Posted on July 27, 2012 by iMFdirect
by Nemat Shafik
Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe has been through a lot. In two short decades, the region moved from a communist planned system to a market economy, and living standards have converged towards those in the West.
It has also weathered major crises: first the break-up of the old Soviet system in the early 1990s, then the Russian financial crisis in 1998, and finally the recent global economic crisis. How did these countries do it?
From the Baltic to the Balkans, the region’s resilience and flexibility are the result of hard work and adaptability. But more than anything, it is the strong institutions built over the last two decades that have enhanced the region’s ability to deal with the momentous challenges of the past, the present—and those to come.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Europe, Financial Crisis, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Multilateral Cooperation | Tagged: capacity building, communism, eastern Europe, Estonia, euro zone, global economic crisis, governance, grwoth, Hungary, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Joint Vienna Institute, Latvia, living standards, Nemat Shafik, Poland, privatization, Romania, technical assistance, trade liberalization, Ukraine, Vienna Initiative | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 5, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Tamim Bayoumi
The global crisis has pushed trade reforms off—or at least to the edge of—the political radar screen. But shying away from improving the trade system in these tough economic times seems a little like cutting off your nose to spite your face.
The IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton summed the issue up in a recent speech: “trade wars can put millions of jobs in jeopardy, while trade integration can be an engine of growth.”
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Emerging Markets, Globalization, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Multilateral Cooperation | Tagged: Doha Development Agenda, exchange rates, global financial crisis, global supply chains, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, international trade, multilateral trading system, trade integration, trade liberalization, trade openness, trade reforms | 6 Comments »
Posted on May 5, 2011 by iMFdirect
By David Owen
(Version in Русский)
Medium-term economic growth prospects in the Caucasus and Central Asia region are strong. But, to secure ongoing prosperity, the eight countries of the region—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—will need to look beyond traditional sources of growth.
The challenge for policymakers will be to foster new and more diverse growth drivers, outside mining, oil, and gas.
There are seven policy pillars that can help them do that: (more…)
Filed under: Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: bank financing, business environment, Caucasus and Central Asia, commodity prices, diversify growth, economic growth, foreign investment, global financial crisis, global recovery, governance, inequality, international trade, Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, regional integration, sustainable growth, trade liberalization, unemployment | 3 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 »