Development Policy Review

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  • Publication
    Indonesia : Avoiding the Trap
    (Jakarta, 2014-05) World Bank
    Within the next two decades Indonesia aspires to generate prosperity, avoid a middle-income trap and leave no one behind as it tries to catch up with high-income economies. These are ambitious goals. Realizing them requires sustained high growth and job creation, as well as reduced inequality. Can Indonesia achieve them? This report argues that the country has the potential to rise and become more prosperous and equitable. But the risk of 'floating in the middle' is real. Which pathway the economy will take depends on: (i) the adoption of a growth strategy that unleashes the productivity potential of the economy; and (ii) consistent implementation of a few, long-standing, high-priority structural reforms to boost growth and share prosperity more widely. Indonesia is fortunate to have options in financing these reforms without threatening its long-term fiscal outlook. The difficulties lie in getting the reforms implemented in a complex institutional and decentralized framework. But Indonesia cannot afford hard to not try harder. The costs of complacency, and the rewards for action, are too high.
  • Publication
    Egypt - Development Policy Review
    (Washington, DC, 2008-05) World Bank
    This development policy review finds ample evidence that Egypt has prospered as a consequence of giving the economy a greater market orientation. While favorable global conditions have helped, the structural changes over the last two decades have been an essential ingredient for Egypt's success. Productivity has risen more in segments of the economy where the private sector s share in investment and output grew most. Empirical estimates done for this report suggest that each dollar of private investment contributed four times more to output than a dollar of public investment, reflecting in part the poor choice and maintenance of public investment. Consequently, further increases in output, incomes and productivity may be expected from the recently rising share of private investment in the total. Public sector productivity has also increased in recent years, reflecting in part the increased importance of state owned firms in petroleum and natural gas. Egypt's economic growth is also now more closely correlated with that of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries magnified by a factor of 1.25, and volatility has declined. This results from many links, not just the direct effect of oil and gas.
  • Publication
    Philippines : Invigorating Growth, Enhancing Its Impact
    (Washington, DC, 2007-05) World Bank
    Major fiscal adjustment during 2005-06, aided by abundant global liquidity, has turned around market sentiment on the Philippines. Stocks, the peso and reserves have all risen significantly, as have foreign direct investment and portfolio inflows, while interest costs and spreads for government borrowing have fallen along with inflation. Real GDP grew by 5.4 percent in 2006 and real GNP by 6.2 percent, marking the first time that three consecutive years of growth of 5 or more percent was recorded since the 1970s. Strong growth in business process outsourcing, electronics exports and remittance-driven consumption served as important props for higher growth. This paper includes the following headings: recent economic developments; how robust is present growth; invigorating growth, enhancing its impact; and maximizing the benefits of growth for the poor.
  • Publication
    Vietnam Business : Vietnam Development Report 2006
    (Washington, DC, 2005-11) World Bank
    Business development has been one of the main forces behind rapid poverty reduction in Vietnam. Together with the redistribution of agricultural land, and the broad coverage of social services, it allowed a large fraction of the population to engage in more productive occupations and raise their living standards. But businesses are still struggling with important constraints. Insufficient availability of finance, difficulties in accessing land and continuous gaps in infrastructure services (in spite of enormous investment efforts) are among the most important obstacles identified by entrepreneurs. In a booming labor market, retaining qualified personnel and finding the skills required to move up the ladder are also perceived as barriers to business development. As a result of these constraints, the domestic private sector remains dominated by small enterprises. In between a myriad household businesses and a few thousand large state-owned enterprises (SOES) and foreign companies, there are not many small and medium enterprises, and only a handful of domestic private firms have made it to the top. Sustaining business development in Vietnam requires the completion of the structural reform agenda. Fully developing the land market, restructuring the financial sector, managing state assets in a more efficient and transparent manner, mobilizing resources for infrastructure development, are the key priorities in this respect. Further integration with the world economy, especially through the accession to the World Trade Organization, is bound to lock-in some of these changes, and level the playing field between domestic and foreign enterprises. But there i s also a complementary reform agenda, aimed at leveling the playing field between the domestic private sector and SOEs and mobilizing capital (both public and private) in an efficient way. Global integration and domestic reforms are needed to sustain rapid economic growth while avoiding the accumulation of large contingent liabilities for the government. For Vietnam to become a middle-income country will entail going beyond structural reforms and laying the foundations of a modern market economy, introducing competition and proper regulation in infrastructure services, modernizing tax administration, reforming the legal and judiciary systems, reducing corruption, improving governance at local levels, are all part of a second generation of reforms that need to be put on track for Vietnam to move up to the next phase.
  • Publication
    Philippines : From Short-Term Growth to Sustained Development
    (Washington, DC, 2005-04) World Bank
    After reviewing the more promising recent developments, this report examines the nature of growth and development in the Philippines from a longer-term perspective and the factors that may have inhibited performance. It concludes that political instability has undermined the beneficial impact of the reforms implemented, and that such instability itself has been rooted in governance failures. Moreover, weaknesses in public institutions and corruption have also directly undermined a range of development objectives. Reconstructing the social contract in the Philippines is a challenge. Key pillars of this strategy discussed in the report include: reducing fiscal vulnerabilities; improving the climate for private investment; and improving public sector performance and governance. The interdependence of these elements as part of a strategy to rebuild the social contract is discussed and the report elaborates on improving the delivery of basic services.
  • Publication
    Indonesia Development Policy Report : Beyond Macroeconomic Stability
    (Washington, DC, 2003-12-04) World Bank
    The year 2004 will mark another crucial step in Indonesia's long-term transition. The country will go to the polls to elect new national and regional Parliaments, and for the first time in the history o f the Republic, to directly elect a President. This milestone in the country's democratization is accompanied by one in economic policy: for the first time since the onset o f the crisis, the Government will not have a program supported by the IMF. The Government's decision to graduate from its IMF program is warranted by the strong improvements in the country's macroeconomic conditions, and has been broadly welcomed by the markets and the international community. The Government's "Economic Policy Package Pre and Post IMF" or White Paper, issued as a presidential instruction on September 15th has helped build confidence in the Government's policies in the election year ahead. The policy package is intended to "bridge the credibility gap." The White Paper is a unique document: it is the first time that the Government commits itself transparently to a time-bound action plan to implement policies. The document shows continuity in macroeconomic policies and financial sector reforms, but also proposes a set of specific policy and institutional measures to address issues that have undermined the country's investment climate. While the timetable for adopting these measures is a short term one - fifteen months - many o f the proposed measures address fundamental longer term problems, and some will take several years to see through fully. The private sector, which has a high " stake in the measures included in the paper, has emerged as an independent monitor of progress. Since the White Paper is so central to Indonesia in the year ahead, much of this brief is devoted to discussing it. Beyond recent developments, the report discusses and analyzes critical policy actions from the White Paper. The report also points at the White Paper measures that may not necessarily be in line with the stated goals of the document. And finally, the report identifies policies that are needed beyond the White Paper to ensure Indonesia builds on the macroeconomic stability achieved to attain more rapid growth and poverty reduction.
  • Publication
    Philippines : Development Policy Update
    (Washington, DC, 2003-10-16) World Bank
    The Philippines has achieved reasonable economic growth of about 4 percent per annum over the past two years, in spite of adverse global developments, sporadic conflict in Mindanao, political uncertainty and investor concerns regarding fiscal sustainability. The economy has been particularly resilient in view of concerns regarding fiscal management and the limited recovery in investment since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The persistent low levels of investment - below 20 percent of GNP compared with about 23 percent in the early to mid 1990s - raises concerns about future growth. In recent years it has been consumption rather than investment that has underpinned growth, and this cannot continue indefinitely. Sustained geographically dispersed economic growth and relatively stable prices have resulted in a decline in poverty. Both the public and private sector will need to contribute for the Philippines to more fully achieve its development objectives. Three issues are central to improved public sector performance - fiscal management, off-budget losses and contingent liabilities, and governance. Mindful of the Philippines' relatively poor competitiveness and that growth, employment creation and poverty reduction depend critically on private sector performance, this update focuses on three key investment issues - infrastructure, the financial sector, and competition.
  • Publication
    Russia : Development Policy Review
    (Washington, DC, 2003-06-09) World Bank
    The objective of this report is to provide an assessment of the development objectives before the Russian Federation. To that end, this report assesses: 1) development outcomes and prospects, and 2) the extent to which the Government has been able to implement its social and structural reform program. The analysis and recommendations herein draw on knowledge acquired through various World Bank activities in Russia as well as on sources external to the World Bank. The report is organized as follows: Chapter 1 discusses development outcomes and prospects, which provides background for the report. Chapter 2 focuses on improving the investment climate by reducing energy subsidies, imposing a payments discipline, and strengthening corporate governance as part of the enterprise restructuring process. Incentives propounded to encourage the growth of small and medium enterprises would include improving the business environment, reforming tax policy, strengthening the financial sector, reforming infrastructure monopolies, promoting competitiveness, improving labor market flexibility, and promoting rural investments. Chapter 3 identifies key macroeconomic challenges and risks. Chapter 4 examines the framework for enhancing human capabilities and protecting vulnerable groups. Finally, Chapter 5 elaborates the steps to be undertaken to reform public sector management, including improving intergovernmental fiscal relations, public financial management, tax and customs administration, civil service, and the justice system.
  • Publication
    Indonesia Development Policy Review : The Imperative for Reform
    (Washington, DC, 2001-12-10) World Bank
    Indonesia's recovery was already slowing several months before the events of September 11. Political instability had raised social tensions and slowed reforms--fueling capital flight, alarming investors, and delaying official external finance for development. Progress on bank restructuring had slowed and the debt of financially strapped corporations remained largely unresolved. Corruption flourished, unchecked by a justice system that itself was corroded. Regional tensions increased even as the country embarked upon an ambitious decentralization program. And, if real wages are any indication, progress on poverty reduction--encouraging in 1999 and 2000-ground to a halt. Although markets initially welcomed President Megawati Soekarnoputri into office, the new administration has made little progress on structural and governnance reforms in her first one hundred days in office, thus renewing nervousness in markets and worrying external donors and creditors. The events of September 11 have emphatically underscored the urgency of Indonesia's reform priorities. but donors need to be realistic about what is feasible, given strong vested interests, severe institutional weaknesses, the uncertainties arising from decentralization, and a turbulent transition to democracy. Progress is most needed in the key areas of structural reforms, good governance, and empowering and investing in the poor.