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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. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Estonia examines impact of assessing competitiveness and exposure to shocks integrating global value chains (GVCs). This paper strengthens the analytical underpinnings of competitiveness assessments and exposure to shocks by incorporating GVCs. Standard real effective exchange rates (REER) indexes assume trade is only in final goods. However, like most European economies, Estonia is highly integrated into GVCs. This implies that assessments of competitiveness should consider trade in value added. Based on a structural model, the paper assesses competitiveness and exposure to trade shocks accounting for the GVC participation in Estonia. The analysis using a REER index considering the GVC architecture suggests potential competitiveness problems in Estonia. The paper also estimates the impact of overvaluation (and appreciation) of the GVC related REER measure on value added export and real GDP growth and finds observable effects. Further, trade tension induced tariff hikes may have important costs for value added produced in Estonia.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation on Paraguay focused on the policies needed to promote long-term growth, widen the tax base, improve public spending efficiency, and strengthen financial sector supervision. Poverty has fallen sharply, from 58 percent in 2002 to 26 percent currently, although it remains one of the highest in Latin America. Continued convergence is expected to help reduce poverty further and help generate revenues to finance large spending needs. The banking sector is well-capitalized and stable, but the casas de credito and casas comerciales need to be better understood and supervised. The pension system needs reform, both to prevent large pension deficits in the future, and to boost the development of the domestic capital market for long-term instruments. The authorities concurred with IMF staff’s assessment of the main bottlenecks to long-term economic growth. They also agreed structural reforms would help to attract more foreign investments and increase the dynamism of domestic private sector.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses further concrete steps to improve the governance of state-owned enterprise (SOE) and of the oil sector, given their importance to fiscal transparency and sustainability. Reducing leakages in the petroleum sector is especially macroeconomically critical, given Nigeria’s current fiscal and external dependence on oil revenue. This paper provides an overview of developments, recent reforms, and challenges, and outlines policy recommendations for stronger governance and corruption prevention, detection, and resolution, including through anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism measures that are useful beyond the petroleum sector. Strengthening transparency is needed to ensure that Nigeria receives maximum benefits from the oil and gas sector. The Nigerian authorities must accelerate their anti-corruption efforts to maintain momentum against both entrenched challenges and evolving threats. Achieving critical improvements to SOE governance and Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism efforts will require a combination of legislative action, institutional reform, and additional resources.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the development of domestic government securities market in Iran. The Iranian authorities have intensified efforts to develop a domestic government securities market. The Debt Management Office is fully staffed with front-mid-back office functions. An electronic issuance system and effective custody and settlement systems are in place. A public debt law that identifies the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s role as the sole issuer of government securities and requires the preparation and publication of a medium-term debt management strategy, annual borrowing program, and publication of debt and asset data would enhance transparency and provide investors greater assurance about the government’s capacity to repay debt and ultimately lower borrowing costs.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Canadian economy has regained momentum, supported by the authorities’ pro-active growth strategy, but complex adjustments are still at play. Although personal consumption is robust, business investment remains weak, nonenergy exports have underperformed, and housing market imbalances have risen. Externally, the global outlook has improved, but uncertainty surrounding global trade and risks of economic fragmentation may negatively affect the durability of the Canadian recovery. A strong United States economy, expansionary fiscal and monetary policy, and stable oil prices are expected to lift real GDP growth to 2.5 percent in 2017 and 1.9 percent in 2018. Residential construction is expected to expand at a more moderate pace, reflecting tighter macroprudential measures.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses initiatives to promote export diversification and growth in Liberia. Liberia’s exports have been very concentrated in the past, but some progress in export diversification has been made in recent years, mostly in the enclave sectors. The government has launched the Liberia Agricultural Transformation Agenda (LATA) to support diversification and transformation. LATA strives to build up the agricultural sector as well as adopt a supportive industrial policy. Improving business climate and external competitiveness could play an important role in increasing export diversification in Liberia. Efficiency could also be increased through better access to markets and technology, cheaper imported inputs, as well as more competition with imports.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses the extent to which the Malaysian economy has been hit by a number of external and domestic shocks since late 2014, including sharply lower energy prices, spillovers from China, capital outflows, and domestic political controversies. The 2016 budget, including January recalibration, reaffirms the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation. The current accommodative monetary policy stance is appropriate in an environment of moderating growth and low inflation. Facing sizeable capital outflows and a sharp fall in oil and commodity prices, exchange rate depreciated substantially. The central bank deployed reserves; the effect on domestic interest rates was modest. Credit growth has moderated, a welcome development after several years of double-digit growth.