All publications by tag «IMF»
IMF - When we think about Asia’s economic future, we know that this future is being built on strong foundations—on the richness and diversity of its cultures, on the incredible energy and ingenuity of the people who have changed the world by transforming their own economies. China and India have been driving the greatest poverty reduction in human history by creating the world’s largest middle classes. In a single generation, Vietnam has moved from being one of the world’s poorest nations to being a middle-income country.
We reiterate our commitment to a strong, quota-based, and adequately resourced IMF to preserve its role at the center of the Global Financial Safety Net. We support the work of the IMF to strengthen its cooperation with regional financing arrangements, and its ongoing work to further enhance the effectiveness of its lending toolkit.
Bahrain’s fiscal and external vulnerabilities have increased in the wake of the oil price decline. Overall GDP grew 3 percent in 2016, supported by strong growth of 3.7 percent in the non-oil sector aided by the implementation of GCC-funded projects. Average inflation remained moderate at 2.8 percent. Bank deposit and private sector credit growth slowed. The banking sector remains well capitalized and liquid. Despite the implementation of significant fiscal adjustment, lower oil prices meant that the overall fiscal deficit reached nearly 18 percent of GDP and government debt rose to 82 percent of GDP. The current account deficit widened to 4.7 percent. International reserves have declined.
To strengthen financial sector stability, Directors encouraged the authorities to take measures to bolster supervision, and move forward with plans to restructure the statemdash;owned banks that dominate the banking system. They also encouraged strengthening the legal framework of the Central Bank, eliminating a remaining exchange restriction and a multiple currency practice, and accelerating implementation of AML/CFT and antimdash;corruption measures. Directors considered that the peg to the U.S. dollar, which provides a key anchor to the economy, remains appropriate.
The completion of the second review allows the authorities to draw the equivalent of SDR 584.2 million (about US$ 824.8 million), bringing total disbursements to SDR 1494.2 million about US$ 2109.7 million. The SDR 3.831 billion arrangement (about US$5.34 billion at the time of approval of the arrangement) was approved in July, 2016 and the first review was completed on December 5, 2016.
The European Union could do more to convince countries to put EU reform recommendations into practice. For example, targeted support from the EU budget could be provided to incentivize reforms. The EU should also continue pushing for greater integration of the energy, transport, and digital markets.
Non-oil growth is projected to pick up to 1.7 percent in 2017, but overall real GDP growth is expected to be close to zero as oil GDP declines in line with Saudi Arabia’s commitments under the OPEC+ agreement.
Directors underscored that accelerated structural reforms and broader trade relations can help promote a diversified export mix. They also urged the authorities to strengthen property rights, advance privatization, improve governance, and invest in innovation and infrastructure to build the foundations for higher potential growth.
The economy is weathering the post-2014 oil shock well. The key policy goal is to foster economic adjustment to the new oil market realities. To foster the adjustment, especially given downside risks, the momentum in fiscal reforms needs to be sustained and coordinated with structural reforms. To ensure credibility, fiscal adjustment should be accompanied by strengthening the medium-term policy framework and improving transparency. Ongoing initiatives to upgrade the supervisory and regulatory framework for the financial sector are welcome and need to continue. Focused, multi-pronged initiatives to raise productivity and diversify the economy would improve medium-term economic prospects. Amid ongoing economic adjustment, continued improvements in statistics are critical for enhancing policy analysis and decision-making.
Directors observed that the financial sector has remained sound despite the severe stresses. To make the system more robust, they encouraged actions to further strengthen financial safety nets through enhanced monitoring and an improved crisis management framework. Directors underscored the need for continued vigilance and close monitoring of the health of the corporate sector and its impact on the banking system.