While growth in advanced economies is losing momentum amid trade tensions and policy uncertainty, activity in many emerging and low-income developing countries (EMDEs) has remained more robust, supported by still favorable financing conditions. Differences across EMDEs are large, however, and downside risks are building. Policy priorities include enhancing resilience in response to a more challenging global environment, creating fiscal space for essential development spending, containing debt vulnerabilities, and promoting strong and inclusive growth. Strengthening revenue generating capacity, enhancing public spending efficiency, and addressing infrastructure gaps are critical for reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Vitor Gaspar, Mr. David Amaglobeli, Ms. Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Delphine Prady, and Mauricio Soto
The goal of this paper is to estimate the additional annual spending required for meaningful progress on the SDGs in these areas. Our estimates refer to additional spending in 2030, relative to a baseline of current spending to GDP in these sectors. Toward this end, we apply an innovative costing methodology to a sample of 155 countries: 49 low- income developing countries, 72 emerging market economies, and 34 advanced economies. And we refine the analysis with five country studies: Rwanda, Benin, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Guatemala.
Attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will require that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries continue their considerable past achievements. The Millennium Development Goals—which were to have been met by 2015—helped focus attention on achieving progress towards poverty reduction, better health outcomes, and improvements in education in the ASEAN developing countries. The 17 SDGs—adopted in 2015 and to be met by 2030—cover a wider set of interlinked development objectives, such as inclusion and environmental sustainability, which are important for all countries, including all ASEAN member countries. ASEAN countries have made significant progress in improving incomes and economic opportunities, including for women, and reducing poverty since 2000. Reflecting the economic dynamism of the region, strong income growth, structural transformation, and infrastructure improvements continue to support sustainable development in ASEAN. With continued income growth and strong policy efforts, most ASEAN countries are on track to eradicate absolute poverty by 2030, a major milestone. Also, several ASEAN countries already do relatively well in terms of gender equality. As a result, given support from continued income gains, economic welfare in ASEAN countries is expected to continue converging towards advanced Asia levels. Ensuring more inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth presents a key challenge for ASEAN. Despite some progress, income inequality remains relatively high in several countries and the shift towards manufacturing strains environmental sustainability. These challenges hamper ASEAN welfare convergence relative to advanced Asia. Policies to close these gaps in sustainable development can lead to significant gains. For the lower-middle-income ASEAN countries, in particular, more determined policy efforts are needed to improve infrastructure, as well as health and education outcomes. Remaining sustainable development challenges call for comprehensive, country-specific SDG strategies formulated in the context of national development plans and close monitoring through the voluntary review process. Pursuing sustainable development entails sizeable spending needs. Estimates for Indonesia and Vietnam, the two cases studies considered in this paper, show that reaching the level of best performers in their income group in infrastructure, health, and education by 2030 could entail an additional cost of 5½–6½ percent of GDP per year. While development needs vary across countries, estimates suggest large spending needs for most ASEAN countries. Meeting them will require efforts on multiple fronts, including improvements in spending efficiency, tax capacity, and support from the private sector. For developing ASEAN countries, concessional financing from development partners will be required. The IMF continues to engage ASEAN countries in key areas as they pursue their SDGs. As called for in their mandates, ASEAN and the IMF both strive for economic growth and sustainable development through economic integration and collaboration among their member countries. The IMF has increased its engagement with ASEAN countries to support their policy efforts through its policy diagnostics, advice, and capacity development. ASEAN countries have also received support through IMF initiatives in strengthening revenue mobilization, building state capacity for infrastructure provision, pursuing economic and financial inclusion, addressing the challenges of climate change, strengthening economic institutions for good governance, and building statistical capacity. While fundamental reforms to improve sustainable development take time to bear fruit, there is evidence that efforts have started to pay off.
La política fiscal influye en el desarrollo sostenible a través de sus efectos en el crecimiento, el medio ambiente y el desarrollo de los recursos naturales. ¿Qué relaciones existen entre la política fiscal y el desarrollo sostenible y de qué manera el FMI procura promover el desarrollo sostenible a través de su asesoramiento sobre políticas? ¿Qué lecciones se han extraído hasta ahora y de qué manera los gobiernos, la comunidad internacional y las instituciones financieras internacionales pueden respaldar mejor el desarrollo sostenible?
La politique budgétaire influe sur le développement durable par les effets qu'elle exerce sur la croissance économique, sur l'environnement et sur la mise en valeur des ressources. Quelles sont les relations entre la politique budgétaire et le développement durable, et comment le FMI s'efforce-t-il de promouvoir le développement durable dans ses recommandations ? Quel est le bilan de l'expérience acquise à ce jour, et par quels moyens les pouvoirs publics, la communauté internationale et les institutions financières internationales peuvent-ils promouvoir plus efficacement le développement durable ?
Fiscal policy affects sustainable development through its effects on growth, the environment, and resource development. What are the relationships between fiscal policy and sustainable development, and how does the IMF seek to promote sustainable development in its policy advice? What lessons have been learned so far, and how can governments, the international community, and international financial institutions more fully support sustainable development?