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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) Jakubiak, Malgorzata ; Kolesar, Peter ; Izvorski, Ivailo ; Kurekova, Lucia ; Izvorski, IvailoThis paper analyzes recent automotive investment in the Slovak Republic and shows how the development of the automotive industry has influenced growth in productivity and output in the broader economy. The study also discusses the motivations for automotive investment, with the country evolving from a relative laggard in reform implementation and foreign direct investment in the late 1990s to one of the region's top performers and one of the fastest-growing economies. It is argued that strong reform implementation, together with continued and credible commitment to reforms, were both preconditions for attracting automotive investments and the key factors that enabled these investments to flourish. The reform efforts were made possible by strong political consensus on accelerating European Union (EU) accession and boosting living standards. Taking into account the specificity of the industry, other aspects related to factor endowments have also played a role. Generous investment incentives appear to have played an important role in swaying foreign investors in selecting the Slovak Republic within the broader region of central Europe. Once investment in automotive production started, it contributed to additional investment by suppliers that has helped generate locally owned suppliers. These, in turn, are beginning to supply car producers in neighboring countries. All told, the full impact of the original automotive investment will be felt only over several years, but even in the early years it has been substantial. With output at the existing three producers set to reach capacity only by 2010, the impact is likely to be more substantial still.
Integration with the Global Economy: The Case of Turkish Automobile and Consumer Electronics Industries(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) Taymaz, Erol ; Yilmaz, KamilThis paper provides an extensive case study of the Turkish automotive and the consumer electronics industries. Despite a macroeconomic environment that inhibits investment and growth, both industries have achieved remarkable output and productivity growth since the early 1990s. Although there are similarities between the performances of the two industries, there are significant differences between their structures, links with domestic suppliers, technological orientation, and modes of integration with the global economy. The automobile industry is dominated by multinational companies, has a strong domestic supplier base, and has seized the opportunities opened up by the Customs Union by investing in new product and process technology and learning. The consumer electronics industry is dominated by a few, large, domestic firms, and has become competitive in the European market thanks to its geographical proximity, productive domestic labor, and focus on a protected and technologically mature segment of the market, which also helps explain the recent decline in industry's fortunes. These industries could have performed even better had more responsive macroeconomic policies been adopted. It is certain that governments could be more responsive only if far-reaching political/institutional reforms are undertaken by changing the constitution and current political party and election laws in order to establish public control over the political elites.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008) Lumiste, Rünno ; Pefferly, Robert ; Purju, AlariThis paper is a case study of an open small economy whose development and growth is based largely on foreign trade and foreign direct investment (FDI). One purpose of the paper is to uncover the causes that have created such a development pattern. Estonia is a former socialist economy, part of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), which introduced comprehensive structural and institutional reforms in the 1990s. The country's transition to a market economy has been enhanced by integration with the European Union (EU), which was very important in evolution of institutions. Other research in this paper concerns the role of external anchors upon economic development; that is, mandates that reflect the values, objectives, and aims of a socioeconomic alliance, and which also frame Estonia's economic policy. One conclusion of the paper is that the EU integration process played an important role in creating and supporting development of a liberal, private sector-based market economy. Implementation of the rules, standards, and norms helped to increase the competitiveness of Estonian companies by improving market access to the EU and other markets. The external anchor concept is related to the international agents. A critical factor for future development and structural changes will be transforming Estonia from a transition economy to an innovation economy. The paper examines the role of the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and Skype in this development. The case of Skype demonstrates the much wider impact of the new telecommunication technology on society. Estonia's development in this field is empirical evidence that location, production, technology, and timing along with external anchors represent a catalyst for change.