of alternative destinations. Therefore, the apprehension of the Caribbean tourism industry towards a change in US travel policy to Cuba is understandable, but likely unwarranted. The history of tourism in the region has shown that it is possible for all destinations to grow despite large changes in market shares. Our estimations show that liberalizing US-Cuba tourism could result in US arrivals to Cuba of between 3 and 5.6 million, most of it coming from new tourists to the region. We also identify the destinations most at risk of changes in US-Cuba relations.
This paper studies the economic costs of hurricanes in the Caribbean by constructing a novel dataset that combines a detailed record of tropical cyclones’ characteristics with reported damages. I estimate the relation between hurricane wind speeds and damages in the Caribbean; finding that the elasticity of damages to GDP ratio with respect to maximum wind speeds is three in the case of landfalls. The data show that hurricane damages are considerably underreported, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, with average damages potentially being three times as large as the reported average of 1.6 percent of GDP per year. I document and show that hurricanes that do not make landfall also have considerable negative impacts on the Caribbean economies. Finally, I estimate that the average annual hurricane damages in the Caribbean will increase between 22 and 77 percent by the year 2100, in a global warming scenario of high CO2 concentrations and high global temperatures.
Standards assessments serve several important objectives but are not well integrated into Fund surveillance. Financial standards assessments, when undertaken in the context of FSAPs, are used to identify weaknesses in financial regulation and supervision, or other areas covered by international standards. However, those weaknesses are not specifically linked to the risks and vulnerabilities facing the financial sector. Conversely, the analysis of country-specific vulnerabilities in the FSAP does not contribute to targeting the standard assessment effort, since the assessment must be exhaustive and cover the entire standard.