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
    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
    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
    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.
  • Publication
    Timor-Leste - Oecusse Economic and Trade Potential: Detailed Analysis and Background Documents
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-05) World Bank Group
    This report responds to a request from the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) and Dr. Mari Alkatiri. The request was for World Bank assistance to collaborate on a range of studies relating to opportunities in the special economic zone, including community development, trade and competitiveness, and regional integration. The analysis builds on a situation analysis prepared by the Zona Especial de Economia Social de Mercado (ZEESM) authority in March 2014. The transfer of significant responsibility for Oecusse’s development to the ZEESM authority, reflects a political rapprochement and collaboration between Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and Dr. Alkatiri. The report is in two volumes. Volume one presents an overview of Oecusse’s current state in chapter one with analysis of living standards, economic activity including trade, and current constraints. Chapter two analyzes Oecusse’s phased economic potential through a range of phase one development interventions focusing on agriculture, and considers the pre-requisites for developing an SEZ in Oecusse. Volume two contains more comprehensive background chapters with full analysis of living standards in chapter three, agriculture in chapter four, transport corridor in chapter five, and migration in chapter six.
  • Publication
    Timor-Leste - Oecusse Economic and Trade Potential: Overview of Oecusse Today and Long Term Potential
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-05) World Bank Group
    This report responds to a request from the Government of Timor-Leste (GoTL) and Dr. Mari Alkatiri. The request was for World Bank assistance to collaborate on a range of studies relating to opportunities in the special economic zone, including community development, trade and competitiveness, and regional integration. The analysis builds on a situation analysis prepared by the Zona Especial de Economia Social de Mercado (ZEESM) authority in March 2014. The transfer of significant responsibility for Oecusse’s development to the ZEESM authority, reflects a political rapprochement and collaboration between Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and Dr. Alkatiri. The report is in two volumes. Volume one presents an overview of Oecusse’s current state in chapter one with analysis of living standards, economic activity including trade, and current constraints. Chapter two analyzes Oecusse’s phased economic potential through a range of phase one development interventions focusing on agriculture, and considers the pre-requisites for developing an SEZ in Oecusse. Volume two contains more comprehensive background chapters with full analysis of living standards in chapter three, agriculture in chapter four, transport corridor in chapter five, and migration in chapter six.
  • Publication
    Moldova Trade Study: Overview
    (Washington, DC, 2016-03-03) World Bank
    Despite strong economic growth since 2000, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in the region. Excessive reliance on remittances, export dependency on a few products, and insufficient domestic job creation make the Moldovan economy highly vulnerable to external conditions. As a small and open economy, Moldova’s development potential is linked to its trade and investment integration strategy. Moldova is situated between two large markets: the European Union (EU), which absorbs more than half of Moldova’s exports, and the Russian Federation. Reducing the economic distance to large regional markets and reaping the benefits of openness is key to overcoming Moldova's structural constraints and spurring export-led growth. The objective of the Moldova Trade Study is to contribute to a better understanding of the factors and challenges underlying Moldova’s foreign trade performance and to identify policy interventions that can enhance the competitiveness of Moldova’s exporting firms and the value added of their exports. . The rest of the note is structured as follows: (ii) section two summarizes the analysis of Moldova’s export performance; (iii) section three focuses on constraints on Moldova’s competitiveness; (iv) in section four, the authors consider alternative trade policy scenarios and their implications for the Moldovan economy; (v) section five synthetizes existing analysis on constraints for agriculture competitiveness and exports, while section six evaluates the performance of free economic zones in Moldova. In the final section, the authors present policy recommendations