Posted on December 13, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Hugh Bredenkamp
Governments in low-income countries are having to deal with a lot of bad news these days. Slow growth in the advanced economies is dampening demand for their exports and affecting inflows of investment, aid, and remittances. Changes in credit conditions elsewhere influence the availability of trade finance. Volatility in commodity prices creates problems for both importers and exporters. Meanwhile, climactic and other natural disasters continue to occur at the local and regional level.
For low-income countries, the impact of these problems can be especially damaging. A surge in food prices can undo years of poverty reduction. A collapse in the price of a key export commodity can throw many people out of work and cause tax revenues to slip, just when expenditures on public services are needed most. For the poorest countries, events elsewhere can quickly affect employment, inflation, the budget, debt, and the balance of payments.
Filed under: Africa, concessional lending, Economic Crisis, IMF, International Monetary Fund, LICs, Low-income countries | Tagged: aid, buffers, CFIs, commodities, contingent financial instruments, credit, DFID, Ethiopia, food security, France, investment, LEAP, Malawi, poverty reduction, remittances, self-insurance, weather derivatives | 8 Comments »
Posted on April 22, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Carlo Cottarelli
You hear a lot these days—not least from me—about the fiscal problems of advanced economies. But let’s not forget the fiscal problems that low-income countries face, though they are of a different kind.
For all too many low-income countries, government tax revenues are far from enough to meet the needs of their people. Some have made good progress, and this helped them weather the crisis better than many advanced economies—but there is an underlying, quiet crisis of inadequately resourced governments. (more…)
Filed under: Asia, Fiscal policy, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Low-income countries | Tagged: corruption, domestic tax revenues, efficiency, equity, fairness, governance, Millennium Development Goals, political will, poverty reduction, preferrential tax treatment, tax administration, tax evasion, tax exemptions, tax policy | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 31, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Dominique Strauss-Kahn
(Version in 中文)
I am delighted to be back in China this week for a high-level seminar in Nanjing on the international monetary system. Every time I come to this part of the world, I am impressed by the dynamism of the economies and the optimism of the people. The future is here.
The region’s economic performance over the past few decades has been nothing short of remarkable. Asia now accounts for about a third of the global economy, up from under just a fifth in 1980. This trend has been reinforced by the crisis, with the emerging market powerhouses leading the global recovery.
Asia has also made tremendous progress with poverty reduction. China alone has pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty over the past few decades. Such a feat has never before been accomplished in the history of human civilization.
But to sustain this progress, Asia needs to grapple with numerous challenges today, among them the need to deal with overheating pressures and volatile capital inflows. And this relates directly to our discussion at Nanjing. (more…)
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Global Governance, Globalization, International Monetary Fund, 中文 | Tagged: Asia, capital controls, capital flows, G-20 mutual assessment process, global imbalances, international monetary system, liquidity, poverty reduction, Special Drawing Rights, spillover reports | 6 Comments »
Posted on March 21, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Mark Plant
(Version in Français. Listen to the podcast in English or Français.)
Governments in Africa have a prime objective—to reduce poverty. To improve living standards and create jobs, they need to provide their citizens with better health care, better education, more infrastructure. They need to build hospitals, schools, and to pay doctors, nurses, teachers.
All this costs money. How to pay for this—in a way that is both fair and efficient—is a question that all governments face.
There are limits to how much a government can receive as grants from donors or borrow from donors or the private sector. So raising tax revenues is a necessary element for governments to spend on providing more of these essential services and, in turn, reduce poverty. (more…)
Filed under: Africa, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: AFRITACS, domestic tax revenues, education, equity, health spending, infrastructure, natural resources, poverty reduction, regional technical assistance center, Sub-Saharan Africa, tax administration, tax exemptions, tax policy, taxpayer protection, technical assistance, topical trust funds, trade liberalization, Value-Added Tax, VAT | 6 Comments »
Posted on November 29, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Caroline Atkinson
The IMF has made a concerted effort to engage more actively with civil society organizations in recent years. This is part of a broader effort to be more transparent and accountable to the broader public in our member countries.
So, an emphasis on change at the 2010 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings provided the perfect opportunity to break new ground in our relationship with civil society. (more…)
Filed under: Annual Meetings, Civil Society, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: 2010 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, capacity building, Civil Society, civil society organizations, Civil Society Policy Forum, financial sector taxation, global economic crisis, IMF governance, low-income countries, poverty reduction, Program of Seminars, unemployment | Leave a Comment »