Asia and Pacific > Fiji, Republic of

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Yong Sarah Zhou, Tao Sun, Anca Paduraru, Arvinder Bharath, Stephanie Forte, Kathleen Kao, Yinqiu Lu, Maria Fernanda Chacon Rey, Piyaporn Sodsriwiboon, Chia Yi Tan, and Bo Zhao
The departmental paper, "Rise of Digital Money: Implications for Pacific Island Countries," delves into the fast-evolving landscape of digital money in a diverse region of extremes in size, remoteness and dispersion, highlighting its significant macroeconomic and financial consequences. It provides an overview of the development of digital money and payment systems in Pacific Island Countries (PICs), assessing potential benefits and risks, with a focus on how they can harness digital technology to enhance financial inclusion and payment efficiency while minimizing risks. To this end, the paper also examines the prerequisites for successfully adopting various forms of digital money and proposes a strategic framework for policy decisions. The paper underscores the potential of digital money in advancing public policy goals, like financial inclusion and improved cross-border connectivity – given the specific characteristics of the region – while cautioning against the risks of rapid and inadequately regulated adoption. Accordingly, it advocates a gradual, well-informed approach, tailored to PICs' unique monetary and financial circumstances, including the presence of national currencies and the maturity of payment systems. Moreover, the paper suggests that a regional approach could help address capacity and scalability challenges in introducing new digital money forms and payment methods in PICs.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
The 2023 Article IV Consultation discusses that Fiji’s economy rebounded strongly in 2022, as tourism recovered rapidly. With the rapid rebound in tourism, the economy is experiencing a strong recovery. Nevertheless, significant risks to growth remain both on the demand side—due to the global outlook—and on the supply side—due to capacity constraints and price competitiveness. The recovery and ongoing broad consultations make the upcoming budget a critical opportunity to begin rebuilding Fiji’s fiscal space and reducing vulnerability. Monetary policy needs to begin shifting now to a more neutral stance, amidst growing uncertainty to the outlook for inflation and foreign reserves. Addressing the implementation challenges of Fiji’s climate plans will require increased efforts and financing. Advancing climate adaptation plans will help Fiji transition to a more sustainable and resilient growth model. Accelerating investments on renewable energy will help Fiji diversify its energy sources and reduce external imbalances. However, Fiji’s climate adaptation and mitigation plans face significant challenges, including shortfalls in climate financing, implementation capacity, and investment management.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
At the request of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI), a Monetary and Capital Markets Department (MCM) mission provided technical assistance on central bank risk management during the period August–September 2021. The mission comprised Mr. Paul Woods (Central Bank of Ireland) and Mr. Chris Aylmer (formerly with the Reserve Bank of Australia), under supervision of Mr. Ashraf Khan (MCM, Central Bank Operations Division) The purpose of the mission was to guide the CBSI on how to establish an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework. The mission focused in particular on establishing a strengthened risk culture throughout the organization, and strengthening risk governance - including the role of the CBSI’s risk management unit.
Mouhamadou Sy, Mr. Andrew Beaumont, Enakshi Das, Mr. Georg Eysselein, Mr. David Kloeden, and Katrina R Williams
Pacific Island Countries (PICs) face daunting spending needs related to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and adapting to the effects of climate change. Boosting tax revenues will need to be an essential pillar in creating the fiscal space to meet SDG and climate-adaptation spending needs. This paper assesses the additional tax revenue that PICs could potentially collect and discusses policy options to achieve such gains. The main objectives of the paper are to (1) review the critical medium-term development spending requirements and available financing options, (2) document the main stylized facts about tax revenues in the PICs and estimate the additional tax revenue that countries could raise, (3) highlight the main bottlenecks preventing the PICs from further increasing their tax revenue collection with an emphasis on weaknesses in VAT systems, (4) draw lessons from successful emerging and developing countries that have managed to substantially and durably increased their tax revenues, and (5) propose tax policy and revenue administration reform priorities for Pacific Island Countries to boost tax revenues. The paper’s main findings are (1) The current revenue mix is skewed toward non-tax revenues, (2) PICs could collect an additional 3 percent of tax revenue in the short to medium term, (3) Many bottlenecks are preventing the PICs from boosting their tax revenue collection, and (4) The potential offered by efficient VAT systems is not fully exploited. To increase tax revenue in the Pacific Islands, the paper proposes the following reforms: (1) unwinding recent fiscal relief measures, (2) strengthening or introducing a VAT system; (3) rationalizing tax exemptions, (4) closing loopholes in the tax system, (5) reforming tax administration, and (6) introducing a medium-term revenue strategy.
Ding Ding and Mr. Yannick Timmer
We estimate a variety of exchange rate elasticities of international tourism. We show that, in addition to the bilateral exchange rate between the tourism origin and destination countries, the exchange rate vis-à-vis the US dollar is also an important driver of tourism flows and pricing. The effect of US dollar pricing is stronger for tourism destination countries with higher dollar borrowing, indicating a complementarity between dominant currency pricing and financing. Country-specific dominant currencies (CSDCs) play only a minor role for the average country, but are important for tourism-dependent countries and those with a high concentration of tourists. The importance of the dollar exchange rate represents a strong piece of evidence of dominant currency pricing (DCP) in the international trade of services and suggests that the benefits of exchange rate flexibility for tourism-dependent countries may be weaker than previously thought.