Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation in Focus

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The series captures the experience, innovative approaches and solutions for development of the World Bank Group covering financial sector topics of relevance to both the public and private sectors. The series is comprised of short knowledge notes, policy notes, case studies, lessons learned or a combination therein. This series was formerly known as Finance in Focus.

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    Expanding Access to Finance for Small-Scale Businesses: Secured Transactions Reform--An Indonesia Case Study
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-01-05) World Bank Group
    A lack of access to finance has been one of the biggest impediments to the development and growth of the small-scale business sector in Indonesia. While micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) account for almost all employment in Indonesia (97 percent), the sector as a whole accounts for just about 57 percent of Gross National Product. Surveys suggest that one of the main constraints on the growth of the sector is a lack of access to finance, with almost half of Indonesian MSMEs citing access to finance as the top constraint to business growth. In 2012 the World Bank Group (WBG), in partnership with Switzerland and Japan, engaged with the Government of Indonesia to improve access to finance for the small-scale sector by enabling the use of movable collateral for formal lending. The use of movable collateral, such as vehicles, machinery, equipment, inventory or livestock, make it possible for enterprises and individuals who lack fixed collateral, such as land and property, to access finance. It also supports the growth of the financial sector, as it promotes portfolio diversification. This case study shows how the World Bank Group’s specialist team in Indonesia engaged with the government to promote an enabling environment and develop a sound secured transactions infrastructure to increase access to finance for the MSME sector.
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    New Lessons from Australia to Improve Pension Outcomes
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-01) Price, William
    The Australian Government commissioned the independent Financial System Inquiry or ‘Murray Review’ to provide recommendations to improve private pensions (superannuation), as well as financial system resilience, innovation and consumer protection. This continues Australia’s proactive approach - regularly reviewing how to improve a system that already has good features. The recommendation for a clear (and legally binding) statement of what the retirement system is trying to achieve is a sensible move. It mirrors what is happening in a range of World Bank projects, to start with the long-run outcomes and then work backwards to find the best ways to achieve them, in terms of regulation, supervision, market structure and efficient infrastructure. This note reviews the key analysis and recommendations from the review of the private pension system in Australia known as the ‘Murray Review’. It provides a commentary on the implications for pension reforms using World Bank experience in a range of projects.