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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
In consultation with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) of Lao PDR, a virtual technical assistance (TA) mission supported by the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department (APD) was conducted during October 4–29, 2021, by the IMF Statistics Department (STA) and the Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT). This ongoing peripatetic capacity development mission was delivered virtually by the CDOT-based LTX with staggered remote meetings. The TA mainly worked with the Fiscal Policy and Law Department (FPLD) and the External Finance and Debt Management Department (EFDMD) on compilation of government finance statistics (GFS) and public sector debt statistics (PSDS) in line with international standards, as the agreed work plan with the authorities in the April/May 2021 TA mission.
Yasmin Alem and Jacinta Bernadette Shirakawa
Based on internal data, this paper finds that the capacity development program of the IMF’s Statistics Department has prioritized technical assistance and training to fragile and conflict-affected states. These interventions have yielded only slightly weaker results in fragile states than in other states. However, capacity development is constantly needed to make up for the dissipation of progress resulting from insufficient resources that fragile and conflict-affected states allocate to the statistical function, inadequate inter-agency coordination, and the pervasive impact of shocks exogenous to the statistical system. Greater coordination with other capacity development providers and within the IMF can help partially overcome low absorptive capacity in fragile states. Statistical capacity development is more effective when it is tailored to countries’ level of fragility.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Over the course of the pandemic, the Fund has made several modifications to the access limits on the use of Fund’s resources to increase the borrowing space under the hard caps on emergency financing and under the annual limits that trigger exceptional access (EA) safeguards under GRA and PRGT. The current temporarily-increased access limits expire at end-December 2021, and absent policy changes, the limits would return to the lower pre-pandemic levels or to the new PRGT annual access limit. Staff proposes to let all access limits return to pre-pandemic levels (or the new PRGT annual access limit), with the exception of the cumulative access limits for emergency financing instruments, which would be extended at the current level for another 18 months.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This technical assistance (TA) report on government finance statistics (GFS) covers the remote TA to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) during September 21–October 2 and December 14–18, 2020 and March 9–13 and April 19–23, 2021 (which was extended to May 2021). These peripatetic activities were conducted remotely due to the travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 situation. This report documents the main achievements from these activities. These activities were part of the GFS and Public Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) project funded by the Government of Japan (JSA3) and implemented by the IMF Statistics Department (STA) and the IMF Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT).
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is still unfolding around the globe. In Asia, as elsewhere, the virus has ebbed in some countries but surged in others. The global economy is beginning to recover after a sharp contraction in the second quarter of 2020, as nationwide lockdowns are lifted and replaced with more targeted containment measures.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation focuses on Myanmar’s near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. It, therefore, does not reflect the implications of these developments and related policy priorities. These developments have greatly amplified uncertainty and could heighten downside risks around the outlook. The IMF staff is closely monitoring the situation, including related policy responses from the authorities, and will continue to work on assessing its impact in the Myanmar economy. Although long-term prospects remain favorable, near-term growth is likely to remain below potential as the correction in real estate market and continued uncertainty weighs on investor sentiment in the runup to the 2020 elections. Starting FY2020/21, bank deleveraging will further slow credit and constrain gross domestic product growth as borrower’s true ability to repay is revealed with term loans coming due and banks restructure in earnest.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report paper highlights that the work on verifying reasonable size of coverage adjustments for Myanmar’s imports was addressed during the mission, using bilateral trade data from Thailand and China. The mission illustrated how granular data can be used to help determine proper adjustments to improve the coverage of the International merchandise trade statistics, using Thailand’s data on exports to Myanmar cross-classified by border checkpoint and 2-digit HS code. The data indicated potential under-coverage of Myanmar imports for a few checkpoints sharing land border with Thailand. Although the actual travel expenditure per person per day for certain years is likely to be lower than the time series published by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism given continuous depreciation of Kyat over the past five years, this factor should unlikely outweigh the effect of growing numbers of inbound tourists. Balance-of-payments compilation file used by the Central Bank of Myanmar Balance of Payments Section has now been modified to accommodate suggested coverage adjustments for imports, and the new estimation model for freight and insurance on imports proposed during March 2019 mission.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar’s economy is expected to gain steam albeit at a somewhat slower pace than previously envisaged but faces greater downside risks including from the crisis in Rakhine state. The country’s long-term prospects remain strong, supported by a growing demographic dividend, a competitive labor force and its strategic location. The discussions recommend that successful implementation of the second wave of reforms in the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan with a focus on peace, stability and good governance will help sustain the growth take-off and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Financial regulations and supervision should be strengthened with a view to ensuring financial stability and deepening, while forming contingency plans to address systemic banking risks, and strengthening the resolution framework. Fiscal policy should be directed towards SDG-related spending, while lowering Central Bank of Myanmar financing and ensuring debt sustainability. The business environment is expected to benefit from upgraded infrastructure, access to finance, and strengthening of the overall governance framework.