Mr. Augusto A Perez Azcarraga, Mr. Tadatsugu Matsudaira, Mr. Gilles Montagnat-Rentier, Mr. Janos Nagy, and Mr. R. James Clark
Customs administrations around the world face new challenges: an increasing volume of international trade, a revolution in new technologies, and fundamental changes in business models. The benefits of a well-performing customs administration are clear, as is the need to develop efficient, effective, fair, and modern customs administrations. Customs Matters analyzes the many changes and challenges customs administrations face and pro-poses ways to address them. By offering a cross-sectional view of the main aspects of customs ad-ministration, the book guides policymakers and customs officials as they evaluate the current state of their customs system with a view to developing, reinforcing, or relaunching their own roadmaps for customs modernization.
This paper studies the potential for the export sector to play a more important role in promoting growth in Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic (CAPDR) through deeper intra-regional and global trade integration. CAPDR countries have enacted many free trade agreements and other regional integration initiatives in recent years, but this paper finds that their exports remain below the norm for countries of their size. Several indexes of outward orientation are constructed and suggest that the breadth of geographic trading relationships, depth of integration into global production chains, and degree of technological sophistication of exports in CAPDR are less conducive to higher exports and growth than in fast-growing, export-oriented economies. To boost exports and growth, CAPDR should implement policies to facilitate economic integration, particularly building a customs union, harmonizing trade rules, improving logistics and infrastructure, and enhancing regional cordination.
The paper is an elaborated report on Nicaragua’s potential economic growth. The challenges and idiosyncratic shocks were immense but the policies of better education, labor contracts, and accomplishments in public investments paved the way for movement of the economy. The external competitiveness and exchange rate assessment also have an important hand. The achievements in the electricity sector and the improvement in reforming the pension system are the prominent aspects. On the whole, the Board considers this growth as a positive trial of development in the global panorama.
América Central ha concitado creciente atención como una región que se está integrando exitosamente a la economía mundial. Este estudio examina -entre otras cosas- las implicaciones macroeconómicas y fiscales del Acuerdo de Libre Comercio con Estados Unidos (CAFTA-RD), y se destaca que este acuerdo impulsará el proceso de integración. Sin embargo, a fin de potenciar al máximo los beneficios en términos de un crecimiento sostenible más acelerado, reducción de la pobreza y progreso social, la región también debe llevar adelante ambiciosas reformas estructurales que consoliden la estabilidad macroeconómica y aseguren condiciones atractivas para la inversión, a la vez que se intensifica la cooperación regional en materia de recaudación y administración de impuestos, sistemas financieros y estadísticas.
Central America has received growing attention as a region that is integrating successfully into the global economy. This paper examines—among other things—the macroeconomic and fiscal implications of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA-DR), noting that the agreement will provide a boost to the integration process. To maximize the benefits in terms of faster sustainable growth, poverty reduction, and social progress, however, the region also needs to press ahead with ambitious structural reforms to entrench macroeconomic stability and ensure an attractive environment for investment, while stepping up regional cooperation in the areas of taxes and tax administration, financial systems, and statistics.
In the Doha Round, negotiators are discussing the elimination or continuation of the special agricultural safeguards introduced by the Uruguay Round as well as the creation of special safeguard mechanism for use by developing countries. This paper argues that, in violation of the spirit of the WTO Agreement in Agriculture, the special agricultural safeguards have often been used as a prolonged protectionist device. It then draws lessons for the design of the special safeguard mechanism.
Mr. Nalin M. Kishor, Mr. Muthukumara Mani, and Mr. Luis F. Constantino
An increasing number of tropical timber producing nations have enacted bans on export of logs. Proponents argue that a log export ban is a second-best policy tool for addressing environmental externalities; it also creates more jobs and improves scale efficiencies domestically. Theoretical arguments suggest that log export bans are largely incapable of achieving their objectives. However, little quantitative evidence exists. The authors maintain that eliminating log export bans in Costa Rica could generate economic gains as high as $14 million annually in addition to the environmental benefits.
This paper analyzes economic developments in Costa Rica during the 1990s. The paper highlights that the government of Costa Rica initiated an economic program for 1991–92 aimed at lowering inflation, strengthening the balance of payments, and setting the stage for sustained economic growth. These objectives were to be achieved through restrained financial policies, an exchange rate policy aimed at maintaining export competitiveness, and liberalization of prices, international trade, and the exchange system. The reduction in the combined public sector deficit in 1991 was accompanied by a tightening of monetary policy.
This paper assembles findings on the use of trade taxes, examines the main contributing factors, and reviews the fiscal aspects of trade policy as they relate to both efficiency and macroeconomic stabilization. It demonstrates why trade taxes would generally not be part of an optimal tax package, and describes the conditions under which they could be used and what their structure would be. The paper also reviews the channels of the effects of trade taxes under fixed and flexible exchange rates, and concludes that the distortions and welfare loss that they create put them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis other fiscal and exchange rate policies.