Development Policy Review

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  • Publication
    République de Côte d’Ivoire 2021-2030 - Sustaining High, Inclusive, and Resilient Growth Post COVID-19: A World Bank Group Input to the 2030 Development Strategy
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-09-23) World Bank
    This report, initiated at the request of His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara to Hafez M. H. Ghanem, the World Bank Group Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, is the first country application of the new regional strategy, Supporting Africa’s Transformation. Albert Zeufack, the Chief Economist of the World Bank Group Africa Region, led a team to synthesize knowledge and experience from Côte d’Ivoire and across the world. The report incorporates the perspective of the new International Development Association agenda, Jobs and Economic Transformation, and addresses three operational objectives for Côte d’Ivoire: create sustainable and inclusive growth by maintaining macroeconomic stability, fighting corruption, advancing digital transformation, and maximizing private finance; strengthen human capital by empowering women, reducing child mortality and stunting, and improving education, health, and social protection; build resilience against fragility and climate change. The National Development Plan 2016-20 consolidated promarket reforms and reaffirmed the ambition to reach upper-middle-income status. Côte d’Ivoire is embarking on a strategy to sustain strong gross domestic product (GDP) growth through 2030 while rapidly reducing poverty. Côte d’Ivoire’s aspiration of becoming an emerging market economy with low levels of poverty requires a long period of strong and inclusive growth. The report analyzes growth trajectories and identifies the investments needed to achieve and sustain desired levels of growth, along with the corresponding financing needs. It discusses the opportunities presented by the country’s surplus labor, young population, and huge diversification potential.
  • Publication
    Vietnam Development Report 2019: Connecting Vietnam for Growth and Shared Prosperity
    (Hanoi: Hong Duc Publishing, 2019-12) World Bank Group
    Globally, Vietnam is among the most open economies with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 190 percent in 2018. Through the removal of both tariff and non-tariff barriers and fulfilling its commitment in several regional trade agreements, the country has made remarkable achievements in trade liberalization. Vietnam’s major trade partners located in East Asia, North America, and Europe are reached mostly by sea or air. Trade with bordering neighbors is limited and thus trade across border-crossing points is minimal except for northern borders with China, which has seen growth in recent years. The country’s trade flows are concentrated at twelve of its 48 border gates—two airports, five seaports and five border crossing points—which collectively handled 86 percent of total trade value in 2016.1 As the trade grows, congestion at and near these international gateways and border-crossing points has also increased. In addition to the current major trade partners, various regional trade relations and connectivity initiatives are relevant to Vietnam, including with Southeast Asian neighbors, and South Asia—particularly India—over land, given the rapidly growing trade relationships. In the meantime, Vietnam’s transport network has undergone a significant expansion over the past decades. The most remarkable development in network expansion has occurred in the road sector. As of 2016 the total length of the road network, excluding village roads, reached over 300,000 km, including about 1,000 km of expressways—a fully access-controlled toll road system. Vietnam is endowed with an extensive network of natural waterways, including nearly 16,000 km of managed navigable routes carrying significant traffic around the Red River Delta and Mekong Delta areas. However, only about 2,600 km of the waterways can reliably handle barges greater than 300 deadweight tons, with rudimentary terminal infrastructure at most of its numerous river ports. Vietnam's century-old railway system is mostly single-tracked and non-electrified, which has remained unchanged over the past decades with very limited capital investments
  • Publication
    Reinvigorating Growth in Resource-Rich Sub-Saharan Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-09) Izvorski, Ivailo; Coulibaly, Souleymane; Doumbia, Djeneba; Izvorski, Ivailo
    The strong economic performance of Sub-Saharan Africa’s resource-rich countries since the start of the 21st century has been celebrated as a return to more buoyant growth and renewed convergence with the advanced economies.Despite the recent progress in improving living standards and reducing poverty, achieving high and sustainable growth continues to be the main challenge for policymakers.Rwanda and Ethiopia have led Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in terms of per-capita growth since 2000, growing faster than South Asia. However, the gap between the resource-rich countries of Africa with East Asia and the Pacific (EAP), SAR, and the advanced economies has widened since 2010, underlining the difficulty of accelerating growth.Africa has often been portrayed as a continent of boundless natural riches that have helped pull the whole subcontinent forward. Indeed, resource-rich Africa accounts for a dominant part of SSA’s economy. Resource-rich SSA accounts for 70 percent of both the subcontinent’s GDP and physical capital, 60 percent of its natural capital, and nearly 40 percent of its population. For the continent in aggregate and in per capita terms, however, natural resources are just a bit higher than in the South Asia Region (SAR) and lag all other developing regions.One way of thinking of strengthening economic growth depends on more exploration and development of natural resources that should help increase the continent’s natural wealth, as has happened in many other developing regions.More importantly, durable prosperity in resource-rich Africa depends on building up the assets, or components of overall wealth, that are in relatively short supply. In recent years, the literature has started to focus on assets and assets diversification as a path to development, and the World Bank has led in this area. In this report, we emphasize the two complementary types of assets that Africa’s resource-rich countries need to build up to accelerate growth: one is within national borders and the other across borders.
  • Publication
    Pacific Possible: Long-term Economic Opportunities and Challenges for Pacific Island Countries
    (Washington, DC, 2017-08) World Bank
    Pacific Possible is a program of research and dialogue focusing on long term economic growth perspectives of Pacific Island Countries. It analyzes the major transformational economic opportunities and challenges which include tourism, labor mobility, ICT, oceanic tuna fisheries, deep sea minerals, climate change and natural disasters, and non-communicable diseases. This report summarizes and synthesizes research undertaken on these topics. Detailed background papers on these topics are also available as part of the Pacific Possible series.
  • Publication
    The Unfinished Revolution : Bringing Opportunity, Good Jobs and Greater Wealth to All Tunisians
    (Washington, DC, 2014-05-24) World Bank
    Until 2010 Tunisia appeared to be doing well and was heralded by the World Bank and the IMF as a role model for other developing countries, and the World Economic Forum repeatedly ranked Tunisia as the most competitive economy in Africa. Yet, the Tunisian model had serious flaws. Inadequate creation of jobs, notably for university graduates, and deep regional disparities were a source of increasing frustration across the country in the run up to the January 2011 Revolution. This development policy review shows that, in contrast to the façade often presented by the former regime, Tunisia's economic environment was and remains deeply deficient. The review highlights an economy that has remained frozen in low-value added activities and where firms are stagnating in terms of productivity and jobs creation. The review argues that Tunisian prosperity has been held back by policies that have reduced the country s overall economic performance. This poor performance results from extensive barriers to entry and market restrictions coupled with a heavy business regulations and a poorly functioning financial system, have resulted in economic stagnation. Economic policies have exacerbated cronyism and rent-seeking, allowing under-performing firms to survive, regardless of their productivity. in order to fulfill its economic potential, Tunisia needs to create a level playing field by opening up the economy and removing Tunisia's three dualisms, namely the onshore-offshore division, the dichotomy between the coast and the interior, and the segmentation of the labor market. A strong social policy is also necessary, of course, and should be designed to accompany private sector-led growth. Tunisia can capitalize on a strong competitive advantage to export wage-intensive goods, expand its export of services, and unleash the potential of agriculture, to the benefit of small businesses, young graduates, and farmers in Tunisia's long-neglected interior regions. Realizing these benefits will require improving the investment climate, rationalizing regulations, and developing more equitable development policies that benefit all of Tunisia's regions. The Unfinished Revolution is a challenge for policymakers to rethink Tunisia's economic development model, to question existing assumptions, and to dare to think big about policy reforms which can accelerate growth and shared prosperity, create quality jobs and promote regional development.
  • 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
    Indonesia - Avoiding the Trap : Development Policy Review 2014
    (Washington, DC, 2014-03) 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. 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. The report identifies the reforms of institutions and processes that govern the functioning of the state as critical for unleashing the country's development potential. The report provides an analytical underpinning for the Bank's country partnership strategy 2009-14 and shapes the Bank's support to the government's rencana pembangunan jangka menengah nasional (RPJMN) 2010-2014.
  • Publication
    Bridging the Development Gap: ASEAN Equitable Development Monitor 2014
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014) World Bank; ASEAN
    Since the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s and through the Global Financial Crisis of the last decade, commendable progress has been made by the member states of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in improving economic and human development outcomes both within each country and across countries. Since 1997, the economies of the poorest countries in the ASEAN, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam, have generally grown faster than the richer economies, which has reduced gaps in per capita incomes. Overall, child mortality rates have been cut by two-thirds across the ASEAN. And significant reductions have occurred even in some of the poorer member countries such as Cambodia and Lao PDR. However, this report The ASEAN Equitable Development Monitor (henceforth referred to as The Monitor), also shows that much remains to be done to ensure that the poorest members of the ASEAN community, within countries and across countries, are not left behind as the countries of the ASEAN integrate further. In both policies and development outcomes, differences across the countries of the ASEAN remain large. In this context, the monitor is designed to facilitate further discussion on policies and programs that can promote inclusive growth within ASEAN member countries and across the ASEAN community. It presents a number of indicators that are intended to provide a summary of development outcomes across and within the ten ASEAN countries and over time. On this basis, the monitor is intended to help policymakers in ASEAN member states to identify areas of concerns and prioritize national and regional interventions. The monitor tracks indicators across two broad sets of development outcomes and policies: (i) economic development; and (ii) human development.
  • Publication
    Republic of Moldova : Policy Priorities for Private Sector Development
    (Washington, DC, 2013-06) World Bank
    The Government of Moldova is seeking to change the country's development paradigm and build an export-oriented economy characterized by investment, innovation, and competitiveness, following a decade of 'jobless growth'. This report focuses on improvements that will be needed to move Moldova to the next stage of development as envisioned in the Moldova 2020 strategy; however, reforms over the past decade also deserve acknowledgment. Improving the business environment is an especially important task, given Moldova's low levels of natural resources and small internal market. This study aims to identify the most pressing problems in the business environment that are adversely affecting Moldovan companies' productivity and competitiveness, and to present recommendations that would help remove these obstacles. The analysis is based on a review of existing reports; interviews with government officials, private sector associations, a sample of businesses, and some subject matter experts; as well as original research on access to finance. This study has identified that the following aspects of doing business are the most problematic: customs administration; tax administration; business regulation, consisting of licenses, authorizations, permits, and inspections; the competition framework; and access to finance. This report presents short-term (2013-2014) and longer-term (2015-2017) recommendations in each of the five priority areas.
  • Publication
    Republic of Moldova Enterprise Access to Finance : Background Note
    (Washington, DC, 2013-06) World Bank
    The Government of Moldova is seeking to change the country's development paradigm and build an export-oriented economy characterized by investment, innovation, and competitiveness, following a decade of 'jobless growth'. This report focuses on improvements that will be needed to move Moldova to the next stage of development as envisioned in the Moldova 2020 strategy; however, reforms over the past decade also deserve acknowledgment. Improving the business environment is an especially important task, given Moldova's low levels of natural resources and small internal market. This study aims to identify the most pressing problems in the business environment that are adversely affecting Moldovan companies' productivity and competitiveness, and to present recommendations that would help remove these obstacles. The analysis is based on a review of existing reports; interviews with government officials, private sector associations, a sample of businesses, and some subject matter experts; as well as original research on access to finance. This study has identified that the following aspects of doing business are the most problematic: customs administration; tax administration; business regulation, consisting of licenses, authorizations, permits, and inspections; the competition framework; and access to finance. This report presents short-term (2013-2014) and longer-term (2015-2017) recommendations in each of the five priority areas.