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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Vanuatu’s Real GDP is expected to decline by 2 percent in 2015 because of the cyclone damage to Vanuatu’s main export sectors—tourism and agriculture—which will be only partially offset by reconstruction activities and infrastructure investment. Risks to the outlook are biased to the downside since reconstruction may be constrained by availability of funding and by implementation capacity. Public sector recovery needs are estimated at about 20 percent of GDP. In 2016, a recovery in tourism and agriculture combined with further ramping-up of infrastructure projects is expected to propel growth to 5 percent.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
KEY ISSUES Context: Tonga’s economy is rebounding, partially owing to a recovery in agricultural exports. The outlook for tourism is also improving. The reconstruction from a recent cyclone is expected to lead to both a temporary boost to growth and additional financing needs. Risks to the inflation outlook and the external position are low. Fiscal Policy: The projected fiscal cost relating to the cyclone will be largely met by confirmed funding mainly from donor agencies. In the near term, the authorities should focus on reconstruction activities, while a medium-term fiscal strategy should aim at gradually stabilizing and then reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio, in order to improve Tonga’s moderate risk of debt distress. This will require careful execution of investments related to the 2019 South Pacific Games. Monetary Policy: The deleveraging cycle of the Tongan banks appears to be ending, and thus National Reserve Bank of Tonga should prepare to gradually withdraw liquidity and tighten monetary conditions once the current signs of a recovery of credit growth are confirmed. The authorities plan to lower the cost of credit through supportive credit policies, including by commercializing the Tonga Development Bank. The successful implementation of such plan requires sound safeguards, including a robust governance structure and firm risk management and accountability frameworks. Structural Policy: Structural reforms to facilitate the functioning of credit markets need to be implemented with renewed vigor. The authorities’ intention to gradually phase out existing ad hoc tax incentives is well placed. The promotion of foreign direct investments should focus on business-enabling structural reforms, while the use of tax incentives should be minimized and well targeted.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program extended to Lesotho after a sharp fall in revenues remained broadly on track. Lesotho maintained positive growth supported by expansion of mining and construction. Fiscal consolidation efforts have helped to strengthen international reserves, despite weak diamond prices. Executive Directors welcomed the government’s continued efforts to improve the business climate and promote private sector development. They also suggested the need to maintain fiscal consolidation efforts, while safeguarding priority social and growth-promoting capital spending.
International Monetary Fund
The fiscal impact of these policies will be significant, but donor support, improved revenue, and budget reallocations will contain domestic financing. The authorities have introduced several policies in response to the disasters. IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for a purchase under the IMF's policy on emergency assistance for natural disasters. Following severe flooding, the impact of cyclone Sidr on Bangladesh has been substantial.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for The Bahamas reports that the largest portion of tourism expenditure in The Bahamas comes from stayover visitors, and total tourism spending has been stagnant. The Bahamas is a small open economy highly dependent on tourism and the offshore financial sector. Private consumption expenditure in the country or countries of origin is the most important determinant of tourism in The Bahamas.
International Monetary Fund
This paper examines Sri Lanka’s Request for Extension of Repurchase Expectations. The Sri Lankan authorities request an extension of repurchase expectations arising in the remainder of 2005, in the amount of SDR 74,162,500. The extension would have the effect of moving the repurchase expectations to an obligations basis, with each amount falling due exactly one year after the expectation date. The authorities have also expressed their desire to resume discussions on the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)/EFF-supported program.