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Business Continuity Planning for Government Cash and Debt Management

September 21, 2021
Cash and debt management operations are part of the “transactional” functions of public financial management. It is critical that these functions are resilient to external disruptions, ranging from information and communication technology (ICT) system outages to natural disasters. This technical manual aims to provide guidance on the steps that government cash and debt management units can follow to develop and implement a practical business continuity plan that economizes the resources used. It also discusses the evolving nature of business disruption risks faced by cash and debt management over the last decade, including the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as risk mitigation solutions that have emerged.

Georgia: Financial System Stability Assessment

September 21, 2021
A recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic now underway in Georgia has benefited from a recent pickup in external demand and substantial fiscal support. Significant exchange rate depreciation, global commodity price increases and supply constraints have contributed to inflationary pressures and provided impetus for the authorities to start tightening monetary policy during 2021. Credit growth slowed during the pandemic but has since picked up again. Household and firm indebtedness is relatively high reflecting rapid credit growth in recent years. Banks face elevated credit risks as they carry high exposure to unhedged borrowers in foreign currency, some of whom are facing debt-servicing difficulties due to the pandemic.

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

September 21, 2021
High frequency estimates suggest a V-shaped recovery with output now poised to return close to 2019 levels already this year, much earlier than expected. Recently COVID-19 case numbers have risen sharply to new highs while vaccinations have also accelerated significantly after a slow start. The recovery has improved the fiscal outlook and the authorities submitted to Parliament a supplementary budget, with GEL 1.2 billion in additional spending roughly equivalent to the expected increase in revenues. The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has increased the policy rate by 200 basis points to deal with high inflation driven by lagging effects of depreciation, commodity and food price increases, and supply side constraints.

Equatorial Guinea Tackles Twin Tragedies with the Help of IMF Emergency Assistance

September 20, 2021

A conversation with IMF Country Focus, Valentin Ela Maye, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Finance, Economy and Planning.

State-Owned Enterprises in Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia: Size, Costs, and Challenges

September 20, 2021
Prior to the COVID-19 shock, the key challenge facing policymakers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia region was how to generate strong, sustainable, job-rich, inclusive growth. Post-COVID-19, this challenge has only grown given the additional reduction in fiscal space due to the crisis and the increased need to support the recovery. The sizable state-owned enterprise (SOE) footprint in the region, together with its cost to the government, call for revisiting the SOE sector to help open fiscal space and look for growth opportunities.

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

September 20, 2021
Brunei’s economic performance—which was strong before the COVID-19 pandemic—has been buffeted by the health crisis and a pandemic-induced oil and gas price shock. The authorities responded fast and decisively. The number of new infections was quickly suppressed, thanks to a swift public health response, effective health measures and non-pharmaceutical interventions. Strong fiscal and regulatory policy responses helped sustain production and household income and consumption. Past diversification efforts and reforms bore fruit when it was most needed. As a result, the economy performed strongly in 2020, with real GDP posting positive growth of 1.1 percent—a rare outcome amidst negative growth in the region. Economic activity is projected to strengthen in 2021-22, albeit at varying speeds across sectors, and to continue improving over the medium term on the back of further diversification. The outlook is, however, subject to unusual uncertainty, with significant risks skewed to the downside. Sustained strong policy actions are needed to ensure continued resilience, while nurturing green, digital and inclusive growth.

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