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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
A strong export-led recovery is underway. Despite early actions and a successful vaccination campaign, the pandemic is lingering in Mongolia as positivity rates remain high and borders largely closed. An export-led recovery which began in mid-2020, is gathering steam due to booming prices for Mongolia’s exports. Nevertheless, domestic demand, labor markets and the business sector remain weak. Policies were appropriately supportive during the pandemic. However, large, untargeted and continuing fiscal, quasi-fiscal and financial forbearance measures legislated by Parliament have heightened macrofinancial vulnerabilities: public debt has sharply increased, bank balance sheets have further weakened, and the Bank of Mongolia’s (BOM) operational independence has been compromised. On the plus side, external and fiscal buffers have been built, helped by the 2021 IMF SDR allocation of US$98.3 million (95.8 percent of quota), and the rollover of large external liabilities has increased policy space.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. James Daniel, Mr. Masahiro Nozaki, Cristian Alonso, Vybhavi Balasundharam, Mr. Matthieu Bellon, Chuling Chen, David Corvino, and Mr. Joey Kilpatrick
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing policymakers worldwide, and the stakes are particularly high for Asia and the Pacific. This paper analyzes how fiscal policy can address challenges from climate change in Asia and the Pacific. It aims to answer how policymakers can best promote mitigation, adaptation, and the transition to a low-carbon economy, emphasizing the economic and social implications of reforms, potential policy trade-offs, and country circumstances. The recommendations are grounded in quantitative analysis using country-specific estimates, and granular household, industry, and firm-level data.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses Mongolia’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has taken a large toll on economic activity in Mongolia, giving rise to urgent budget and balance of payments needs. The authorities have already taken several measures to limit the economic contraction and help the most vulnerable. Recent revisions to the budget allow for higher health and social spending as well as tax relief to affected households and businesses. In addition, the Bank of Mongolia has eased monetary and financial policies to help prevent a disorderly contraction in bank lending to the private sector. Emergency financing under the IMF’s RFI will provide much needed support to respond to the urgent balance of payments and budgetary needs. Additional assistance from development partners will be required to support the authorities’ efforts and close the financing gap. The authorities’ commitment to high standards of transparency and governance in the management of financial assistance is welcome.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper aims to take stock of key challenges and propose recommendations on how to address them. Mongolia has taken important steps to address these challenges, but more should be done to tackle remaining gaps and ensure effective enforcement. Improving governance is a crucial step for Mongolia to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. In order to substantially reduce corruption, a stronger anti-corruption framework should be accompanied by governance reforms across a range of state functions. On rule of law, the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) place Mongolia above peers in Asia but below regional averages, indicating room for improvement. Although Mongolia has developed a legal framework since the transition to a market economy, observers point out that there are often loopholes and unintended consequences. Weak revenue administration can undermine fiscal sustainability while uneven enforcement of tax rules can damage the investment climate. State-owned enterprises would benefit from better governance, particularly given their central role in output and potential for creating fiscal liabilities.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Mongolia discusses that economy growth accelerated to 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019, over fiscal balance turned into surplus in 2018, and gross international reserves have increased by $2 1/2 billion since 2016. The recovery stems from a stronger policy framework, significant official financing and a rebound in external demand. Notwithstanding the progress, Mongolia remains vulnerable to external shocks given its high debt levels and the economy’s dependence on mineral exports. Structural reforms progressed in several key areas: the budget process is more resilient to political pressure and quasi-fiscal activities were curtailed. In order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth, it is necessary to advance the current reform efforts by strengthening the rule-based fiscal policy framework, ensuring financial sector soundness and improving governance. Risks are tilted toward the downside in the near term. Shocks to mineral demand can lead to sharp fall in exports, weakening growth outlook and fiscal accounts. A slowdown in growth could trigger financial instability given still inadequate capital buffers at some banks and overindebted households.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, and Review Department
This paper uses case studies to explore the nature and extent of past IMF engagement on social spending issues and to draw lessons for future engagement.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
A three-year arrangement for Mongolia under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) was approved on May 24, 2017, in an amount equivalent to SDR 314.5054 million (435 percent of quota, or about $425 million). The arrangement is part of a $5.5 billion multi-donor financing package that supports the authorities’ Economic Recovery Plan. The extended arrangement is subject to quarterly reviews.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This IMF Staff Report discusses Mongolia’s Third Review Under the Extended Fund Facility. Mongolia’s performance under the program thus far has been strong. The economy is recovering better than expected, with real GDP growth of 5.1 percent in 2017. The combination of strong policy implementation and a supportive external environment has helped the authorities over-perform on all end-December 2017 quantitative targets. However, the performance on structural reforms has been mixed with some delays on structural benchmarks under the program and reversals of three fiscal measures considered during previous reviews. Given the strong performance to date, continued improvement in the macro outlook, and still high public debt, the authorities committed to tightening the fiscal and reserve targets.
Mrs. Kerstin Gerling
Weather-related natural disasters and climate change pose interrelated macro-fiscal challenges. Using panel-VARX studies for a sample of 19 countries in Developing Asia during 1970 to 2015, this paper contributes new empirical evidence on the dynamic adjustment path of growth and key fiscal variables after severe weather-related disasters. It does not only show that output loss can be permanent, but even twice as large for cases of severe casualties or material damages than people affected. Meanwhile, key fiscal aggregates remain surprisingly stable. Event and case studies suggest that this can reflect both a deliberate policy choice or binding constraints. The latter can make governments respond through mitigating fiscal policy efforts such as ad hoc fiscal rebalancing and reprioritization. The findings help better customize disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts to countries’ risk exposure along a particular loss dimension.