During the 2012 Review of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) Eligibility, Executive Directors expressed a number of concerns about the eligibility framework. The Board decided to bring forward the next review of eligibility by one year, to early 2013, in light of these concerns. In particular, Directors called for the review to assess: Possible shortcomings of the gross national income (GNI) per capita criterion in the case of small states, and whether additional or alternative variables should be used to better capture members‘ circumstances, particularly those of small states; as well as further options to enhance the flexibility of the PRGT-eligibility framework to cover small and very small countries; The application of the short-term vulnerabilities criterion for graduation, which can lead to repeated non-graduation of members that meet either the income or the market access criteria for graduation.
Recent economic developments of Tuvalu were discussed. Major construction projects to build a wharf and a power station have been completed, and seafarer employment—Tuvalu’s main foreign exchange earning source for the private sector—is weak. The Consolidated Investment Fund (CIF) available for budget financing will be depleted. Freezing wages and reducing travel costs will also be important. Improvements in the banking sector and credit culture will help to support private-sector development. Executive Directors agreed to ensure fiscal sustainability.
This Selected Issues paper outlines economic developments in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) since independence in 1986, focusing on the challenges posed by dependence on foreign grants, and progress toward achieving budgetary self-reliance. Like most other Pacific islands, the RMI faces a variety of geographical constraints, including limited land area, poor soil, the dispersion of the islands, and the remoteness from major markets. The public sector plays a dominant role in the economy, backed by external assistance. The private economy remains underdeveloped, primarily providing services to the government.