Foreign Trade, FDI, and Capital Flows Study

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  • Publication
    Moldova Trade Study: Note 1. Analysis of Trade Competitiveness
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-01-30) World Bank
    As a small economy, Moldova’s growth and development prospects are closely related to its performance in international and regional markets. In this report the authors have looked at the export performance and competitiveness of the Moldovan economy. This report provides an overview of Moldova’s trade competitiveness. Its objectives are twofold: (i) to present a comprehensive analysis of Moldova’s recent trade performance and (ii) to identify policy measures and interventions that can enhance the competitiveness of Moldova’s export firms and the value added of their exports. The report is divided into two main parts. Part one contains an exports outcome analysis. It assesses export performance along four dimensions that contribute to form a comprehensive picture of the sustainable competitiveness of the export sector, including (i) the level, growth, and market share performance of existing exports (the “intensive margin”); (ii) diversification of products and markets (the “extensive margin”); (iii) the quality and sophistication of exports (the “quality” margin); and (iv) the survival of export flows (the “sustainability margin”). Part two investigates constraints on Moldova’s competitiveness, focusing specifically on a series of supply-side factors, such as the role of backbone and input services and utilities, and access to finance; and the business environment, particularly government regulations affecting trade and governance and institutional quality. The rest of the report is structured as follows: Section two examines overall trends in trade flows, including the growth of exports and imports, the degree of trade openness, and the recent evolution in foreign direct investment flows. In Section three, the authors concentrate on export outcomes, analyzing the sectoral composition, the growth orientation, and degree of diversification of Moldovan exports. The authors also analyze the evolution in the quality and sophistication of exports and the survival of export relationships in different markets and sectors. In the second part of the report, the authors look at productivity dynamics of Moldovan firms in comparative perspective, and then investigate the impact of access to finance, backbone services, trade and customs regulations, and corruption on firm productivity. The authors conclude this report with policy recommendations to improve Moldova's export competitiveness and increase the product and market scope, quality, and sophistication of its export basket.
  • Publication
    Reshaping Economic Geography of East Africa : From Regional to Global Integration, Volume 2. Technical Annexes
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    Five East African countries Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda have made solid progress on integrating regionally in the East African Community (EAC) since 1999. Such advances are crucial, as integration in East Africa has the potential for higher than usual benefits: Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda are landlocked, with very high costs to their economies. Successful integration will transform the five countries into one coastal, regional economy, slashing such costs. Looking at the East African integration through the lens of economic geography helps to improve sequencing of the integration process and to develop new policies to complement ongoing efforts, maximizing their benefits. Reducing disparities in provision of social services will increase the chances of workers from the inland parts of the EAC to find jobs, especially as administrative obstacles to labor mobility are being removed under the Common Market Protocol. Implementing and deepening the current program of regional infrastructure improvements will ensure that consumers and producers throughout the region are better connected to each other and to global markets. Integration policies facilitating greater economic activity in the coastal areas will help the EAC take advantage of the global demand for manufactured goods and thus to promote employment. That will also generate substantial demand for services and agricultural goods produced inland, amplifying the benefits of the customs union.
  • Publication
    Uruguay - Trade and Logistics : An Opportunity - Main Report
    (World Bank, 2010-04-15) World Bank
    Globalization has brought about a rapid expansion of international trade and a dramatic change in trade structure. The liberalization of trade in goods and services, containerization, new integrated transport networks, advances in information communication technology and modern business logistics have created unprecedented business opportunities for the trade and transport industries, as firms increasingly rely on global supply chains for production and distribution. In response to the government's request, this study assesses Uruguay's potential as a logistics hub and as a regional distribution center. The competitiveness of Uruguay's logistics system is assessed from an international perspective and policy recommendations towards further efficiency gains are provided. The study focuses on policies related to enhancing domestic and regional trade facilitation and assesses the wider economic impact of such reforms on logistics costs and trade.
  • Publication
    Building Export Competitiveness in Laos : Summary Report
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-11) World Bank
    The basic framework for the background study on building export competitiveness in Laos is based on the National Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy (NGPES), which appropriately stresses the need to: (i) improve the business climate by creating a predictable and transparent policy environment; (ii) streamline administrative procedures and regulations that are an obstacle to domestic and foreign private investment; and (iii) strengthen market institutions, including most notably those related to dispute resolution and contract enforcement. This paper focuses on three key priority areas: (a) Strengthening fiscal management is a first priority area. Progress in strengthening fiscal management is likely to require reforms to the broader framework of center-province fiscal relations; (b) Establishing a functioning banking system is a second priority area. Laos needs an efficient banking system to achieve the government's development goals and meet the competitive challenges of regional integration; and (3) Improving competitiveness is a third priority area. Conventional macroeconomic assessments of competitiveness using real effective exchange rates do not suggest any major competitiveness concerns. Other approaches, involving a more detailed assessment of the various elements that make up the investment climate, suggest that competitiveness is a major impediment to attracting investment to Laos. This study addresses the main elements of the reform agenda to strengthen Laos' competitiveness, placing special emphasis on trade facilitation and reforms to the business environment.
  • Publication
    Angola : Diagnostic Trade Integration Study
    (Washington, DC, 2006-09) World Bank
    The primary goal of this Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) is to provide a plan for reactivating Angola's productive sectors that reduces the country's reliance on imports while enabling the restoration of export capacity in the medium to long term. Executing such a plan will involve investing in the rehabilitation of infrastructure destroyed by war and making and adjusting policies that affect the institutional underpinnings of a market economy, as well as incentives for exporting and importing. This goal is inextricably linked with the overriding need to create jobs and alleviate poverty identified in the government of Angola's long-term poverty reduction plan, the Estrategia de Combate a Pobreza (ECP).
  • Publication
    Bangladesh : Growth and Export Competitiveness
    (Washington, DC, 2005-05) World Bank
    Bangladesh's growth over the past two decades or more, in terms of developing-country standards, has been notable. Such record of progress is one guide to the country's potential to grow, and to score well in world markets. To this end, i.e., to make the most of its export opportunities on a changing international playing field, Bangladesh needs to follow a strategic game plan, invest in infrastructure, technology and skills, streamline policies, and improve quality and safety standards. This report describes actions that can untie the hands of the country's exporters, and put solid progress within their grasp. The concrete recommendations made in the report for improving export competitiveness, could serve as a critical basis for making the needed revisions in the two pivotal trade policy instruments of the Government --Import Policy Order 2003-06, and Export Policy Order 2003-06 -- in light of the current global trading environment. The report looks at the sources of competitive disadvantage, and stipulates macroeconomic stability is, and must remain the strategic foundation for all of Bangladesh's competitive prospects. On economic governance, the results of this study's breakthrough use of a powerful analytical tool -- integrated value-chain analyses (IVCA) -- pinpoint the price exacted by obstacles to export growth, confirming entrepreneurs' point of view on corruption, namely bribes, duty exemptions on imports, and in addition, the rising costs of bribes. Also addressed is infrastructure, stating that to improve the climate for both domestic and foreign investors, policymakers must first acknowledge the damage that flawed governance - corruption, burdensome regulation, and breakdowns in law and order -- is doing to the country's growth in general, and its export performance in particular. Beyond this recognition, the authorities need to understand the price the country is paying for severe infrastructure bottlenecks in the delivery of power, gas, and telecommunications to all enterprises and - especially for exporters -- in the malfunctioning of the country's land and sea ports. Within each of the export areas examined under the study, industry-specific barriers to competitive success loom large. Specifically, recommendations suggest that to bring high payoffs in export competitiveness, reform should be a priority in Customs as well as the Duty Exemption and Drawback Office (DEDO); implementation of a strong program to match infrastructure services to the needs of a growing, outward-looking economy, namely, to remedy the transportation infrastructure, and trade logistics (Ports, Highways, and railways, etc.).