World Bank Country Studies

68 items available

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Country Studies are published with approval of the subject government to communicate the results of the Bank's work on the economic and related conditions of member countries to governments and to the development community. This series as been superseded by the World Bank Studies series.

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Ukraine's Trade Policy : A Strategy for Integration into Global Trade
    (Washington, DC, 2005) World Bank
    This publication identifies the key drivers of Ukraine's recent trade performance, assesses current trade policies, and proposes recommendations to strengthen the Ukraine's trade integration strategy. It also identifies core bottlenecks in the ongoing integration processes, including global and regional integration. The study concludes that the main obstacles to furthering Ukraine's trade integration are domestic, and relate to deficiencies in the business environment. Problems in customs administration, standardization, and administrative barriers for new entry require immediate attention. The report highlights specific policy issues that hamper World Trade Organization (WTO) accession, such as trade legislation, protection of intellectual property rights, government support for specific industries, and export restrictions. It also recommends improvements in the structure of Ukraine's import tariffs, reform of both the regime of free economic zones and mechanism of the value-added tax (VAT) refund, and investment in a major upgrade of government capacity for investment and export promotion. The report also draws attention to the importance of the post-WTO accession agenda for Ukraine. To take advantage of WTO membership, the Government will need to undertake significant institutional reforms to implement WTO regulatory rules in ways that facilitate integration into the world economy and provide benefits to private sector participants.
  • Publication
    Slovak Republic--Joining the EU : A Development Policy Review
    (Washington, DC, 2003-06) World Bank
    The Slovak Republic's external current account and fiscal deficits (net of privatization receipts) are unsustainably high (at about 8 percent of GDP in 2002), despite some recent declines. With a capital account surplus of perhaps 20 percent of GDP this year, the Slovak Republic may not find it particularly difficult to finance these deficits, but this favorable situation will not last. Furthermore, through its impact on the real exchange rate, this policy mix is undermining the employability of large segments of the population (particularly those with low skill levels) and will ultimately choke growth (projected at 4 percent for 2002). While much policy attention has gone to stimulating investment, future growth will also depend on raising the employment rate, currently one of the lowest among the Central and East European Countries (CEECs). This report lays out the broad thrust of a policy strategy to bolster the recovery and bring the economy towards convergence with the EU. This strategy consists of three key elements: (a) Continued trade, finance, and enterprise reform to complete the structural transformation of the economy and align it with the EU framework (b) Fiscal consolidation, focusing on cutting back expenditure and stabilizing revenues, while redirecting revenue and expenditure policies to become more fully supportive of growth and employment objectives (c) Labor market reform, directed at enhancing labor market flexibility by relaxing legal provisions on working arrangements (such as part-time work, self-employment, and fixed term contracts), by decentralizing collective bargaining, and discarding the minimum wage as an instrument of incomes policy, and by reforming the social assistance system. The ultimate success of the policy reforms outlined in this report will depend to a great extent on the government's capacity to strengthen the institutional framework in which those policies are conceived, decided upon, and executed. Three priorities have been highlighted: (i) the reform of public expenditure management systems and practices needed to support a growth-oriented fiscal strategy; (ii) the consolidation of the recent decentralization moves as a prerequisite for further devolution, and (iii) a much overdue overhaul of the judiciary system.
  • Publication
    Growth Challenges and Government Policies in Armenia
    (Washington, DC, 2002-02) World Bank
    This report reviews growth trends in Armenia for the period 1994-2000, outlines major weaknesses of existing development patterns, and suggests a package of policy recommendations designed to accelerate enterprise restructuring, attract investment, and encourage the creation of new businesses in the medium term (three to five years). Such steps are needed to sustain (and preferably to increase) the current growth rates, to stop emigration among the young and skilled, and to reduce poverty. The government needs to focus much more clearly on generating the environment for private sector led growth by removing bottlenecks in policies, infrastructure, and institutions that prevent new private businesses from flourishing. International aid donors can help by supporting the removal of administrative barriers for investments, the rehabilitation of infrastructure, and the creation of "restructuring agencies" that will enable firms in key sectors to overcome or avoid common constraints to business growth in Armenia. Successful restructuring by such firms should have a demonstration effect on the country's economy and help consolidate public support for moving forward the program of reform begun a decade ago.
  • Publication
    Kyrgyz Republic : Fiscal Sustainability Study
    (Washington, DC, 2001-12) World Bank
    The study reviews the macroeconomic developments in the Kyrgyz Republic following the collapse of the Soviet Union, when adjustments were required since output fell by fifty percent between 1991-95, resulting in adverse fiscal consequences, which triggered losses in tax revenues, along with the implicit end of energy subsidies. Part I examines the fiscal, and debt sustainability, proposing a three-fold strategy: a) efforts for an urgent renewal are needed to consolidate macroeconomic stability -- fundamentally, a significant fiscal adjustment is required; b) debt relief should be considered, given the large burden, and there is the need to preserve social expenditures; and c) decisive structural reforms are necessary to underpin fiscal adjustment, and increase the efficiency of resource uses. Part II examines the structural issues, particularly the tax system, and the role of the state in infrastructure and utilities, focusing on accelerating the transformation of public infrastructure and utility companies, and how to improve taxation. The report also emphasizes a transparent and targeted system in the provision of basic services to the poor, through reform policies and the inclusion of the private sector.
  • Publication
    Bulgaria : The Dual Challenge of Transition and Accession
    (Washington, DC, 2001-05) World Bank
    The study assesses Bulgaria's progress in its transition to a market economy, and in its preparation for accession to the European Union (EU), through an analysis of economic developments during the 1990s, with special emphasis on the 1997-1999 period. It identifies the major challenges the country faces in sustaining macroeconomic stability, and accelerating growth. To maintain fiscal stability and ensure adequate public investment to gradually reduce the public debt will require building strong fiscal risk, debt management skills. The public investment required to meet the dual challenge of completing the transition, and joining the EU, is significant. The Government's remarkable reform program of the last three years, has radically transformed the economy, with conditions established for high, and sustained growth. Yet, unemployment is growing, and by and large, the standards of living have significantly declined, meaning further reforms will be needed to boost private investment, and establish the supportive institutional foundations required for a market economy. The reform agenda focuses on ensuring a public-private interface through macroeconomic stabilization, eliminating state direct interventions, and building the public-private legal framework, as well as capacity, and credibility.