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Blog: US Dollar Share of Global Foreign Exchange Reserves Drops to 25-Year Low

May 5, 2021
By Serkan Arslanalp and Chima Simpson-Bell The share of US dollar reserves held by central banks fell to 59 percent—its lowest level in 25 years—during the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the IMF’s Currency Composition of Official Foreign Exchange Reserves (COFER) survey. Some analysts say this partly reflects the declining role of the US [...]

New Zealand: 2021 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; Staff Statement; and Statement by the Executive Director for New Zealand

May 5, 2021
New Zealand’s sound management of the COVID-19 crisis has been effective in bringing infection rates quickly under control. Decisive fiscal and monetary policy responses have been instrumental in cushioning the economic impact. Although economic activity was hit hard initially, it has recovered faster than expected. That said, the recovery has been uneven, with some sectors and workers disproportionately affected.

New Zealand: Selected Issues

May 5, 2021
Selected Issues

Eastern Caribbean Currency Union: 2021 Discussion on Common Policies of Member Countries-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union

May 4, 2021
The fallout from the COVID-19 crisis is hitting ECCU economies hard. Tourism receipts (accounting for nearly 40 percent of GDP) have dried up, as tourist arrivals have come to a grinding halt. The authorities successfully contained the spread of the virus at the onset of the pandemic by largely closing the borders, but a reopening of the economies since the summer has led to a surge in COVID cases. The ECCU economy is projected to contract by 16 percent in 2020 and by a further near ½ percent in 2021. Fiscal positions have deteriorated sharply, and public debt is projected to reach near 90 percent of GDP in 2021 and remain at an elevated level for years to come. Headline indicators suggest the financial system is relatively sound with ample liquidity buffers, but nonperforming loans are expected to rise significantly. The outlook is clouded by exceptionally high risks, including from the uncertainty concerning the evolution of the pandemic.

Colombia: Review Under the Flexible Credit Line Arrangement-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Colombia

May 4, 2021
COVID-19 has taken a severe toll on Colombia’s society and economy—including over 60,000 deaths and over 5 million jobs temporarily lost in Colombia’s largest recession on record. A gradual but uneven recovery led by private domestic demand and manufacturing is underway, but services continue to be weak. While the economy had remained resilient before the pandemic owing to very strong policy frameworks, economic activity is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2022.

How to Design a Regional Tax Treaty and Tax Treaty Policy Framework in a Developing Country

May 4, 2021
A well-designed regional tax treaty to which developing countries are signatories will include provisions securing minimum withholding taxes on investment income and technical service fees, a taxing right in respect of capital gains from indirect offshore transfers, and guarding against-treaty shopping. A tax treaty policy framework—national or regional—that specifies the main policy outcomes to be achieved before negotiations commence would enable developing countries with more limited expertise and lower capacity for tax treaty negotiations to avoid concluding problematic tax treaties. This note provides guidance for members of regional economic communities in the developing world on what should and should not be included in a regional tax treaty and how to design on a common tax treaty policy framework for use in negotiations of bilateral tax treaties with nonmembers.

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