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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The Andorran economy is recovering strongly from the pandemic, supported by a rebound in tourism, retail trade, construction, and professional services. Real GDP is expected to reach pre-crisis levels in the second half of 2022. While the unemployment rate is amongst the lowest in Europe and continues to decline, pockets of vulnerability remain. Notwithstanding significant policy buffers, there are still substantial downside risks, notably the impact in Europe of the war in Ukraine, higher than expected inflation, and a resurgence of infection rates.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This report reviews the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime in the Maldives and identifies policy and legal reform options to support its modernization, as well as enhancing efficiency, equity, and revenue mobilization. Despite five existing amendments to the Goods and Services Tax Act (GSTA) and 28 amendments to the associated regulations, the core parameters of the GST have barely changed in nearly 12 years. In addition, rapid changes to global business models and the increasing digitalization of the Maldivian economy have made key features of the legislation – such as place of supply rules – increasingly inadequate. The mission identified several key GST policy reforms and proposed legal redrafting recommendations that should be prioritized by the authorities in the upcoming reform window. Table 1 summarizes the potential revenue implications and implementation timeline of the main policy measures proposed.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The pandemic has had a substantial impact on the economy, straining pre-pandemic gains in income and poverty reduction. The wide-ranging policy measures, including containment protocols, rapid vaccination and booster campaigns, direct income support, and policy support for borrowers and businesses, mitigated the adverse impact on lives and well-being. As the pandemic recedes and in light of the uncertainties from the war in Ukraine, the focus needs to be on securing livelihoods and ensuring strong and job-rich medium-term growth, while minimizing any persistent adverse effects from the pandemic and mitigating risks.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures have severely impacted the economy. Border closure and the suspension of commercial flights curtailed tourist arrivals. Real GDP contracted by 9.7 percent in FY2020, notwithstanding policy support. The economic contraction is estimated to have deepened in FY2021, and a gradual recovery is expected in FY2022 as tourism activities resume. While Palau’s public debt remains sustainable, the economic fallout of the pandemic and the cost of the fiscal response have led to a sharp deterioration of the fiscal position and a rapid increase in public debt. The high share of concessional loans from multilateral creditors in Palau’s external debt is an important risk mitigating factor. Palau is vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Fiji has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic—with infection rates at one point among the highest in the world. Despite swift action by the government to close borders, protect the population, and mitigate the worst economic effects, the economic contraction was the worst in Fiji’s history. The crisis has come at a heavy social cost, including large-scale layoffs, surging unemployment, and high non-performing loans. Multilateral and bilateral support has been critical in helping Fiji weather the worst of the crisis and has facilitated a strong government response—including rapid acceleration of the government vaccination program underpinning Fiji’s reopening to international tourism.