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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  • Publication
    Albania: Trade Impact of CEFTA
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-12) World Bank Group
    Regional free trade agreements (FTAs) have a sizable effect on exports and foster economic growth. While reducing tariffs in member countries, regional FTAs harmonize trade policy across regions and reduce regulation uncertainty for exporters. They are particularly important for supporting trade in isolated countries such as Albania, a transition economy in the Western Balkans. This policy note looks at the impact of membership in the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) on Albania's export growth. It finds that Albanian exports to CEFTA members have grown much faster than its exports to other countries. A large share of this growth is contributed by firms that did not export to CEFTA countries previously and via new exports that were among the least traded to CEFTA countries. We also measure the impact of CEFTA on Albanian exports using a gravity equation, which finds that CEFTA increased Albanian exports to member countries between 34 percent and 144 percent.
  • Publication
    Competitive Fruit and Vegetable Products in Albania
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-12) World Bank Group
    Albania is heavily dependent on its agricultural sector, which accounts for 20.3 percent of GDP, 49 percent of employment and 8.5 percent of total exports. The fruit and vegetable sector represents 20 percent of Albanian agriculture but contributes 36 percent of its exports and this share is expected to increase. The note posits an idea that as the domestic market for many of these products is saturated, Albanian fruits and vegetables have been gaining ground in the Western Balkans and are well positioned to make headway in the EU-28 market as well. However, Albanian producers face many constraints in meeting the rigid and complex demands of the EU market, constraints that an export strategy focused solely on identifying products for export is unlikely to change. The policy paradigm has shifted to approaches that focus on integrating local industries into global value chains that help facilitate technology transfer and create jobs.
  • Publication
    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.