Sector/Thematic Studies

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Economic and Sectoral Work are original analytic reports authored by the World Bank and intended to influence programs and policy in client countries. They convey Bank-endorsed recommendations and represent the formal opinion of a World Bank unit on the topic. This set includes the sectoral and thematic studies which are not Core Diagnostic Studies. Other analytic and advisory activities (AAA), including technical assistance studies, are included in these sectoral/thematic collections.

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    Nepal - Joint World Bank-IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) World Bank ; International Monetary Fund
    Nepal’s risk of external debt distress remains low. Under the revised IMF/World Bank Debt Sustainability Analysis Framework for Low Income Countries (LIC-DSF), all debt and debt service ratios are projected to remain below relevant indicative threshold values. Following a prolonged decline, to 25 percent of GDP in mid-2015, the sum of external and domestic public debt rose to 30 percent of GDP in mid-2018. A further rise in total public debt is projected, to about 35 percent of GDP in the medium term and about 48 percent of GDP in the long term, owing to continuing fiscal and current account deficits, as the authorities implement fiscal federalism and aim to put the economy on a higher growth path. Stress tests suggest that debt burden indicators are vulnerable to growth/exports shocks and natural disasters. This underscores the importance of implementing sound macro-economic policies. Efforts to improve the business climate and competitiveness through high-quality public investment and structural reforms would support growth and expand foreign exchange income streams.
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    Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - Joint World Bank-IMF Debt Sustainability Analysis
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-12) World Bank ; International Monetary Fund
    This debt sustainability analysis (DSA) concludes that Afghanistan’s external and overall risk of debt distress continues to be assessed as high. Afghanistan’s debt sustainability hinges on continued donor grants inflows (currently around 40 percent of GDP) against substantial fiscal and external deficits and downside risks to the economic outlook. A gradual replacement of grants by debt financing leads to high risk of debt distress in the long run and is captured by mechanical risk ratings based on an extended 20-year period rather than the standard 10-year period. Significant downside risks include the fragile security situation, political uncertainty, domestic revenue shortfalls, weather related risks, and regional economic instability. The authorities should continue their efforts to mobilize revenue and implement reforms, while donors should continue to provide financing in the form of grants. Debt management capacity, including the monitoring of contingent liabilities emanating from state-owned entities and public-private partnerships (PPPs), should be strengthened.
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    Bangladesh: Joint Bank-Fund Debt Sustainability Analysis, 2018 Update
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-10-01) International Development Association ; International Monetary Fund
    This debt sustainability analysis (DSA) fully updates the May 2017 joint IMF/WB DSA. Bangladesh’s risks of external debt distress and overall debt distress continue to be assessed as low. The FY17 fiscal deficit remains well below the 5 percent of GDP budget target. Spending control and slower implementation of development projects more than compensated for revenue underperformance. The issuance of National Savings Certificates (NSCs) remains high. Over the medium term, debt ratios are projected to remain on a sustainable path, assuming continued spending restraint, with the deficit used to finance productive investment. Boosting budget revenue is key to creating fiscal space for diversification and growth. The authorities are delaying the implementation of the VAT reform further by two years. Any additional costs from spending pressures ahead of the parliamentary elections and from the Rohingya refugees remain key risks.