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Managing Natural Resource Revenue in Liberia:
Opportunities and Challenges Managing Resources for Sustained Economic Development

Managing Natural Resource Revenue in Liberia: Opportunities and Challenges Managing Resources for Sustained Economic Development

Challenges to Macroeconomic and Revenue Management Seminar on March 18, 2013 at the Mamba Point Hotel, Monrovia, Liberia

  

The seminar "Managing Natural Resource Revenue in Liberia: Opportunities and Challenges Managing Resources for Sustained Economic Development" took place in Monrovia on March 18, 2013.

The seminar was organized by the International Monetary Fund in collaboration with the International Growth Centre and the Ministry of Finance of Liberia.

The event brought together more than 100 participants including senior government policymakers, international experts in the field of natural resource management, legislators, private sector representatives, as well as development partners and civil society organizations. The seminar provided an opportunity to exchange views on the need to frame Liberia’s natural resource management strategy in the country’s overall economic management, taking account of Liberia’s unique political economy—including its long history with concessions and the system of government patronage—learning lessons from other countries, the urgent need to build capacity to manage resource revenues, and the importance of effective rules, institutions, transparency and accountability.


AGENDA
March 18, 2013

8:00-9:00

Arrival and registration (Breakfast)

Introduction and Opening Address

Introduce Day’s Events IMF

Welcoming Statement Hon. Minister of Finance Amara Konneh

9:15-9:45

Session 1: Policy Challenges for Managing Natural Resources in Liberia

This seminar will provide an overview of key issues at stake. To set the stage for the day, the first session touches on the challenges and risks of managing natural resources. The remaining sessions will go into more detail on the possible policy responses to these challenges.

  • Exhaustibility of resource revenue (mineral, oil and gas)
  • Uncertainties and volatility of resources revenues (mineral, oil and gas)
  • Managing boom/bust cycles
  • Dutch disease (loss of competitiveness for agriculture/manufacturing sectors)
  • Diversion of resources to rent seeking and impact on growth
  • Others

Speakers: Eric Werker, International Growth Center


Professor Joe Amoako Tuffour, African Center fro Economic Transformation (ACET)

9:45-11:15

Session 2: Fiscal Policy for Natural Resources: Options for Liberia

Which tax regime will work best for Liberia? This Session will review the important considerations as well as the pros and cons of the various options in the Liberian context.

  • Challenges in capturing resource rent
  • What makes for a modern fiscal regime
  • Royalty-tax concession vs. production sharing
  • Alternative fiscal regime designs
  • Others

Speakers: Charles McPherson, External Expert, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

Victor Kitange, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

Panel Discussion: What will work best in Liberia?

Open Questions and Answers and General Discussion

11:15-11:30 Tea/Coffee
11:30-13:30

Session 3: Options for Natural Resource Revenue Management for Liberia: Macroeconomic and Institutional Considerations

This session explores the macroeconomic and institutional constraints and key considerations in the crucial decision whether to spend or save natural resource revenues, and discusses the pros and cons for Liberia.

  • Price Based Rules: Chile, Mongolia, Nigeria and Ghana
  • Fiscal Rules on Expenditure: Botswana (since 1994)
  • Permanent Income (PI) Approach: Norway, Timor Leste, South Sudan
  • Managing resource revenues in a fragile context: capacity building to project revenue intake from natural resources; building capacity to invest resource revenues

Speaker: Todd Mattina, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

Panel Discussion: Government Perspectives on Managing Natural Resource Flows in Liberia

Open Questions and Answers and General Discussion

13:30-14:30 LUNCH
14:30-15:00

Session 4: Governance and Transparency in Managing Natural Resources and the Role of Public Sector

The session will explore the issues surrounding the role of the public sector in managing natural resources; sharing risks and rewards between government and private-sector investors and the best ways to ensure good governance and transparency.

  • Importance/Benefits of transparency in managing natural resources and challenges to its implementation
  • Clarification of roles and responsibilities in the sector (i.e.; between Ministries/NOCAL)
  • International and local transparency initiatives

Speakers:
Jim Cust, Natural Resource Charter

Thomas Doe Nah, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL)

Amir Shafaie, Revenue Watch Institute

Panel Discussion: Perspectives from private sector, development partners, CSOs: What legal framework will work best for Liberia? How to project when capacity is weak.

Open Questions and Answers and General Discussion

15:30-16:00 Coffee Break
16:00-16:30

Summary of Day: Lessons and Way Forward

Lessons Learned IMF and IGC
Closing Remarks: Hon. Minister of Finance

Organizers:

Yuri Sobolev and
Catherine McAuliffe (IMF)
Eric Werker (IGC)

Conference Coordinators:
Alexander Deline
Email: Adeline@imf.org
Tel: +231 886 419 459