Christine J. Richmond, Ms. Dora Benedek, Ezequiel Cabezon, Bobana Cegar, Mr. Peter Dohlman, Michelle Hassine, Beata Jajko, Piotr Kopyrski, Maksym Markevych, Mr. Jacques A Miniane, Mr. Francisco J Parodi, Gabor Pula, Mr. James Roaf, Min Kyu Song, Mariya Sviderskaya, Rima Turk, and Mr. Sebastian Weber
The Central, Eastern, and South Eastern European (CESEE) region is ripe for a reassessment of the role of the state in economic activity. The rapid income convergence with Western Europe of the early 2000s was not always equally shared across society, and it has now slowed dramatically in many countries of the region.
This 2003 Article IV Consultation states that Belarus made noticeable progress in some areas of economic reform over the past several years, but overall macroeconomic performance in 2002 was mixed. Inflation in 2002 was the lowest since Belarus became independent, yet it remains the highest in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Under current policies, the outlook for 2003 is broadly similar to the outcome for 2002. Inflation is expected at about 27 percent, and real GDP growth is likely to slow modestly to about 4 percent.
Lithuania achieved significant progress in macroeconomic stabilization and structural reforms, under the previous Stand-By Arrangement. Executive Directors welcomed the new program, which aimed at maintaining macroeconomic stability, promoting private sector activity, and strengthening external viability in order to attain sustainable growth and create employment opportunities. They stressed the need to implement fiscal and structural reforms. They agreed that the authorities are following an appropriate approach of preparing a medium-term fiscal framework, determining priorities, and seeking ways to achieve the medium-term goal of a balanced budget.
This study, another in the series focusing on special issues in transition, reviews the experience of output decline and recovery in the 25 countries of eastern and central Europe and the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Although these countries began the process of economic transformation with similar circumstances of output decline, the extent of decline, its duration, and the sustainability of recovery in growth varied considerably. The authors explore the factors behind this variation and find that the most important policies promoting early and sustained recovery were ones that supported financial stabilization and structural reforms in key areas such as private sector development, the tax system, economic liberalization, and secure property rights.
This paper summarizes the macroeconomic performance of the transition economies. We first review the initial conditions confronting these economies, the reform strategy that was proposed, and the associated controversies that arose a decade ago. We then account for the widely different outcomes, highlighting the role of exogenous factors and the macroeconomic and structural policies adopted by the countries. We find that both stabilization policies and structural reforms, particularly privatization, contribute to growth. We also conclude that the faster is the speed of reforms, the quicker is the recovery and the higher is growth.
This paper examines the indirect role the IMF plays in combating corruption in the Baltic and CIS countries by promoting structural reforms that help improve economic governance and thus reduce opportunities for rent-seeking behavior. The analysis draws on examples of actual experience with corruption and outlines some of the structural measures under IMF-supported arrangements, which, if successfully implemented, can be expected to help gradually alleviate corruption. It also summarizes IMF-wide initiatives under way to strengthen public sector transparency and accountability, and highlights the key structural areas likely to receive emphasis in the IMF’s future policy advice to countries in the region.