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Nitya Aasaavari, Fabio Di Vittorio, Ana Lariau, Yuebo Li, Rui Mano, and Mr. Pedro C Rodriguez
Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), two regions with large growth potential, have become increasingly connected over the last 20 years. China has emerged not only as a top trading partner, but also as an important competitor of LAC exports. China’s retreat from certain markets, due to the ongoing rebalancing process, could open new opportunities for LAC exporters but also entail some challenges. Our results show that China’s rebalancing will have an overall positive effect on LAC’s GDP and exports in the long run, but this effect is small and uneven across countries, leading to winners and losers. We also provide evidence that other countries, such as India, are currently trying to fill the gap left by China and could undermine LAC’s competitive advantage in some export markets. In this context, reduction of trade barriers and further integration within the region and/or with the rest of the world would lead to unequivocally positive outcomes for all LAC countries. The COVID-19 shock might exacerbate the effects identified in our analysis.
Mr. Vimal V Thakoor
Before the pandemic, the South African economy remained stuck in low gear, with anemic growth, stagnant private investment, and a shrinking tradable sector. Subdued growth has raised unemployment, poverty, and inequality, hindering inclusion efforts. The pandemic has worsened economic and social vulnerabilities. Economic recovery and social inclusion hinge critically on structural reforms to boost competiveness and growth. Product markets represent a cornerstone of the reform strategy. Firms have used their market power to drive up prices and limit competition. Important state-owned monopolies provide low-quality services, while representing a fiscal drag. Existing regulations inhibit the entry of both domestic and foreign firms. Addressing product markets constraints could boost per capita growth by 1 percentage point—adding about 2½ percentage points to headline growth—and foster greater inclusion.
International Monetary Fund
As a companion piece to the Board paper on Structural Reforms and Macroeconomic Performance: Initial Considerations for the Fund, this paper presents a selection of case studies on the structural reform experiences of member countries. These papers update the Board on work since the Triennial Surveillance Review toward strengthening the Fund’s capacity to analyze and, where relevant, offer policy advice on macro-relevant structural issues. The paper builds on the already considerable analytical work underway across the Fund, setting out considerations to support a more strategic approach going forward.
Ms. Martine Guerguil and Mr. Martin D Kaufman
This paper reviews the evolution of certain price and nonprice competitiveness indicators in Chile and concludes that the pecuniary loss of competitiveness associated with the appreciation of the peso since the late 1980s has been broadly offset by productivity gains and adjustments in factor intensity, particularly in the manufacturing sector. However, there may be limited room for further advances from that point, which gives new prominence to certain policy issues such as structural reforms to increase productivity, a reassessment of the tax treatment of the mining sector, and a rebalancing of the macroeconomic policy mix to dampen speculative capital inflows.