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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The Inland Revenue Department, St. Kitts and Nevis, benefited from a remote Capacity Development (CD) activity delivered by CARTAC over the period November 2021 – March 2022 on auditing of financial institutions. The main objective of this CD was to strengthen the capacity of the auditors to perform audits and verify the accuracy of reporting by taxpayers in the Financial Sector. The training included (i) an overview of the financial sector, financial products/instruments and business processes; (ii) guidance in auditing the banks and insurance companies; and (iii) awareness of the key tax risks within this sector. A total of 22 auditors from the large, medium and small taxpayers’ unit, participated in the training. The training was held over a fifteen (15) day period and concluded with the auditors developing an audit schedule and preparation of audit notification letters to taxpayers selected for audit.
Jannick Damgaard, Thomas Elkjaer, and Niels Johannesen
Macro statistics on foreign direct investment (FDI) are blurred by offshore centers with enormous inward and outward investment positions. This paper uses several new data sources, both macro and micro, to estimate the global FDI network while disentangling real investment and phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investor economies. We find that phantom investment into corporate shells with no substance and no real links to the local economy may account for almost 40 percent of global FDI. Ignoring phantom investment and allocating real investment to ultimate investors increases the explanatory power of standard gravity variables by around 25 percent.
Emma Angulo and Alicia Hierro
This paper analyzes asymmetries in direct investment positions reported in the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) following a top down approach. First, it examines asymmetries at global level; second, it examines asymmetries between CDIS reported and derived data for individual economies; and third, the paper analyzes data at bilateral economy level. Then, the paper explores seven main reasons for asymmetries, including those arising even when economies follow international standards. Finally, the paper includes a section on addressing bilateral asymmetries and concludes with specific planned actions to reduce asymmetries, including initiatives led by international organizations.
Jannick Damgaard and Thomas Elkjaer
This paper addresses three types of geographical decoupling in foreign direct investment (FDI), i.e., challenges when using traditional FDI data as a proxy for real economic integration between economies: (i) large bilateral asymmetries between inward and outward FDI, (ii) the role of special purpose entities (SPEs), and (iii) the effect of moving from immediate counterpart to ultimate investing economy (UIE). A unique global FDI network is estimated, where SPEs are removed and FDI positions are broken down by the UIE. Total inward FDI in the new network is reduced by one-third, and financial centers are less dominant.
Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, Mr. Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne, and Rafael Romeu
The Cuban revolution and the subsequent US embargo on Cuba helped shape the tourism sector in the Caribbean, facilitating the birth and growth of alternative destinations. Therefore, the apprehension of the Caribbean tourism industry towards a change in US travel policy to Cuba is understandable, but likely unwarranted. The history of tourism in the region has shown that it is possible for all destinations to grow despite large changes in market shares. Our estimations show that liberalizing US-Cuba tourism could result in US arrivals to Cuba of between 3 and 5.6 million, most of it coming from new tourists to the region. We also identify the destinations most at risk of changes in US-Cuba relations.
Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia
This paper studies the economic costs of hurricanes in the Caribbean by constructing a novel dataset that combines a detailed record of tropical cyclones’ characteristics with reported damages. I estimate the relation between hurricane wind speeds and damages in the Caribbean; finding that the elasticity of damages to GDP ratio with respect to maximum wind speeds is three in the case of landfalls. The data show that hurricane damages are considerably underreported, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, with average damages potentially being three times as large as the reported average of 1.6 percent of GDP per year. I document and show that hurricanes that do not make landfall also have considerable negative impacts on the Caribbean economies. Finally, I estimate that the average annual hurricane damages in the Caribbean will increase between 22 and 77 percent by the year 2100, in a global warming scenario of high CO2 concentrations and high global temperatures.
International Monetary Fund
Standards assessments serve several important objectives but are not well integrated into Fund surveillance. Financial standards assessments, when undertaken in the context of FSAPs, are used to identify weaknesses in financial regulation and supervision, or other areas covered by international standards. However, those weaknesses are not specifically linked to the risks and vulnerabilities facing the financial sector. Conversely, the analysis of country-specific vulnerabilities in the FSAP does not contribute to targeting the standard assessment effort, since the assessment must be exhaustive and cover the entire standard.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Latvia has rebounded from the crisis, after successfully undertaking a difficult adjustment program. The recovery has been well balanced between external and domestic demand. The labor market is improving but unemployment is still high. Past consolidation efforts have brought down the fiscal deficit. The banking system is recovering. Nonresident deposits in the banking system have been expanding rapidly. Economic growth is expected to weaken slightly in 2013, before picking up later. Euro adoption in 2014 appears within reach, subject to some technical uncertainties.