International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar’s economy stabilized in 2016/17. The new government saw a challenging first year with lower-than-expected growth of 5.9 percent in 2016/17 mainly owing to weak agriculture production and exports, and temporary suspension of some construction projects in Yangon. Inflation moderated to 6.8 percent, and the current account deficit fell to about 3.9 percent of GDP in 2016/17 from 5.1 percent 2015/16. The medium-term macroeconomic outlook remains favorable. Growth is expected to rebound to 6.7 percent in 2017/18 mainly supported by a recovering agriculture sector and exports. Higher fiscal spending anticipated in the second half of 2017/18 owing to buoyant tax revenues will also support growth.
With a combined population of more than 350 million people, frontier and developing Asia, which includes countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, and Bangladesh, is located in the world’s fastest-growing region and has favorable demographics. The countries share a number of common macroeconomic, financial, and structural challenges. This book addresses issues related to economic growth and structural transformation, as well as the risk of a poverty trap and rising income inequality.
The government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has requested a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement with access of 120 percent of quota in support of their reform program. It aims to restore macroeconomic stability, strengthen the external position, and engender higher, more inclusive growth. Under the ECF-supported program, the main components are upfront macro-tightening measures buttressed by greater exchange and interest rate flexibility.
Growth performance in Bangladesh is improving, but macroeconomic imbalances have also emerged. Medium-term growth targets are likely to intensify macroeconomic pressures if not managed well. Longer-term growth prospects hinge on generating sufficient resources to relieve infrastructure bottlenecks and ensuring a competitive business environment focused on labor-intensive activities. There is a need to build on the momentum of recent reforms. To ensure a stable macroeconomic environment, vigilance is foremost required on the fiscal front. The focus is on accelerating growth-promoting structural reforms, while ensuring a stable macroeconomic environment.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the surprising strength of remittances in Bangladesh and other countries in South Asia and the Philippines in 2009. The empirical analysis suggests that the continued strong growth of remittances in these countries is related to the resilience of non-oil GDP growth in the GCC countries and the surge in the GCC countries’ hiring of migrant workers from South Asia during 2006–08. The remittances-to-GDP ratio in South Asia and the Philippines are likely to remain robust in the near term.
This paper reports on Bangladesh’s Financial System Stability Assessment. Considerable progress has been made in strengthening the resilience of the country's financial sector. Total assets of the banking sector have increased twofold since 2003, and credit to the private sector has risen threefold. Loan classification, provisioning, and even capital remain uneven in the banking sector, creating potential vulnerabilities. The rapid growth in nontraditional banking activities is generating new risks, underlining the importance of strengthening the regulatory framework.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
Trade policy occupies an unusual and at times problematic place in the work of the IMF. Though trade policies of IMF members have strong influences on macroeconomic stability, they are often seen as peripheral to the IMF’s core competency. This evaluation, which examines the IMF’s involvement in trade policy issues during 1996–2007, addresses five questions. What is the nature of the IMF’s mandate to cover trade policy? Did the IMF work effectively with other international organizations on trade policy issues? Did the Executive Board provide clear guidance to staff on the IMF’s role and approach to trade policy? How well did the IMF address trade policy issues through lending arrangements and surveillance? Was IMF advice effective? The evaluation finds that the IMF’s role in trade policy has evolved in some desirable and some less desirable ways and recommends how to use the limited resources the IMF can devote to trade policy to fill these gaps.
This paper argues that, in improving the efficient allocation of resources, financial sector development could dampen the appreciation effect of capital inflows. Using dynamic panel data techniques, the paper finds that the exchange rate appreciation effect of FDI inflows is indeed attenuated when financial and capital markets are larger and more active. The main implication of these results is that one of the main dangers associated with large capital inflows in emerging markets-the destabilization of macroeconomic management due to a sizeable appreciation of the real exchange rate-can be mitigated partly by developing a deep financial sector.
This Selected Issues paper on Bangladesh reviews institutional developments in the foreign exchange market since 2002. In 2002, there have been several aspects of the financial system and exchange market in Bangladesh that posed impediments to a floating exchange rate system. The financial system has been dominated by state-owned commercial banks with assets amounting to about 24 percent of GDP and accounting for some 46 percent of industry net assets. Market interventions have been largely confined to building foreign exchange reserves and to countering rare disorderly market conditions.