International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Middle East Technical Assistance Center (METAC) has arranged a two-phase capacity development (CD) for the Libyan Customs Administration (LCA) of the Libyan Ministry of Finance. The purpose of this mission is to assess the development status of the ASYCUDA World (AW) prototype piloted in the Port of Tripoli and identify areas of short-term CD support enabling LCA to fully exploit the AW functionalities. It will be followed by a study tour to promote peer learning and exchange of best practices in the f ield of customs in particular digitalization issues, through the METAC region.
The Gambia is consolidating its democratic change by successfully organizing peaceful and transparent elections. President Barrow was reelected for a second five-year term in December 2021; his party and its alliance hold half of the parliamentary seats following an election in April 2022. A fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in late 2021-early 2022. New infection cases have dropped to almost nil recently. The vaccination rate currently stands at about 20 percent of the adult population. The Gambia is already facing significant repercussions of the war in Ukraine.
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, The Gambia had shown strong macroeconomic performance in the few years following the remarkable political transition in 2016-17. Economic growth accelerated, debt vulnerabilities decreased, external stability strengthened, structural and legislative reforms advanced, and key social indicators improved. However, the COVID-19 pandemic halted some of the hard-won progress, stagnating economic activity and re-igniting extreme poverty. The Gambia experienced a third wave of the pandemic in mid-2021, which has receded recently. The COVID-19 vaccination rate currently stands at about 12 percent of the adult population. Presidential and parliamentary elections are planned for December 2021 and April 2022, respectively.
Mr. Amine Mati, Ms. Monique Newiak, and James Wilson
This paper focuses on identifying potential asymmetric responses of non-commodity output growth in times of positive and negative commodity terms-of-trade shocks. Using a sample of 27 oil-exporting countries and a panel VAR method, the study finds: 1) the short-and medium-run response of real non-commodity GDP growth is larger for negative shocks than positive shocks; 2) this asymmetry is more pronounced in countries with weak pre-existing fundamentals–high levels of public debt and low levels of international reserves–which also serve to amplify the volatility of the response; 3) the output response to positive shocks is stronger following a sustained period of CTOT increases, while the impact of negative shocks on output are more damaging when they occur after a period of CTOT decline.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on C.A.R.’s economy but appears now somewhat contained. The number of positive cases and related deaths has been very limited over the last few months, even though most containment measures have been progressively loosened. Despite some progress since the February 2019 peace agreement, the security situation remains precarious. Despite some delays in voter registration, the first round of the presidential and general elections is still scheduled on December 27.