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Mr. Augusto A Perez Azcarraga, Mr. Tadatsugu Matsudaira, Mr. Gilles Montagnat-Rentier, Mr. Janos Nagy, and Mr. R. James Clark

Abstract

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.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines the export growth in Colombia. Colombian exports are heavily concentrated in commodities but the large real depreciation since 2015 offers an opportunity to grow nontraditional exports substantially. Colombia’s comparative advantage in noncommodity products was weak in 2013-15, and export diversification was low, partly owing to the commodity price boom. Exports grew moderately in recent years but in line with historical relationships given fundamentals. The export outlook is positive. Given global growth assumptions, the IMF staff’s models predict acceleration in export growth. The historical experience of commodity exporters suffers large real depreciations also paints a positive picture.
Camila Casas, Mr. Federico J Diez, Ms. Gita Gopinath, and Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas
Most trade is invoiced in very few currencies. Despite this, the Mundell-Fleming benchmark and its variants focus on pricing in the producer’s currency or in local currency. We model instead a ‘dominant currency paradigm’ for small open economies characterized by three features: pricing in a dominant currency; pricing complementarities, and imported input use in production. Under this paradigm: (a) the terms-of-trade is stable; (b) dominant currency exchange rate pass-through into export and import prices is high regardless of destination or origin of goods; (c) exchange rate pass-through of non-dominant currencies is small; (d) expenditure switching occurs mostly via imports, driven by the dollar exchange rate while exports respond weakly, if at all; (e) strengthening of the dominant currency relative to non-dominant ones can negatively impact global trade; (f) optimal monetary policy targets deviations from the law of one price arising from dominant currency fluctuations, in addition to the inflation and output gap. Using data from Colombia we document strong support for the dominant currency paradigm.
Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Marcos d Chamon, and Akira Sasahara
Sovereign debt restructurings have been shown to influence the dynamics of imports and exports. This paper shows that the impact can vary substantially depending on whether the restructuring takes place preemptively without missing payments to creditors, or whether it takes place after a default has occurred. We document that countries with post-default restructurings experience on average: (i) a more severe and protracted decline in imports, (ii) a larger fall in exports, and (iii) a sharper and more prolonged decline in both GDP, investment and real exchange rate than preemptive cases. These stylized facts are confirmed by panel regressions and local projection estimates, and a range of robustness checks including for the endogeneity of the restructuring strategy. Our findings suggest that a country’s choice of how to go about restructuring its debt can have major implications for the costs it incurs from restructuring.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The economic outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean remains very challenging. Regional growth is projected to decline for a fifth consecutive year in 2015, dipping below 1 percent. Weakness is concentrated among South America's commodity exporters, where falling global commodity prices have compounded country-specific challenges. Meanwhile, growth is projected to be steady or stronger for most of the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico, supported by lower oil bills for importers and robust economic recovery in the United States. The analysis in this report examines core challenges facing the region: the impact of lower commodity prices on fiscal and external positions, the drivers of the slowdown in investment, and the role of economic diversification for longer-term growth prospects.

International Monetary Fund
In response to the dearth of information on trade finance, the Fund has undertaken a survey of major advanced country and emerging market banks. The results suggest that the cost of trade finance is rising globally, but that provision is falling in emerging markets while staying stable in advanced countries, possibly reflecting structural differences in markets.
International Monetary Fund
The paper finds that simple econometric specifications yield surprising rich and complex dynamics -- relative prices respond to the nominal exchange rate and pass-through effects, import and export volumes respond to relative price changes, and the trade balance responds to changes in import and export values.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes economic performance of Ecuador under dollarization. The paper reviews the principal trade-offs normally associated with official dollarization, and their specific relevance to Ecuador. It discusses Ecuador’s performance under the dollarization regime, highlighting the country’s main achievements and challenges in the macroeconomic and structural areas. The paper draws some conclusions and discusses what dollarization implies for Ecuador’s reform agenda in the future. The paper also assesses sustainability of Ecuador’s fiscal policy and explores criteria that could guide the setting of fiscal policy in the future.
Mr. Marco Terrones, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Mr. Ayhan Kose
This paper examines the impact of international financial integration on macroeconomic volatility in a large group of industrial and developing economies over the period 1960-99. We report two major results: First, while the volatility of output growth has, on average, declined in the 1990s relative to the three preceding decades, we also document that, on average, the volatility of consumption growth relative to that of income growth has increased for more financially integrated developing economies in the 1990s. Second, increasing financial openness is associated with rising relative volatility of consumption, but only up to a certain threshold. The benefits of financial integration in terms of improved risk-sharing and consumption-smoothing possibilities appear to accrue only beyond this threshold.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the developments in the labor market of Peru during the 1990s. The study assesses the relationship between the orientation of economic policy and export performance, in particular, export diversification over the last four decades. The paper describes the two-tier pension system and evaluates the long-term fiscal burden of this system. The study also reviews the design and implementation of monetary policy in Peru over the last decade.