Mr. Bernardin Akitoby, Mr. Jiro Honda, and Keyra Primus
Raising revenues has been a formidable challenge for fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS), a fact confirmed once again in the COVID-19 crisis. Nonetheless, achieving sizable gains in tax collection in fragile environments is not impossible. This paper—with empirical analyses and case studies—contributes to policy discussions on tax reform in such challenging environments. Our analyses show that many FCS achieved some recovery of tax revenues, even though they found it challenging to sustain the momentum beyond three years. We also find that changes in the quality of institutions (e.g., government effectiveness and control of corruption) are a key contributory factor to their tax performance (much more so than for non-FCS). Next, we look into the tax increase episodes of four countries (Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, and the Solomon Islands). Although each FCS is unique, their experiences suggest two lessons: (i) tax reforms can be pursued even with initially weak institutions; and (ii) strong political commitment is important to sustain reform efforts and realize long-lasting, sizable gains.
This IMF Staff Report highlights that the robust economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire is projected to continue in 2018. The inflation remains subdued. The program aims to achieve a sustainable balance of payments position, foster inclusive growth and poverty reduction, and create fiscal space for investing in priority infrastructure and social projects. Strong economic performance since 2012, with average annual growth of 9 percent, reflected the economic recovery following political normalization, improved business environment, strong program of reforms, and supportive fiscal policy. A key policy challenge is to sustain robust growth and make it more inclusive and private sector-driven. Robust medium-term growth is expected to be supported by domestic demand.
This report reviews the IMF’s effort to build fiscal capacity in fragile states. It presents case studies on IMF technical assistance (TA) and capacity development in the fiscal area, provided by its Fiscal Affairs Department in collaboration with the Legal Department, in countries including Afghanistan, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste. The details in the case studies in various areas of fiscal policy management shed light on country-specific characteristics, how well IMF TA helped countries address fiscal capacity in the past, and lessons learned that could improve TA strategies and delivery in the future.
The paper draws on recent country experience to describe the approach to designing and implementing fiscal reforms in fragile states (FS) taken in the IMF’s technical assistance (TA). In doing so, it highlights how the TA that the IMF provides to FS differs from that of non-FS, describes the trends in and modalities of TA delivery, and draws on recent experiences to derive lessons for future work.
Correspondent banking relationships (CBRs), which facilitate global trade and economic activity, have been under pressure in several countries. So far, cross-border payments have remained stable and economic activity has been largely unaffected, despite a recent slight decrease in the number of CBRs. However, in a limited number of countries, financial fragilities have been accentuated as their cross-border flows are concentrated through fewer CBRs or maintained through alternative arrangements. These fragilities could undermine affected countries’ long-run growth and financial inclusion prospects by increasing costs of financial services and negatively affecting bank ratings.
This paper discusses Côte D’Ivoire’s Requests for an Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and an Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). Extending the gains of 2015, solid economic and fiscal performance continued in 2016. Strong investment and private consumption contributed to real GDP growth estimated at about 9 percent in 2015. In 2016, booming extractive industries and rising domestic demand supported activity in the commercial sector, which should sustain GDP growth at about 8 percent. The macroeconomic outlook remains favorable, but structural bottlenecks pose challenges to sustained strong growth. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for the ECF and EFF arrangements.
Ms. Corinne C Delechat, Mr. John W Clark JR, Pranav Gupta, Ms. Malangu Kabedi-Mbuyi, Mr. Mesmin Koulet-Vickot, Ms. Carla Macario, Mr. Toomas Orav, Mr. Manuel Rosales Torres, Rene Tapsoba, Dmitry Zhdankin, and Ms. Susan S. Yang
Like other fragile sub-Saharan African countries, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are seeking to harness their natural resource potential in the context of ambitious development strategies. This study investigates options for scaling up public investment and expanding social safety nets in a general equilibrium setting. First, it assesses the macro-fiscal implications of alternative fiscal rules for public investment, and, second, it explicitly accounts for redistribution through direct cash transfers. Results show that a sustainable non-resource deficit target is robust to the high uncertainty of resources output and prices, while delivering growth benefits through higher public investment. The scaling-up magnitudes, however, depend on the size of projected resource revenue and absorptive capacity. Adding a social transfer raises private consumption, suggesting that a fraction of the resource revenue could be used to expand safety nets.
Victor Duarte Lledo and Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro
This paper investigates economic, political, and institutional constraints to fiscal policy implementation in sub-saharan Africa. We find that planned fiscal adjustments or expansions are less likely to be implemented the larger they are, the more inaccurate the growth forecasts they are based on, the more fragile the regulatory system in the country, and the weaker the institutions framing the design, approval, and execution of the budget. The findings support ongoing efforts in the region to improve the quality and timeliness of economic data; enhance forecasting capacity; adopt realistic fiscal plans; and strengthen governance, budgetary institutions, and public financial management procedures.
The question of what makes fiscal decentralization work is faced by many policymakers around the world. This book draws on both the relevant literature and policy and technical advice provided by the IMF to a wide range of member countries, and discusses the key factors that help make decentralization sustainable, efficient, and equitable from a macroeconomic perspective. It focuses on institutional reforms (in the revenue and expenditure assignments to different levels of government, the design of intergovernmental transfers, and public financial management systems) that are suited to different countries circumstances, and their appropriate sequencing.
This paper provides a brief description of the IMF and its activities, focusing in particular on its technical assistance (TA) activities. The report then describes in greater detail the Japan Administered Account for Selected Fund Activities (JSA)—including its scope and objectives, the size and uses of the TA contribution, and assessments of its TA activities and scholarship programs—with a focus on fiscal year (FY) 2009. Japan has provided grant contributions to support IMF technical assistance to member countries since 1990. In 1997, the scope of the administered account was widened to allow for financing other IMF activities in Asia and the Pacific, carried out through the IMF Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo. Regular consultations are held between the IMF and the Japanese authorities; the most recent formal meeting took place in April 2009. The use of JSA resources is flexible. JSA funds can be used to cover the cost of short- and long-term TA experts and other costs associated with conducting seminars and workshops, such as room rental fees.