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PublicationTransport and Logistics: Myanmar Infrastructure Monitoring(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-31) World BankTransport and logistics services in Myanmar have been substantially hit by the impacts of the February 2021 coup and the surge in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Logistics companies have been affected by rising fuel prices, border closures, and a shortage of shipping containers. While the initial effects after the military coup on the transport sector were extremely severe, there have been signs of some recovery of transport services since May 2021. Public transport in Yangon experienced a significant reduction in passenger demand in early months after the coup, subsequently recovering some ground by December 2021. Higher fuel prices and currency liquidity shortages significantly increased the cost of inland transport services. Transportation and logistics services are expected to be severely impacted by continuing high fuel prices, mobility constrains, political instability, and evolution of the pandemic. The export and import via container are expected to recover gradually due to agricultural and garment industry-led demand. However, improvement of exports and imports in the medium term is uncertain given the complexity of trade relations with international trade partners. In addition to effects of the coup and political conflicts, risks related to the pandemic will also significantly impact logistics supply chains and mobility in the near to mid-term. PublicationReforming and Rebuilding Lebanon's Port Sector: Lessons from Global Best Practices(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12) World BankOn August 4, 2020, a massive explosion in the Port of Beirut (PoB) devastated the city, killing at least 200 people, wounding thousands, and displacing around 300,000. A Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA), prepared by the World Bank in cooperation with the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), estimated damage to the port at about 350 million dollars. This Note was prepared by the World Bank to provide guidance to policy makers in Lebanon on the crucial additional requirements to be undertaken in the rebuilding of the PoB in terms of both improving its resilience and addressing the underlying governance concerns that are broadly acknowledged to have contributed to the tragedy. The Note summarizes global best practices in port management and border management reforms. The PoB is the main gateway for the external trade of Lebanon, but it has failed in the key role as an enabler of economic development in the country. Despite the growth in volumes and revenues in the port over the last 10-15 years, the PoB has evidently failed to guarantee safe and efficient operations, and to undertake the necessary long-term planning for the benefit of the port and the country. More importantly it has underperformed in its key role as an enabler of economic development at a national level and has made a limited contribution to fostering socio-economic development more broadly. These failures are a direct result of the current governance framework of the PoB. Lebanon adheres to a port management system that arguably reflects the complex political-economic realities, and which as a result run counter to many recognized good practices. The governance of the sector is a patchwork of ad-hoc institutions, structures, laws and regulations that preclude the development of a coherent integrated strategy. The current framework inhibits efficiency as several key government agencies for transport, trade, and border management have overlapping mandates, divergent strategies, often operate under outdated processes and regulations and do not coordinate among themselves. Since 1990, the PoB has been managed by a temporary administrative committee, established in a legal vacuum. This has resulted in serious governance, transparency, and accountability issues. The Lebanese Customs is not structured to perform its mission properly. Its two parallel institutions, the Higher Council for Customs and the Customs Directorate have proven to be inefficient and subject to political exploitation and power struggles. The tragic explosion in PoB clearly illustrates the evident shortcomings of the current institutional set-up as well as the risks emanating from the no-reform scenario. PublicationBusiness Regulation in South Asia and the Belt and Road Initiative(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-11-24) World BankThis study provides a comprehensive comparative analysis of the business environment in six South Asian countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, to examine whether business regulatory requirements in these countries hinder them from fully benefiting from BRI project spillovers. The analysis is based on available secondary data sources and responses to a structured questionnaire sent to selected private sector participants in each of these countries, eliciting information on the law, regulation, and practice in a wide range of thematic areas influencing the overall business and regulatory environment. Survey respondents identified nine key themes as the most challenging for the private sector, including from the perspective of potential benefits from BRI-induced opportunities. The thematic areas are: (a) licensing and inspection requirements; (b) regulations and practices governing foreign investment; (c) access to resources such as land, credit, and electricity; (d) regulatory restrictions on the operation of foreign firms, such as local content requirements and currency repatriation; (e) regulatory governance and corruption and state capture; (f) predictability and quality of the regulatory framework, especially corporate taxation; (g) government procurement laws and practice; (h) effective dispute settlement and grievance mechanisms; and (i) trade and customs regulations. The identified thematic areas promote connectivity and regional integration and thus are particularly relevant from the BRI perspective. Improvements along different dimensions of these thematic areas will likely enable countries in the region to gain from BRI-induced opportunities. PublicationMongolia InfraSAP: Infrastructure for Connectivity and Economic Diversification(World Bank, Ulaanbaatar, 2020-11-10) World BankLike many emerging economies, policy discussions on social and economic growth in Mongolia often gravitate to transport, energy and digital infrastructure as the backbone. ‘What infrastructure?’ and ‘infrastructure for what?’ are equally important questions given the aspirations to unlock new drivers of growth beyond mining and export of primary products. Mongolia’s vast territorial expanse and low population density create unique challenges for economic development in general and infrastructure investments in particular. Sandwiched between China and the Russia, two of the largest countries and economies in the world, Mongolia is the least densely populated country in the world. With just over 3.2 million people inhabiting a territory of 1.564 million square kilometers (more than six times the size of the United Kingdom and less than a third the population of London), Mongolia has a population density of 2.1 people per square kilometer. About half the population—some 1.4 million people—live in the capital city Ulaanbaatar. The rest of the population is spread across small urban centers and vast steppes. Given the spatial and density challenges, the conventional ‘build and they shall come’ approach to developing infrastructure has proved sub-optimal. Mongolia has some of the largest average transport distances (600km) and highest logistics costs (30% of GDP). The infrastructure challenge is made worse by the limited financing options. This infraSAP presents a more sophisticated approach which incorporates strategic value chain analysis and disaggregated modeling of freight movements, and then targets infrastructure investment for amplified impact. In this approach, infrastructure is located at the highest concentrations of economic activity and is developed as part of an integrated national logistics system. This surgical approach informs more targeted policy decisions on how to use scarce resources to accelerate economic diversification and competitiveness while addressing institutional bottlenecks. PublicationRoad Geohazard Risk Management Handbook(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and RecoveryThis handbook outlines an approach to proactively manage the risks of geohazards on roads, road users, and the people living near and affected by road. This handbook is structured to support road geohazard risk management sequentially and systematically: Part I, Framework for Road Geohazard Risk Management, helps users understand the framework for road geohazard risk management, introduces some basic concepts, and provides context to the overall handbook; Part II, Institutional Capacity and Coordination, covers the institutional arrangements that are necessary for the successful implementation of geohazard management; Part III, Systems Planning, covers the systems planning aspects, pertaining to the identification, assessment, and evaluation of risks, along with raising awareness of disasters; Part IV, Engineering and Design, deals with the engineered solutions to address geohazard risks, giving examples of different solutions to particular risk types; Part V, Operations and Maintenance, focuses on the operations and maintenance aspects of geohazard management whether the maintenance of previously engineered solutions or the nonengineered solutions available to mitigate the impacts of geohazard risks; Part VI, Contingency Planning, addresses contingency programming issues, such as postdisaster response and recovery, and the important issue of funding arrangements; and Part VII, References and Resource Materials, contains the reference list and additional online resources. Additionally, this handbook includes standard templates for terms of reference (ToRs) that can be adapted for technical assistance projects for road geohazard risk management (see Appendix A) and an operation manual (OM) for the practitioners involved with road geohazard risk management (see Appendix B). PublicationGreener Transport Connectivity for Eastern Partnership Countries(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) World BankThe Eastern Partnership (EaP) is a joint policy initiative, which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union (EU) and its six Eastern neighbours. One of its four priority areas is stronger connectivity which includes the extension of the Trans European Transport Network (TEN-T) to the EaP region. On the policy front, it aims at achieving regulatory convergence across transport modes between member countries and with the EU to heighten the focus on energy efficiency and combat climate change. The EaP countries experienced a large shock to their economies following the end of the Soviet Union in 1989. At the same time, EaP countries are acutely aware of the need to converge with the EU in terms of energy efficiency, environment and climate change goals. The EU is currently formalising its European Green Deal, which is a roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable. The objective of this study is to assist decision-makers in prioritizing strategic transport policies and infrastructure investments. It develops the evidence base and prioritisation framework for improving the transport sector of the region including improved energy efficiency and sustainability so that it is not left behind by advances in the EU. The study has also developed an online visualization tool to help policy makers explore and use the results of the modelling exercise. PublicationBelt and Road Initiative: Azerbaijan Country Case Study(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Bogdan, Olena; Najdov, EvgenijBelt and Road Initiative (BRI), announced in 2013 and formalized in 2015, is China’s long-term commitment and aims to improve connectivity within Asia as well as between Asia and other continents via transport corridors (rail, road, maritime, air) and deeper economic, political, and cultural integration between China and the countries in Europe and Africa (National Development and Reform Commission, 2015). This study analyzes a potential impact of the BRI on Azerbaijan’s economy by focusing on (1) Azerbaijan’s connectivity and trade with the BRI economies; (2) its recent improvements in transport, power, and ICT infrastructure as part of the China, Central Asia, West Asia economic corridor; (3) its remaining connectivity gaps and challenges; and (4) potential economic effects of BRI on Azerbaijan’s trade, foreign investment, growth and welfare. Finally, the study concludes with policy implications that would mitigate the BRI risks and maximize the benefits. PublicationSerbia Railways Asset Management Plan Using Life-Cycle Costs(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05-09) World BankThe objective of the World Bank’s technical assistance (TA) in the asset management planning ofSerbia’s railways, using the life-cycle cost (LCC) method, is to improve the condition of key track infrastructure in the country. The appropriate use of the LCC model would enable Serbian Railways Infrastructure (Infrastruktura Zeleznice Srbije, IZS) to optimize the use of the scarce financial resources available for maintaining track infrastructure. The LCC model offers a simple and inexpensive way to estimate the longevity and condition of track infrastructure and the costsassociated with its renewal and maintenance. This is important, as the model’s concepts and principles form the foundation for the establishment of a more advanced rail asset management(RAM) system. This TA introduces this capacity in IZS, with a focus on track infrastructure, and thus, paves the way for further advances in RAM, which ideally will cover all rail system components (structures, signaling, rolling stock, and others). This report describes the LCC model, as it is applied to managing track assets; outlines the steps followed during the TA to transfer requisite knowledge to IZS; and recommends how IZS might solidify the implementation of the LCC model. The report concludes with recommended next steps and offers guidance for other countries seeking to improve the sustainability of their rail infrastructure. PublicationMorocco Infrastructure Review(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-05) World Bank GroupOver the last twenty years, Morocco has invested massively in infrastructure. At the macroeconomic level, total investment of between 25 percent and 38 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) occurred between 2001 and 2017, one of the highest rates of investment globally. Much of this investment has gone into infrastructure, and more than half of it was undertaken by the public sector (treasury, public enterprises and local authorities). Morocco is also among countries receiving the most official development assistance relative to GDP, half of which is invested in infrastructure. The investments have created more reliable supply chains, improved access to markets and basic services, and increased productivity. Following this executive summary, chapter one reviews the quantity and quality of infrastructure services in Morocco and the notable achievements that the country has made in this regard; chapter two discusses Morocco’s infrastructure challenges; chapter three describes Morocco’s infrastructure investment needs and macroeconomic constraints; and, chapter four discusses proposed cross-cutting reforms. Appendix A provides key indicators for each infrastructure sector, Appendix B provides sector specific recommendations and lists selected projects in the infrastructure pipeline, and Appendix C explains the methodology used to derive the infrastructure investment estimates. PublicationEnhancing Burkina Faso Regional Connectivity: An Economic Corridor Approach(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World BankRegional integration and international connectivity via economic corridors play an essential role in reducing the isolation of West Africa’s landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso’s main international corridors are the Ouagadougou-Lomé road corridor connecting it to Togo, the Ouagadougou-Tema (Ghana) road corridor, and the Ouagadougou-Niamey (Niger) road corridor, as well as the Ouagadougou-Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) road and rail corridors. Each of the corridors plays a unique role in regional integration, national trade, and sub-national rural and urban development, by providing connectivity to consumption centers, economic production zones, and/or economically lagging areas. The national perspective suggests that the Ouagadougou-Lomé corridor is very important for Burkina Faso’s imports, serving as the artery for about 40 percent of all cargo entering the country, while the Ouagadougou-Abidjan road and rail corridors play an equally crucial role in allowing Burkina Faso’s exports to reach global markets. The region’s trunk road infrastructure is in fair-to-good condition on most sections, although large gaps remain on corridors such as the eastern link between Lomé and Niamey. This study develops several scenarios of corridor interventions that address the inefficiencies to quantify the expected impacts in terms of real income growth and domestic market accessibility.