Posted on January 31, 2017 by iMFdirect
By Rabah Arezki
Agriculture and food markets are plagued with inefficiencies that have dramatic consequences for the welfare of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Globally, farm subsidies amount to over $560 billion a year—equivalent to nearly four times the aid given to developing countries by richer ones. Major emerging-market nations have increased subsidies rapidly, even as rich nations cut theirs drastically. Meanwhile, tariffs on farm products remain a major point of contention in global trade talks.
One third of global food production goes to waste, while food insecurity is still rampant in developing countries. Even with the explosion of agricultural productivity since the middle of the 20th century, food security remains a challenge for much of the developing world. Food-calorie production will have to expand by 70 percent by 2050 to keep up with a global population that’s forecast to grow to 9.7 billion from last year’s 7.3 billion. Food insecurity can lead to violence and conflicts that can spill over well beyond borders. Continue reading
Filed under: Africa, Asia, China, commodities, developing countries, Emerging Markets, Globalization, IMF, India, International Monetary Fund, Investment, natural disasters, poverty, trade | Tagged: agriculture, Farm Subsidies, Food Insecurity, Sub-Saharan Africa | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 12, 2017 by iMFdirect
By Tao Zhang and Vladimir Klyuev
Versions in: عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French), and Español (Spanish)
Low-income countries should build more infrastructure to strengthen growth. A new IMF analysis looks at ways to overcome obstacles.
The clock is now ticking on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and while investment—critical to this agenda—has been rising in recent years among low-income countries, weak infrastructure is still hampering growth. Governments need to make significant improvements to lay foundations for flourishing economies: roads to connect people to markets, electricity to keep factories running, sanitation to stave off disease, and pipelines to deliver safe water. Continue reading
Filed under: developing countries, Emerging Markets, growth, IMF, infrastructure, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Low-income countries, Public debt, structural reforms | Tagged: China, concessional lending, developing countries, IMF, iMFdirect blog, inclusive growth, infrastructure investment, Infrastructure Policy Support Initiative, International Monetary Fund, low-income countries, public debt, SDGs, sustainable development Goals, tax reform, telecommunications | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 22, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Tao Zhang
Versions in 中文 (Chinese), and Français (French)
Small states are far more vulnerable than other countries to natural disasters and climate change. On average, the annual cost of disasters for small states (economies with a population of less than 1.5 million) is more than four times that for larger countries, in relation to GDP. These countries—whether landlocked nations or small island states—need a range of approaches to deal with catastrophe, including not only better disaster response but also more focus on risk reduction and preparedness. Continue reading
Filed under: climate change, developing countries, Economic research, Financing, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, natural disasters, Public debt | Tagged: Climate change, developing countries, IMF, IMF lending, iMFdirect blog, natural disasters, Paris agreement, public spending, small states, technical assistance | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 30, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Camilla Lund Andersen
2016 has been a year of political upheaval, as accepted truths about the power of globalization to transform lives and lift millions out of poverty are being questioned by electorates in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. No longer prepared to take experts and elites at their word, many voters appear to be rejecting the adverse consequences of globalization by casting their ballot for antiestablishment messages and candidates.
Filed under: Employment, Globalization, growth, IMF, income, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, jobs, trade, unemployment | Tagged: employment, F&D, Finance & Development magazine, Globalization, growth, IMF, iMFdirect blog, inequality, International Monetary Fund, investment, jobs, trade, trade unions, unemployment | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 16, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Jim Brumby and Michael Keen
Tax officials and experts grappled with the issue of tax treaties several weeks ago at the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings. This arcane subject has now emerged as a new lightning rod in the debate on fairness in international taxation. As citizens demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes and some governments struggle to raise enough revenues for basic services, tax treaties present difficult issues.
Filed under: Annual Meetings, developing countries, Fiscal policy, Government, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, taxation, U.S. | Tagged: economic development, fiscal policy, IMF, IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings, income tax rates, International Monetary Fund, international taxation, investment, tax agreements, Tax Treaties, taxation, trade, World Bank | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 4, 2016 by iMFdirect
By John C. Bluedorn and Christian Ebeke
Small businesses could be the lifeblood of Europe’s economy, but their size and high debt are two of the factors holding back the investment recovery in the euro area. The solution partly lies in policies to help firms grow and reduce debt.
Our new study, part of the IMF’s annual economic health check of the euro area, takes a novel bottom-up look at the problem. We analyze the drivers of investment using a large dataset of over six million observations in eight euro area countries, from 2003 to 2013: Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Finland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Continue reading
Filed under: banking, Economic research, euro zone, Europe, Finance, Financial Crisis, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Public debt | Tagged: Austria, bank financing, banking, Belgium, credit risk, euro area, Europe, Finland, France, Germany, IMF, International Monetary Fund, investment, Italy, leverage, nonperforming loans, Portugal, public debt, small and medium-sized enterprises, Spain | Leave a comment »