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The first annual report examines macroeconomic developments in low-income developing countries. It assesses the economic risks and vulnerabilities that these countries currently face, against the backdrop of a brittle and uneven global recovery and reviews the evolution of public debt in LIDCs.

Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu noted that there is a group of fast-growing low-income countries that is attracting international investor interest—frontier economies— and highlighted the opportunities and risks that they could face going forward in his recent blogs in May and December 2014 as well as in a recent keynote speech in a high-level conference organized by the Financial Times.

A two-day workshop on "Macroeconomic Policy and Income Inequality" held in September 2014 at the IMF brought together academics and policy makers. Attendees discussed financial deepening, commodity prices, trust and networks in insurance markets, transaction costs, structural transformation, and microfinance and their impacts on inequality.

The 2014 Annual Meetings IMF conference brought together distinguished experts and policymakers to exchange views on challenges and reforms needed to jumpstart job creation and ensure inclusive growth. The panel discussed dilemmas that countries face as they seek to implement reforms to deliver job-rich and inclusive growth.

Following up on the central theme of the Africa Rising conference in Mozambique, this seminar, during the 2014 Annual Meetings addressed the role of fiscal policy in reducing inequality in sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. The panelists discussed new avenues for fiscal policies to become more redistributive in low-income countries.

 

The 2014 Small States Guidance Note provides operational guidance to IMF staff with the aim of enhancing policy dialogue with small developing countries with populations under 1.5 million. It indicates that small developing countries require greater attention in five thematic areas, under the GROWTh acronym: Growth and job creation, Resilience to shocks, Overall competitiveness, Workable fiscal and debt sustainability options, Thin financial sectors.

The 2014 Global Monitoring Report focuses on three elements needed to make growth inclusive and sustainable: investing in human capital, using safety nets prudently, and ensuring the environmental sustainability of development.

Fund staff are advancing preparations for a second round of concessional financial support for three Ebola-affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone). In line with the request from G20 Leaders, the Fund is in the process of developing a new flexible mechanism to help address the adverse economic effects of unfolding natural disasters.

The guidance note explores characteristics of financial systems in low-income countries, such as vulnerability to external shocks and shallow banking systems that should be considered when developing macroprudential policy and frameworks. It also looks at how macroprudential tools can be adapted to the characteristics of the financial systems and policy challenges in LICs.

The Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool is a multi-development partner effort that provides a standardized performance assessment of a country’s system of tax administration. The tool is robust enough for use across a range of countries, for example, the ongoing tax reform efforts in the MCD region.

 






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