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A column chart of external government debt for Sub-Saharan Africa by official, private, and Chinese creditors

2018 FOCAC: Africa in the New Reality of Reduced Chinese Lending

The 2018 FOCAC Summit will open tomorrow in Beijing. There is much speculation about the size of the investment package China will unveil at the summit. It appears, however, that we are in a new phase of Chinese financing. A combination of domestic and international pressures will likely alter China’s extensive lending program—African states that have relied on this lifeline must adjust to the new reality.

Stock photo of various currencies

The Eight Virtues of Highly Effective DFIs

Amid much discussion of SDG finance gaps, DFIs, both bilateral and multilateral, are in the spotlight as the most important publicly funded instruments for mobilising private capital. Yet, there is a surprising lack of clarity on what we can and should expect from DFIs, beyond broad goals of profitability and development impact.

Power lines in South Africa. Photo by John Hogg / World Bank

The BUILD Act is #EnergyGoals

The bill, which would create a modernized US development finance institution, just passed the House. Todd Moss explains how the new agency could help the US step up energy investments.

Time path of the external government debt to GNI ratio in LICs assuming financing needs are met through loans.

SDG Arithmetic

Some simple math on the financing of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs shows that the path ahead may be a steeper climb than initially thought. 

changes in EU agricultural budget over time

What the EU Budget Means for Developing Countries: Agriculture and Development

Three weeks ago, the European Commission published its initial proposal for the EU’s budget from 2021 to 2027. The headlines? Overall spending would rise despite the loss of the UK, and development spending and ‘external action’ could see increases. But both agriculture and regional spending would be cut. This blog post is the first in a series analyzing the Commission’s proposals for its “long-term budget” and looks specifically at the agriculture budget and its global development impact.

Development Cooperation Has Emerged a Winner in the EU’s 2021-2027 Budget Proposal, but the Odds Are Stacked against It

The long-awaited European Commission Communication on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027—the EU’s long-term budget—has been unveiled, and so begins the EU’s big battle over money and priorities. Brace yourselves for a long arduous struggle that will expose divisions in the bloc in all sorts of ways—payers vs. recipients, east vs. west, north vs. south, federalists vs. intergovernmentalists, values vs interests. This is also the review that will shape the future of EU development cooperation and the credibility of the EU as a major player in the international development sphere. Does the Commission’s proposal live up to the challenge?

On the Equity-Friendly Property Tax: Time for Developing Countries to Invest?

A large proportion of revenue gains over the last two decades has come from countries’ efforts to improve the design and compliance of consumption and other indirect taxes, particularly the VAT (value-added tax); in doing so, the objective has been to  minimize VAT’s regressive effects by exempting sales of small businesses below a threshold (where the poor typically tend to buy) as well as imposing zero tax on certain food and other products which take up a large proportion of consumption of poor households. Less attention has gone to expanding the coverage of potentially more progressive taxes, such as personal income and property taxes.

Another Debt Crisis for Poor Countries?

When the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors assemble in Washington later this month. they would do well to focus on another looming debt crisis that could hit some of the poorest countries in the world, many of whom are also struggling with problems of conflict and fragility and none of which has the institutional capacity to cope with a major debt crisis without lasting damage to their already-challenged development prospects.

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