Country Economic Memorandum

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  • Publication
    Tanzania : Productive Jobs Wanted
    (Washington, DC, 2014-09) World Bank Group
    Over the past 18 months, the World Bank has been working on a comprehensive plan to address the challenge of productive jobs in Tanzania. This study represents a step towards a better understanding of how to promote job creation in Tanzania. Indeed, the growth of productive jobs is vital for alleviating poverty and promoting shared prosperity - two important goals of Tanzania's economic strategy. This booklet highlights the three-pillar plan for job creation derived from the Tanzania country economic memorandum. The first pillar looks at job creation from the angle of small non-farm businesses, which have been growing very fast during the rapid urbanization. The second pillar focuses on farms because those still capture the largest share of employment in Tanzania, while the third pillar discusses the job-creation potential associated with business expansion into new markets. By focusing on a comprehensive set of concrete actions, the goal is to stimulate debate as well as to build ownership and accountability among policy-makers and key stakeholders in the country.
  • Publication
    Latin America and the Caribbean : A Time to Choose, Caribbean Development in the 21st Century
    (Washington, DC, 2005-04) World Bank
    This report seeks to discuss the critical constraints to sustainable, job-creating growth, and to present policy options for the region and country Governments to stimulate such growth. It analyzes growth performance in the Caribbean over the last four decades, and highlights key determinants of past and also future growth. Given the recent deterioration in government finances, the report then studies key areas of government expenditure. A discussion of the climate for private investment follows, which looks at the framework that shapes the risks and returns for private investment. The report then discusses the impact of recent trade developments on the Caribbean, the future outlook in view of major ongoing changes in the international environment, as well as the opportunities that are likely to emerge, especially in the services sector. It then focuses on some key factors that have been significant in determining past growth in the Caribbean, including labor market issues; education, skill development and training; and, infrastructure. The report suggests a pro-active approach for the region to take on the challenges of a group of small states, facing severe resource constraints, eroding trade preferences, declining productivity, and increasing risk of macro instability. First, it argues that greater integration within the CARICOM region on several fronts will be a critical input into improving competitiveness. Second, on trade, the report argues that a negotiation of an orderly dismantling of preferences in return for increased technical and financial support would be in the region's interest. Third, improving the investment climate, and orienting it away from being subsidy-driven, addressing problems of high taxes and inefficient customs procedures, as well as specific infrastructure deficiencies, would help improve the quality of private investment and maintain the high levels of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Fourth, making the public sector more cost-effective and delivering services more efficiently, through greater reliance on the private sector, seeking cost efficiencies through regional cooperation. Fifth, improving the quality and effectiveness of human resources would enable diversification into knowledge-based activities including services, increase exports, and improve productivity in existing activities.
  • Publication
    Guatemala : Country Economic Memorandum, Challenges to Higher Economic Growth
    (Washington, DC, 2005-03) World Bank
    The purpose of this Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) is to contribute to the ongoing discussion in Guatemala about means of accelerating economic growth to help achieve targets set in the 1996 Peace Accords as a key ingredient in the fight to reduce national poverty rates. Chapter I examines historical and recent developments and uses a benchmarking growth methodology to identify the measures and policies most conducive to increasing long-term economic growth. Those areas that are identified as critical on the list of priorities are developed further in separate chapters. Chapter II focuses on the important role of human capital development for growth, along with the complementary policies for improving education and health. Chapter III examines the investment climate, broadly understood, which includes governance, access to infrastructure, and financial development. Chapter IV analyzes the importance of innovation and technology adaptation for productivity growth. Chapter V looks at trade openness and the catalytic role that the recently negotiated free trade agreement with the U.S. (CAFTA) could have on the Guatemalan economy.
  • Publication
    Kyrgyz Republic : Country Economic Memorandum - Enhancing the Prospects for Growth and Trade, Volume 1, Main Report
    (Washington, DC, 2005-01) World Bank
    This Country Economic Memorandum is aimed at helping the authorities in the Kyrgyz Republic identify factors explaining the apparent divergence between policies and outcomes, with a view to determining priorities for reform in the coming period. The main messages of the report are: 1) Kyrgyz policymakers should take advantage of the currently favorable nexus of a stable macro-environment, relatively strong gold production and international prices, and fast-growing neighboring markets, to address lingering policy and institutional deficiencies that limit the efficient restructuring of the economy away from its dependence on primary agriculture, mining and hydro-power. Action is needed to provide for more rapid progress with poverty reduction, and to mitigate the impact on the economy of an expected major decline in gold production by the end of the decade. Detailed quantitative analysis reveals a significant unrealized growth potential in agriculture and livestock products, agro processing and light manufacturing, based on prevailing inter-sectoral linkages in the Kyrgyz economy. 2) The prospects for successfully changing the growth pattern and trajectory, depend fundamentally on accelerated investment and export diversification. The contribution of foreign direct investments (FDI) to non-gold real sector investment has been minuscule over the past decade, limiting opportunities for much needed technology transfer and access to global value chains. The weaknesses of the export sector are reflected in the steady erosion of the Kyrgyz share of traditional regional markets. The report proposes a strategy for economic-cum-export diversification that requires simultaneous actions to address external, and domestic trade policy issues. Poor infrastructure, limited competitive pressures and low-level corruption, however, combine to raise trading costs to often prohibitively high levels. Safeguard measures remain a potential problem, and technical barriers to trade are pervasive in the CIS countries and elsewhere, although their impact on Kyrgyz exports has apparently been modest to date. Over the past few years, the government has adopted a range of measures aimed at reducing administrative barriers and strengthening the commercial legal system through a highly participatory reform process. In the end, however, it is firms not countries that are on the front line of international competition and business development. Favorable national circumstances, such as supportive macroeconomic conditions, friendly investment climates, and market-expanding trade agreements, contribute to competitiveness, but they do not guarantee success.
  • Publication
    Albania - Sustaining Growth Beyond the Transition : A World Bank Country Economic Memorandum
    (Washington, DC, 2004-12-27) World Bank
    While Albania 's performance has been impressive, there are concerns about the sustainability of high rates of economic growth in the future. The evidence from the growth accounting exercise indicates that total factor productivity growth from post-transition reallocation is gradually coming to an end. At the same time, the contribution of capital accumulation has only picked up modestly. This suggests that in order to sustain high GDP growth going forward, Albania must seek to raise its investment and, secondary school enrollment rates, increase the degree of trade integration, and improve institutional quality (governance). Worryingly, total factor productivity growth has slowed significantly in recent years while the contribution of factor accumulation was negligible. Neither remittances nor earnings from illegal activities constitute a solid basis for long-term economic development. There are signs, already, of a decelerating trend in the level of remittances. Furthermore, there are concerns about the financing of the country's investment needs over the medium term. The likelihood that Albania's access to concessional financing sources will decline, as well as expectations for dwindling external support and inflows from abroad, presents major risk factors that must be mitigated with the help of the donor community.
  • Publication
    Country Economic Memorandum : Realizing the Development Potential of Lao PDR, Volume 1. Summary Overview
    (Washington, DC, 2004-12-23) World Bank
    To sustain or exceed the 1990s annual average growth rate of 6.3 percent, Lao will need to promote agricultural and manufactured exports, and increase the contribution of natural resources to development. This will require another round of reforms, and supportive public spending. These reforms should seek to create a more enabling environment for the private sector, and for exports, to raise revenue and maintain macroeconomic stability, as well as to improve the transparency, accountability and efficiency of public expenditure management, and public service delivery. To develop natural resources and mineral reserves, Lao will need to attract substantial international and domestic capital to meet the heavy front-end capital costs required to exploit mineral deposits. To bring in that investment, however, requires improvement in governance of the mining sector, particularly in regard to partnerships with the private sector. Looking specifically at growth and poverty reduction, three scenarios for growth - base, base plus and high - show aggregate GDP growth up to 2015, rising roughly by an annual average of 4-5 percent, 5-6 percent, and 6-8 percent respectively. These indicate that this long-term growth will be driven largely by manufacturing (industry) and services, with growth from agriculture though important in the initial years, its contribution declining in the long-term. These growth scenarios depend very much on the pace and depth of reforms the country implements. Additionally, rising government revenues from natural resources alone will not suffice to meet social needs. On current trends, for example, per capita recurrent expenditures in health hardly increase until 2015. The country will need to take additional revenue measures and reallocate expenditures to increase recurrent expenditures on social sectors. To be effective, such revenue and expenditure measures must also be accompanied by efficient improvements in the service delivery mechanisms, i.e., increasing the participation of the poor.
  • Publication
    Serbia and Montenegro : An Agenda for Economic Growth and Employment
    (Washington, DC, 2004-12-06) World Bank
    Upon resumption of its transition to a market economy in late-2000, Serbia made good initial progress across a range of areas. This progress began from a very difficult starting point which reflected the legacy of a decade of isolation, conflict, and poor economic management. However, deep structural weaknesses remain. Growth rates of around 4 percent per year will not suffice to produce a rapid convergence of living standards towards historical levels. Moreover, the positive elements of Serbia's recent performance are not sustainable without further adjustment and sustained reform. This report analyzes Serbia's recent performance and near-term reform priorities, in five areas which are particularly important for growth and employment creation. Eight themes emerge as the key reform priorities for enhancing growth and employment generation in Serbia: enhanced political stability and improved governance are key prerequisites for sustained growth; reduction of the public sector, thus reducing spending and fiscal burdens; promotion of export development, addressing the anti-export bias, through adequate institutional framework, tariff reform, and a strong trade policy; completion of enterprises and banks privatization; enhanced financial discipline and competitiveness; enabling an improved business environment; foster an enhanced, flexible formal labor market; enhance quality of, and access to education and training. The report demonstrates in great detail the outlined package of substantial and permanent fiscal adjustment, and sustained progress in structural reform, in order to generate the higher investment rates and a more competitive economy which can prod sustainable growth, and improved living standards over the medium-term. Such policies need to be implemented with urgency and unwavering commitment.
  • Publication
    Honduras - Development Policy Review : Accelerating Broad-based Growth
    (Washington, DC, 2004-11-08) World Bank
    This Development Policy Review (DPR) discusses Honduras's development agenda with a special focus on accelerating economic growth. This focus emerges from the Honduras Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), which identified growth as the main determinant o f the evolution of poverty, and guides the review of policy developments in various economic, social and infrastructure sectors. To the extent that the measures and reforms recommended in this report are able to generate a more attractive investment climate in Honduras, they will clearly serve to promote a faster accumulation o f physical capital, which is one component of economic growth. The main thrust of most of these reforms, however, is to improve the quality of factor services and the efficiency of factor allocation, which, in a growth accounting framework, are reflected in faster productivity growth. Recommended are measures to expand the coverage and quality o f education, measures to promote financial market development, measures to remove price distortions, attract greater private investment and improve the regulatory framework, as well as measures contemplated on the governance front, especially in the area o f improving public sector financial management and the civil service.
  • Publication
    Romania - Restructuring for EU Integration--The Policy Agenda : Country Economic Memorandum, Volume 2. Main Report and Annexes
    (Washington, DC, 2004-06) World Bank
    This Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) looks at the broad reform program, including institutional, governance, and economic restructuring reforms Romania is pursuing, which are anchored in its process for accession to the European Union (EU). The challenge is to expand integration with the EU more broadly throughout the economy, by relying on market driven mechanisms in a predictable rules-based policy environment, with the state sharply focused on the provision of essential public goods. Implementing the institutional reform agenda is the first priority in the accession-led reform, having the country the largest increase in its share of EU external imports among the Central Eastern European Countries (CEECs), with trade diversification providing a robust foundation for trade expansion. But, to deepen trade integration, Romania would need to broaden its trade performance throughout the economy. On restructuring the enterprise sector, the CEM indicates enterprise reform needs to be accelerated, and budget constraint discipline needs to be extended to the transaction interface between the state and enterprises. As for implementing agricultural transformation, the potential competitiveness of agriculture, associated with Romania's moderate climate, and the availability of land, remains largely untapped. Therefore, agricultural policies and transformation need to be driven by competitiveness. Moreover, increased labor market flexibility is needed to improve sectoral employment imbalances, and competitiveness, and hence reduce the risks to the sustainability of growth, as competing in the EU, and global markets becomes increasingly more difficult. Notwithstanding recent progress, there are risks and vulnerabilities to the macroeconomic stabilization, and reform achievements. The energy sector in Romania has been a main source of persistently large quasi-fiscal deficits, more so than in many other transition economies, with high hidden subsidies, and losses in the energy sector. Completing the energy sector reform is essential, but the challenge is to implement budget constraints between the state and energy enterprises, so as to complete the restructuring of the energy sector. Further recommendations include elimination of quasi-fiscal financing, replaced by efficient financial intermediation, and strengthening the regulatory and supervisory infrastructure; deepening the reforms of the social security system; and, containing the costs of upgrading environmental standards.
  • Publication
    Romania - Restructuring for EU Integration--The Policy Agenda : Country Economic Memorandum, Volume 1. Summary Report
    (Washington, DC, 2004-06) World Bank
    This Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) looks at the broad reform program, including institutional, governance, and economic restructuring reforms Romania is pursuing, which are anchored in its process for accession to the European Union (EU). The challenge is to expand integration with the EU more broadly throughout the economy, by relying on market driven mechanisms in a predictable rules-based policy environment, with the state sharply focused on the provision of essential public goods. Implementing the institutional reform agenda is the first priority in the accession-led reform, having the country the largest increase in its share of EU external imports among the Central Eastern European Countries (CEECs), with trade diversification providing a robust foundation for trade expansion. But, to deepen trade integration, Romania would need to broaden its trade performance throughout the economy. On restructuring the enterprise sector, the CEM indicates enterprise reform needs to be accelerated, and budget constraint discipline needs to be extended to the transaction interface between the state and enterprises. As for implementing agricultural transformation, the potential competitiveness of agriculture, associated with Romania's moderate climate, and the availability of land, remains largely untapped. Therefore, agricultural policies and transformation need to be driven by competitiveness. Moreover, increased labor market flexibility is needed to improve sectoral employment imbalances, and competitiveness, and hence reduce the risks to the sustainability of growth, as competing in the EU, and global markets becomes increasingly more difficult. Notwithstanding recent progress, there are risks and vulnerabilities to the macroeconomic stabilization, and reform achievements. The energy sector in Romania has been a main source of persistently large quasi-fiscal deficits, more so than in many other transition economies, with high hidden subsidies, and losses in the energy sector. Completing the energy sector reform is essential, but the challenge is to implement budget constraints between the state and energy enterprises, so as to complete the restructuring of the energy sector. Further recommendations include elimination of quasi-fiscal financing, replaced by efficient financial intermediation, and strengthening the regulatory and supervisory infrastructure; deepening the reforms of the social security system; and, containing the costs of upgrading environmental standards.