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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Policy Recommendations BOX 1. VAT in North Macedonia: Recent Measures, Tax Efficiency, and Potential Revenue Space References SCALING UP INVESTMENT A. Introduction B. The Government’s Growth Acceleration Plan C. Measuring and Benchmarking Infrastructure in North Macedonia D. Public Investment Management E. The Macroeconomic Effect of Scaling Up Investment F. Policy Considerations FIGURES 1. Investment Trends 2. Growth Acceleration Plan: Overview 3. Economic Infrastructure Gaps 4. Social Infrastructure Gaps 5. Quality of Hospitals and

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

of structural policies, which can facilitate reallocation and transformation . This crisis created the opportunity to prepare the next generation of structural reforms. The authorities concur with staff’s analysis that successfully up scaling investments can boost the economy’s growth potential and limit scarring from the pandemic . While the country’s per capita stock of public capital nearly has a 50 percent gap with new EU member countries, the government’s ambitious Growth Acceleration plan will increase public investment and facilitate green- and digital

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

, Ezequiel Cabezon , Giuseppe Cipollone , Jacques A. Miniane , Nhu Nguyen , Martin Petri , Jens Reinke , and James Roaf . 2018 . “ Public Infrastructure in the Western Balkans: Opportunities and Challenges .” Departmental Paper 18/02 , International Monetary Fund , Washington, DC . Government of the Republic of North Macedonia . 2021 . “ Growth Acceleration Plan 2022–2026 .” Ministry of Finance and Prime Minister’s Office . International Monetary Fund (IMF). 2014 . “ Is it Time for an Infrastructure Push? The Macroeconomic

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

framework and deposit insurance. Completing the legislative process is important in this regard. Directors encouraged policies to facilitate resource reallocation, improve education outcomes, and strengthen the social safety net. Efforts to reduce informality and raise labor participation of women and youth are also important. To preserve employment and competitiveness, Directors considered that minimum wage increases should also be guided by productivity trends. They welcomed the Growth Acceleration Plan, noting that its implementation can boost growth and spur a green

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

-term growth outlook. Finally, lack of progress with EU accession may weaken the prospects for economic convergence. On the positive side, a renewed push for reforms, possibly coupled with improved EU accession prospects, could boost capital inflows and confidence. If well implemented, the government’s investment plan (“Growth Acceleration Plan”) could spur demand and boost growth rates ( Box 1 ). Figure 6. North Macedonia: External Sector Developments Sources: Haver Analytics; NBRNM;and IMF staff calculations. Authorities’ Views 12. The authorities project

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The economy is rebounding. After a 6 percent drop in 2020, real GDP is projected to grow at 4 percent both in 2021 and 2022, reflecting improved mobility, a return of the diaspora, and continued policy support. With uncertainty remaining high, including about the course of the pandemic, policies need to be kept flexible. Emphasis should be on limiting the economic scars from the pandemic crisis while making progress on long-standing reform priorities such as further strengthening public financial management and revenue administration and buttressing the financial safety net.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Gabonese economy was gradually recovering from the 2014 oil price shock when it was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Decisive confinement measures have helped save lives, but the pandemic and the fall in oil prices have severely hit the economy, increasing unemployment and poverty. With a weak economy and increased COVID-19 related spending, the fiscal deficit has widened, with a sharp increase in public debt. Emergency financing from the IMF through the Rapid Financing Instrument (US$299.61 million) helped meet urgent balance of payment needs in 2020. Growth is expected to resume in 2021 but the pandemic has made the economic outlook very challenging and generated sizable financing needs over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

1. Prior to the pandemic, the 2017–19 Extended Arrangement and higher oil prices helped the economy recover from the 2014 oil shock (Annex I). Growth picked up gradually, the fiscal and external positions improved, public debt started to decline, and the country contributed to the rebuilding of regional international reserves (Figure 1). However, due partially to weak implementation capacity and persistent governance issues, several reforms have yet to be completed to increase revenue, improve public finance management, reduce debt vulnerabilities, and improve the business environment.