International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Successful containment of COVID-19 and strong policy support have helped contain the health and economic fallout, and a strong recovery is underway. Growth in 2020 reached 2.9 percent, among the highest in the world. However, labor market conditions remain weak. Corporate balance sheets have worsened, potentially hampering private investment and job prospects. Banks entered the crisis in a stronger position than in previous years, but weaknesses remain. Vietnam’s economy remains heavily reliant on external trade and is vulnerable to trade tensions.
Vitor Gaspar, Mr. David Amaglobeli, Ms. Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Delphine Prady, and Mauricio Soto
The goal of this paper is to estimate the additional annual spending required for meaningful progress on the SDGs in these areas. Our estimates refer to additional spending in 2030, relative to a baseline of current spending to GDP in these sectors. Toward this end, we apply an innovative costing methodology to a sample of 155 countries: 49 low- income developing countries, 72 emerging market economies, and 34 advanced economies. And we refine the analysis with five country studies: Rwanda, Benin, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Guatemala.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
2017 was a bumper year of broad-based and non-inflationary growth. Reforms continued, including in the banking sector, privatizations and cuts in red tape. The momentum is expected to continue, aided by reforms, higher potential output, and the global recovery. However, economic distortions and capacity constraints remain, as do external and domestic risks and longer-term challenges. The strong economy provides an opportunity for additional reforms to boost investment, ensure durable growth and resilient balance sheets, and reduce the external surplus.
Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, Ricardo Marto, Jiri Jonas, and Kaitlyn Douglass
We use a dynamic small open economy model to explore the macroeconomic impact of alternative public investment scaling-up scenarios, analyzing how improving the efficiency of capital spending and of tax revenue collection affect growth and debt sustainability for three fast-growing Southeast Asian economies: Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. We show that a gradual public investment profile is more favorable than front-loading capital spending because we assume governments are able to gradually learn how to invest more efficiently, accelerating public capital accumulation and therefore growth. We discuss the pros and cons of alternative financing options and identify the financing mix that generates the best macroeconomic outcome. Sometimes overlooked, improving the efficiency of revenue collection over time may ease the burden of fiscal adjustment, achieving higher GDP growth with substantially lower debt-to-GDP ratios, and will help policymakers efficiently meet the challenge of addressing large infrastructure gaps while maintaining debt sustainability.
This Selected Issues paper offers policy recommendations for Senegal to reach high and sustained growth with the goal of exiting low-income country status. For Senegal to reach Plan Sénégal Emergent (PSE) objectives, reforms under the PSE need to create space for small and medium-sized enterprises and foreign direct investment to thrive. Reform of Senegal’s business environment needs to be accelerated. Macrostructural reforms should be stepped up in the energy sector, in which Senegal still ranks 170th in the world. Progress in the electricity sector can be achieved by continuing to improve reliability of supply and reduce electricity costs. Reform of the taxation system, by simplifying procedures and optimizing the tax rates, is another macro-critical area in which Senegal needs to make significant strides.
This Selected Issues paper examines growth, structural transformation, and diversification in Mali. At present, the majority of Mali’s population is employed in low-productivity agriculture, and the secondary sector is underdeveloped. Further structural transformation and diversification of output and exports could thus yield significant growth dividends, but will be challenging in the context of a rapid projected increase in the workforce over coming decades, much of which would need to be absorbed by the agricultural sector. Policies could focus on easing the constraints to structural transformation in key areas such as education and the business climate, as well as devising a clear strategy for tackling the challenges posed by rapid population growth.
Cambodia is poised to join a new generation of Asian frontier economies transitioning from low-income to emerging-market. But the path to greater and more shared prosperity requires a solid foundation of sound macroeconomic policies, enabling new growth drivers, tackling a highly dollarized and fragmented financial system, and creating more fiscal policy space to help meet Cambodia’s vast development needs. This book first takes a closer look at the key economic challenges Cambodia faces at the current juncture, highlighting Cambodia’s structural and financial constraints to growth as well as shifting vulnerabilities as Asia rebalances. It then lays out how a strategy of fiscal and financial sector policies, from creating a fairer and more buoyant tax system to modernizing financial instruments, markets and supervision, can help mobilize the resources and tools needed for one of Asia’s youngest and fastest-growing populations to enjoy more self-sustaining and inclusive growth.
The Technical Assistance Report on the Philippines’ road map for a pro-growth and equitable tax system is examined. Tax revenue has declined over the last decade in the Philippines owing to generous and expanding tax incentives, tariff rate reduction, deteriorating tax compliance caused by ineffective and inefficient revenue administration, and a gradual erosion of excise revenue owing to nonindexation. One of the key reasons for providing tax incentives in the Philippines is concern that the country needs to be competitive with other countries in the region to attract foreign direct investment.
The Fund has long played a lead role in supporting developing countries’ efforts to improve their revenue mobilization. This paper draws on that experience to review issues and good practice, and to assess prospects in this key area.