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Publication(Washington, DC, 2022-10) World BankWhile Malaysia’s digital economy had already been growing rapidly over the past decade, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has further accelerated this trend. In particular, increased access to digital platforms has enabled businesses of all sizes to mitigate the crisis’ adverse impacts. At the same time, the depth and breadth of small and medium enterprise (SME) digitalization has remained limited, suggesting a growing risk of digital divide in the country. This report analyzes opportunities and challenges for Malaysian SMEs to better leverage digital tools and platforms to increase their productivity and competitiveness. It is structured around three complementary analytical pillars: (i) a digital business landscape diagnostic presenting the extent of digitalization and use of digital platforms among SMEs in traditional sectors, and the constraints that SMEs still face to digitalize; (ii) an institutional and policy mapping reviewing the government of Malaysia’s efforts to foster SME digitalization; and (iii) a digital market regulations assessment evaluating the adequacy of Malaysia’s digital regulatory environment, to identify shortcomings that may undermine SMEs’ capacity to access and benefit from the use of digital platforms. The analysis has been undertaken with a view to inform the implementation of the Malaysia Digital Blueprint (MyDIGITAL).
Sectoral Approach to the Drivers of Productivity Growth in Poland: A Firm-Level Perspective on Technology Adoption and Firm Capabilities(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) World BankThe report presents the main structural characteristics of the sectors included in the Technology Adoption Survey (TAS) implemented in Poland and provides sectoral TAS results for general and sector-specific business functions, comparing Poland to a peer country, Korea. Nine sectors analyzed within TAS include agriculture, food processing, wearing apparel, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, basic metals, wholesale and retail trade, financial services, and land transport. These form a selection of the most important economic industries in agriculture, manufacturing, and services. The same sectors were chosen in all countries where TAS was implemented because of their important contributions to the national economies as well as their diversity, which allowed us to identify the different natures of their technological needs and the barriers to technology adoption. Sectors in Poland differ in technology sophistication in both general business and sector-specific functions but, to a large extent, those differences are driven by the sectors’ structural differences, such as the number of large firms, the share of exporters, and the number foreign-owned enterprises. Firms in different sectors face different economic conditions and are exposed to a different balance of regulatory, environmental, and geopolitical risks and challenges. Understanding those sectoral differences, especially as they affect the use of sector-specific technologies, is of utmost importance, because productivity improvements historically have been driven primarily by capital-intensive investment, which often involves sector-specific technologies. In the context of sector-specific technologies, it is worth noting that the level of sophistication differs between sectors. Comparing technology trends across sectors is beyond the scope of this report, however; rather, here we closely follow the methodology described in Bridging the Technological Divide: Technology Adoption by Firms in Developing Countries.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2021-10-31) World BankTransitioning to a more knowledge- and technology-based economy will be critical if Bulgaria is to achieve convergence with its European peers in terms of economic productivity and living standards. The coming year presents an important opportunity for Bulgaria to improve its support for science, technology, and innovation (STI). This report assesses the efficiency of selected Bulgarian STI support programs, tracks progress on outcomes, and reports on beneficiaries’ perceptions of program quality. This report is the third and final major component of the World Bank’s Bulgaria public expenditure review for STI (PER STI) project. This efficiency analysis addresses an identified gap in Bulgaria’s STI system: the monitoring and evaluation (M and E) of STI support programs. This report aims to address those gaps by identifying benchmarks for assessing the results of STI support programs in Bulgaria and providing a methodology and tools for carrying out such evaluations in the future. The report is structured in nine sections. Section one presents the methodology, section two provides a comparison of key results across the six programs included in the analysis, sections three through eight provide program-specific analysis and findings, and section nine provides recommendations.