The International Monetary Fund (IMF) launches today the inaugural issue of the Asia & Pacific Small States Monitor, a new quarterly bulletin focusing on recent macroeconomic developments and topical issues covering the small states of the Asia and Pacific region.
The publication of the Monitor fits into the IMF’s overall effort to enhance its engagement in small states, an area that has received steady attention in its work agenda. This renewed focus on small states has been repeatedly welcomed by IMF member countries, including in the October 2013 communiqué of the International Monetary and Financial Committee. 1
This increased emphasis on small states reflects the growing recognition of these countries’ special needs and challenges and the role that the IMF can play in helping them address these challenges but also learn from them. While heterogeneous, small states share many common problems. In the Asia and Pacific region, small states are very remote, widely dispersed, and scarcely populated. These countries also have narrow export and production bases, and are heavily dependent on imports. Financial depth is limited, and given capacity constraints, efforts to break away from sub-par growth have gained little traction. They are also heavily affected by natural disasters and climate change.
“A new targeted publication on small states is an excellent initiative,” says IMF Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu who has been instrumental in supporting the IMF’s work agenda on the small states over the last few years. “Efforts such as the Asia & Pacific Department Small States Monitor can help enhance the IMF’s learning culture on how to better tailor policy solutions to these countries’ unique circumstances.”