Asia and Pacific > Brunei Darussalam

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Mizuho Kida and Simon Paetzold
The Financial Action Task Force’s gray list publicly identifies countries with strategic deficiencies in their AML/CFT regimes (i.e., in their policies to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism). How much gray-listing affects a country’s capital flows is of interest to policy makers, investors, and the Fund. This paper estimates the magnitude of the effect using an inferential machine learning technique. It finds that gray-listing results in a large and statistically significant reduction in capital inflows.
Mr. Alberto Behar and Mr. Armand P Fouejieu
After the decline in oil prices, many oil exporters face the need to improve their external balances. Special characteristics of oil exporters make the exchange rate an ineffective instrument for this purpose and give fiscal policy a sizeable role. These conclusions are supported by regression analysis of the determinants of the current account balance and of the trade balance. The results show little or no relationship with the exchange rate and, especially for the less diversified oil exporters (including the Gulf Cooperation Council), a strong relationship with the fiscal balance or government spending.
Mr. Alexander Massara and André Mialou
This paper leverages the IMF’s Financial Access Survey (FAS) database to construct a new composite index of financial inclusion. The topic of financial inclusion has gathered significant attention in recent years. Various initiatives have been undertaken by central banks both in advanced and developing countries to promote financial inclusion. The issue has also attracted increasing interest from the international community with the G-20, IMF, and World Bank Group assuming an active role in developing and collecting financial inclusion data and promoting best practices to improve financial inclusion. There is general recognition among policy makers that financial inclusion plays a significant role in sustaining employment, economic growth, and financial stability. Nonetheless, the issue of its robust measurement is still outstanding. The new composite index uses factor analysis to derive a weighting methodology whose absence has been the most persistent of the criticisms of previous indices. Countries are then ranked based on the new composite index, providing an additional analytical tool which could be used for surveillance and policy purposes on a regular basis.
Mr. Alan H. Gelb, Mr. Arnaud Dupuy, and Mr. Rabah Arezki
This paper studies the optimal public investment decisions in countries experiencing a resource windfall. To do so, we use an augmented version of the Permanent Income framework with public investment faced with adjustment costs capturing the associated administrative capacity as well as government direct transfers. A key assumption is that those adjustment costs rise with the size of the resource windfall. The main results from the analytical model are threefold. First, a larger resource windfall commands a lower level of public capital but a higher level of redistribution through transfers. Second, weaker administrative capacity lowers the increase in optimal public capital following a resource windfall. Third, higher total factor productivity in the non-resource sector reduces the degree of des-investment in public capital commanded by weaker administrative capacity. We further extend our basic model to allow for "investing in investing" - that is public investment in administrative capacity - by endogenizing the adjustment cost in public investment. Results from the numerical simulations suggest, among other things, that a higher initial stock of public administrative "know how" leads to a higher level of optimal public investment following a resource windfall. Implications for policy are discussed.
International Monetary Fund
By definition, fiscal dominance impedes the effective implementation of any monetary strategy aimed at controlling inflation. Economies that exhibit oil dominance-a situation in which oil exports largely affect the main macroeconomic indicators-may also exhibit fiscal dominance. However, in this case, the standard indicators used to gauge the presence of fiscal dominance may fail to give the appropriate signals. The main purpose of this paper is twofold: i) to present a simple framework to analyze fiscal dominance in oil exporting countries and ii) to test the hypothesis of the presence of oil dominance/fiscal dominance (OD/FD) in the case of Venezuela. Using VAR and VEC models it is possible to conclude that there is relevant evidence supporting the validity of the OD/FD hypothesis.
Ms. Patrizia Tumbarello
Is the recent proliferation of Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) in Asia a healthy development, or runs the risk of turning into an unmanageable "noodle bowl" in the future? The goal of this paper is to shed some light on this question. The results show that membership in the Asian RTAs considered in this study have not, to date, occurred at the expense of trade with nonmembers, as most Asian countries' integration with the global economy preceded regional integration. However, looking forward, given their discriminatory nature, a proliferation of RTAs, which is not accompanied by continuing unilateral and multilateral liberalization, could run the risk of leading to costly trade diversion.