Foreign Trade, FDI, and Capital Flows Study

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  • Publication
    The Trade Policy Strategy 2.0 for North Macedonia: Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic and State Aid Effectiveness Report
    (Washington, DC, 2022-09) World Bank
    For a small and landlocked country like North Macedonia, trade integration is particularly important to sustain the country's economic growth and transformation. The importance of trade became even more visible during a global crisis and in the post-pandemic recovery period. Trade integration has contributed to North Macedonia’s rise to the status of a middle-income country, but its trade strategy is showing signs of fatigue. The lack of trade diversification and economic transformation limits the role of trade in North Macedonia’s growth model. Also, trade openness in services has been weaker than for merchandise, highlighting the untapped potential for trade in services. North Macedonia's growth strategy should aim to diversify the economy and seek export oriented FDI that would have stronger spillover effects on the domestic economy. State aid provided through tax incentives to boost exports and attract FDIs will need to be redesigned to be more effective. A revamped trade strategy is needed that will allow North Macedonia to move further up the GVC ladder and expand its economic diversification through agriculture, agri-business, services, or more complex manufacturing, which will ultimately lead to greater job creation, business survival, and diversification of the economy as a whole. The proposed reform agenda needs to be considered as part of a broader strategy to improve the business climate and attractiveness for investment and raise productivity in the economy. Ultimately, the country’s ability to achieve greater economic diversification and upgrading will depend on a large number of different factors, including competition policy, investment policies, innovation, education policies.
  • Publication
    Post Covid-19 - Building a Resilient and More Sustainable Recovery in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: Central America Competitiveness Report
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2022) World Bank
    The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has had widespread negative effects in developing countries around the world, generating an unprecedented shock. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) was a particularly affected region, recording a significant contraction in regional GDP and international trade in 2020. This report focuses on the impact of Covid-19 and recovery in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. These three Central American countries (CA3), albeit unique in their history and characteristics, share many similarities in their economic context and challenges for achieving sustained growth. The region includes one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, with low economic growth rates relative to other Latin American countries.
  • Publication
    Special Economic Zones and Industrial Parks in South Asia: An Assessment of Their Regulatory Structures
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11-10) Galal, Rami
    This paper reviews the policies and regulations for special economic zones and other spatial development modalities in the countries within proximity of the Eastern Corridor in South Asia, and it assesses whether those policies and regulations are effectively designed. The assessment finds mixed results. On the positive side, governments in these countries exhibit a strong political commitment to the zones’ success, providing them with dedicated policies of both fiscal incentives and regulatory concessions, combined with administrative simplification to help zone developers and tenant enterprises. However, these arrangements include some notable shortfalls. For example, some incentives are inconsistent with the zone objectives, violate some international regulations, or miss necessary business facilitation measures. Moreover, there is no mechanism to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of different incentives. Zone tenancy requirements are not always well specified, feasible, or consistent with zone objectives. As for the regulatory and institutional structures of zone programs, there are some common shortfalls, especially in terms of (a) clarity of zone objectives, (b) the roles of different agents, (c) the autonomy and inclusivity of those agents, and (d) the agents’ authority to carry out their responsibilities, and there are some shortfalls in the resources that agents need to manage operations effectively. To maximize the benefits from these zones, governments of the region could adopt reforms to ensure that incentives and tenancy requirements are aligned with zone objectives and that regulatory frameworks are clear, fair, and effective.
  • Publication
    Ecuador Trade and Investment Competitiveness Report
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) World Bank Group
    The internationalization of the Ecuadorian economy is necessary if the country is to successfully adopt a development model led by the private-sector. The Ecuadorian government is seeking to accelerate growth and sustain social progress by giving greater prominence to the private sector; it does at a time when external conditions are less favorable than at any time in the last decade. This report has three main objectives; to provide a systematic benchmark of Ecuador’s connection to the global economy, to identify key bottlenecks, and to make recommendations for enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector. The assessment is broken down into two sections. First, there is a section about international competitiveness outcomes, which assess Ecuador’s performance and identifies the challenges associated with connecting to international markets. The analysis looks at outcomes throughout the four competitiveness channels; that is, exports, imports, foreign direct investment (FDI), and global value chains (GVCs). The report’s second main section contains a competitiveness diagnostic about the key drivers behind the previously identified challenges and provides actionable policy recommendations to overcome them. The determinants are grouped in four mutually exclusive groups: (i) the macro and fiscal framework; (ii) the institutional and regulatory framework governing trade and investment; (iii) supply-side factors; and (iv) demand-side factors.
  • Publication
    Chad Growth and Diversification: Leveraging Export Diversification to Foster Growth
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-05-30) World Bank
    This report describes the key policies for Chad to successfully leverage export diversification to foster economic growth. After several unsuccessful attempts at diversifying in the 1990s, Chad has deepened its dependence on commodities, mainly relying on oil; which came to replace cotton. However, the experience of other countries, in Africa and other parts of the world, shows that while large scale production of oil resources offers great opportunities, it comes with major shortcomings. Chad’s Vision 2030 is to become an emerging economy, driven by diversified and sustainable sources of growth. The goal is to triple the average GDP per capita at current prices, by increasing it from US$ 730 in 2014 to US$ 2300 in 2030, while drastically reducing the poverty rate from 46.7 percent in 2011 to 8 percent during the same period. Chad’s economy is overly dependent on crude petroleum, which makes it vulnerable to external shocks. Therefore, to achieve this development goal, only an export diversification strategy can foster a larger menu of goods and services than can become growth-accelerating and job-creating activities. Its implementation challenges are formidable, but the country has little choice, as the social unrest following recurrent oil price slumps, its burgeoning youth population and regional security threats may foment more violence in an already fragile and volatile economy and keep investors away. Hence, this report outlines a strategy to achieve this vision centered on the diversification of its non-oil economy (mainly agricultural-based exports) away from natural resource-based commodities.
  • Publication
    CEMAC: Deepening Regional Integration to Advance Growth and Prosperity
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06-29) World Bank
    The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC), which consists of Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, is one of the oldest regional groupings in Africa. The main objectives for achieving this are: (i) the creation of a fully functional and effective customs union, (ii) the establishment of a robust system of macroeconomic surveillance, and (iii) the harmonization of sectoral policies and legal frameworks that will create a common market for goods, capital, and services.Despite this ambitious vision, regional integration in the CEMAC zone remains shallow.The oil price shock of 2014-15 severely affected the six CEMAC economies and promoted re-commitment to deepening regional integration.At the regional level, the PREF also aims to: (i) improve the coordination of public financial management (PFM) and fiscal policy; (ii) accelerate regional integration through improvements to the regional economic plan; (iii) improve the business climate; (iv) increase economic diversification; (v) enhance monetary policy transmission mechanisms; and (vi) improve prudential banking supervision.CEMAC is right to focus on reforms to deepening regional integration as a driver of growth.The objective of this Regional Study on CEMAC is to support policy makers in CEMAC in efforts to strengthen regional integration to support economic growth and to reduce the need for economic adjustment. The Regional Study focuses mainly on what can be done at the regional level to support regional integration, macro-stability and long-term growth in the CEMAC area; as such, the Regional Study aims to complement country-specific policies and initiatives to support macro-stabilization, economic development and integration.
  • Publication
    Niger: Leveraging Export Diversification to Foster Growth
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-12-09) World Bank
    Niger’s Vision 2035 acknowledges the country has little choice but to create ‘a competitive anddiversified economy.’ Economic diversification is a cornerstone component of the Economic Orientation Document (EOD) 2016-19 and the PDES 2017-21. The EOD defines Niger’s economic diversification as moving exports away from natural resources and increasing the value-added component of exports as the foundation for its agro-based industrialization and employment creation policies. Hence, an exports diversification strategy is akin to the country’s economic diversification and, not surprisingly, the PDES contains several axes of policy interventions supporting it. However, Niger faces serious structural challenges to diversify into new productive activities. The country is landlocked, exporting costs are high and, given multiple infrastructure and logistics gaps, access to markets is difficult beyond neighboring regional markets. Rapid population growth and low human capital turns into a low skilled population. Volatile economic growth, reliant on a few commodity exports that closely follow the vagaries of weather and boom and busts of international prices, makes hardly obtained poverty gains vulnerable.
  • Publication
    Investment Policy and Promotion Diagnostics and Tools: Maximizing the Potential Benefits of Foreign Direct Investment for Competitiveness and Development
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-07-13) World Bank Group
    This paper presents a bird’s eye overview of the investment policy and promotion (IPP) logical framework developed by the trade and competitiveness global practice of the WBG to address the challenge of how countries can use foreign direct investment (FDI) to advance their economic development. The report sets out three key propositions: i.e. (i) that investment policy should aim not to choose between but connect domestic and foreign investors, (ii) that investment policy making should be based on the whole investment cycle going beyond promotion and (iii) that not all FDI is the same nor has the same development impacts. This sets out the logical framework for a concrete investment policy and promotion intervention in a time of globalization that will yield measurable results.
  • Publication
    Impact of the Libya Crisis on the Tunisian Economy
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-02-01) World Bank
    This study assesses the main spillover effects of the Libyan crisis on the Tunisian economy and estimates the crisis’ overall social welfare and fiscal impacts on Tunisia. The authors consider four main effects on Tunisia: (i) the increased presence of Libyans in Tunisia (both short- and long-term), and the return of Tunisian workers from Libya; (ii) the level and dynamics of illicit informal trade and informal cash flows between the two countries; (iii) the deterioration of civil security in the region and its effects on private investment and tourism; and (iv) the increase in the Tunisian government’s security spending. The chapter is organized as follows. Section one describes the objectives of the investigation and methodology. Section two estimates the number of Libyans living in Tunisia (temporary and permanent) and their demographic characteristics. Section three analyzes the living conditions of Libyan households in Tunisia and provides an estimate of their poverty level. Section four analyzes the shocks to Libyan households, and those households’ adaptations and resilience in response to shocks. Section five discusses the migratory decisions of Libyan households, in particular their preference to either return to Libya or remain permanently in Tunisia.
  • Publication
    Mobilizing the Middle East and North Africa Diaspora for Economic Integration and Entrepreneurship
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-12) Malouche, Mariem Mezghenni; Salsac, Fanny
    This paper advocates for the need to rally the MENA professional and skilled diaspora. It discusses the findings of a unique outreach exercise to the MENA diaspora and provides policy recommendations. First, the paper highlights the linkages between the diaspora and trade, investment, and knowledge transfer based on the literature and concrete examples. Second, it describes the outreach and the profile of the diaspora members surveyed. Third, it presents the main findings of the survey of the MENA diaspora in four areas: (i) overall engagement, (ii) appetite for investment, (iii) trade, and (iv) the role of institutions. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.