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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-02) Madzarevic-Sujster, SanjaCroatia`s current economic challenges include sluggish growth, excessive public spending, high unemployment, and a deteriorating external environment. Croatian economy was making a fragile recovery and dealing with slow export growth, low investment, and persistent unemployment. At the end of 2011, Croatia gross domestic product (GDP) per capita (in purchasing power terms) declined to 61 percent average, a loss of 2 percentage points since 2008.The country incomplete structural reform agenda needs attention and action to promote greater competitiveness and a shift to productivity-based, private sector-led growth. It also faces the strategic challenge of maximizing the benefits of European Union (EU) membership, especially in terms of access to markets and the use of EU structural funds, requiring structural changes in the social sectors, education system, and business environment. Accelerating economic recovery requires Croatia to complete its currently unfinished structural reform agenda and shift to productivity-based, private sector-led growth. The government could also do more to: (i) reform product market regulation; (ii) remove administrative barriers to investments; (iii) reduce the logistics costs in trade; (iv) make the bankruptcy process more efficient; and (v) modernize contract enforcement and property rights.
FYR Macedonia Policy-Based Guarantee : Supporting the Development Agenda and Strengthening Access to Capital Markets(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-01) Najdov, EvgenijThe ongoing global economic turmoil is seriously impeding client countries access to capital markets, with relatively little regard for the fundamentals of the countries involved. Growing risk aversion among investors has triggered a flight-to-quality that is affecting all but the safest assets (AAA-rated). Small, open, and developing economies in Europe and Central Asia, including FYR Macedonia, are being exceptionally hurt. Despite its history of prudent macroeconomic policies and progress on structural reforms, FYR Macedonia s access to capital markets has been virtually closed or available only on very unfavorable terms. Policy-Based Guarantees (PBG) help well-performing clients with a track record of macro stability and structural reforms mitigate market access risks while advancing a country s development policy dialogue. PBGs also have the added benefit of catalyzing private capital flows by alleviating critical risks. The PBG extended by the World Bank to FYR Macedonia ensured the country s access to markets in a virtually closed market environment and at highly competitive terms.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-07) Rutledge, SueUntil the financial crisis of 2007, the global economy was adding an estimated 150 million new consumers of financial services each year. Rates of increase have since slowed but the growth continues. Most new consumers are in developing countries where consumer protection and financial literacy are still in their infancy. This is particularly true in countries that have moved from central planning to market economies where protecting consumers is necessary to ensure stable and competitive financial markets and give new consumers confidence in the formal financial systems. The global financial crisis has highlighted the importance of consumer protection and financial literacy for the stability of the financial sector. In the US, the rapid growth of complex residential mortgage products, combined with securitized instruments which were sold to poorly informed parties, has caused much turmoil. Financial institutions worldwide have been obliged to write off trillions of dollars of assets. In Europe and Central Asia (ECA) too, damage to the financial sector was serious.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-03) Lindert, Kathy ; Schwarz, AnitaBesides affecting the private sector, the current global economic downturn will likely have a far-reaching impact on government revenues around the world. As country budgets are squeezed tight, social programs which directly help poor and vulnerable people will become pressure points for reducing government spending. In many countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA), two years of rising food prices, high energy costs and the global economic downturn have combined with other shocks like natural disasters and political instability. The impacts of these crises could reduce government revenues and affect social spending and pension systems, even as the need for unemployment and benefits increases. In the short run, ECA countries may call on the World Bank to provide financial or technical support to help with the immediate impacts of the crises. Rapid support could include: (a) helping countries finance temporary scaling-up of well-targeted safety nets, either in beneficiary coverage or with a topping-up of benefits values; and (b) supporting actions to protect the budgets of well-targeted programs and other crucial spending on education and health. Governments and the Bank need to be prepared to respond more adeptly in the future; safety nets are important not only in times of crises but, in the long-run, they help to protect the poor and allow governments to avoid other, more costly or inefficient policies.