World Bank Country Studies

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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 This series as been superseded by the World Bank Studies series.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 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Strengthening Bolivian Competitiveness : Export Diversification and Inclusive Growth
    (World Bank, 2009-06-01) World Bank
    Bolivia's trade liberalization, launched in the mid-1980s, has resulted in a relatively open trade regime; but the results have been mixed. Bolivia's export to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio and export entrepreneurship index rating are among the highest in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region and the country has achieved great success in making soya the major export crop in less than 10 years. At the same time, the country's share in world trade has stagnated and exports are increasingly dominated by gas and minerals. Reinvigorating the nontraditional export sector is important for the government of Bolivia as it implements its national development plan. As a resource-rich country, the Bolivian government's emphasis on export diversification is well-placed but the optimal nontraditional export strategy should build on successes in the traditional sector. This study investigates: (a) the role trade should play in Bolivia's development strategy considering the country's natural resource endowment; (b) the lessons of Bolivia's integration to the world economy; (c) the linkages between Bolivia's past trade and economy and a forward-looking analysis of the impact of different scenarios on growth, employment, trade flows, and poverty; (d) constraints to higher export competitiveness and weaknesses related to transport and logistics; and (e) the characteristics of exporting firms and the constraints affecting them. The main findings of the analysis are that preferential access to world markets is necessary but not sufficient for success in nontraditional exports; rather, success depends largely on increasing the competitiveness of exporting firms. Second, a neutral incentive regime is essential to the growth of nontraditional exports. Third, efficient backbone services are vital for reducing exporters' costs. Finally, the government should be proactive in addressing institutional impediments to cross-border trade. The study presents prioritized policy implications of the analysis related to: (i) trade policy and preferential access to markets; (ii) the incentives regime; (iii) backbone services; (iv) increasing the effectiveness of institutions to promote cross-border trade; and (v) setting the foundations for exports diversification.
  • Publication
    Accelerating Trade and Integration in the Caribbean : Policy Options for Sustained Growth, Job Creation, and Poverty Reduction
    (World Bank, 2009-06-01) Hamilton, Pamela Coke; Tsikata, Yvonne; Moreira, Emmanuel Pinto
    This volume builds on the foundation laid by the 2005 report by focusing on the factors affecting the region's competitiveness and the critical role that the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) has to play as a driver of integration and economic development. In addition it highlights the potential of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), if properly implemented, to significantly increase the region's competitiveness and to help it attain long-term sustained development. This potential, however, will only be realized if precise trade and competitiveness strategies are crafted to focus primarily on removing the constraints to competitiveness endemic in the region. In addition, and this is a critical element of any newly-devised strategy, is the necessity to revise regional institutional mechanisms and mandates to promote implementation and to take advantage of the market access opportunities presented by successive trade agreements such as the EPA. This report, while highlighting the need for immediate and concrete actions on the part of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, also recognizes the responsibility of the donor community in helping to play a catalytic role in supporting trade reform and macroeconomic stability. The aid for trade agenda must seek to address the weaknesses inherent in the formulation and application of international aid policies and implement new frameworks aimed at enhancing the ability of these small nation states to meet and overcome the challenges of global competitiveness.
  • Publication
    Tunisia's Global Integration : A Second Generation of Reforms to Boost Growth and Employment
    (Washington, DC : World Bank, 2009) World Bank
    This study on a world integration for Tunisia attempts to contribute to the achievement of the growth of the 11th development plan. It first takes stock of past integration policies, outlining policies implemented and assessing their impact on foreign direct investments (FDI), exports and employment. Then, it examines the current challenges of integration of Tunisia, which is both global and multisectoral pursuant to the actual creation of a free trade area with Europe for industrial products in January 2008. In the light of challenges expected, another generation of integration reform is identified to further improve the positioning of a competitive Tunisia and realize the potential growth in services. The report contains four chapters. Chapter one analyzes integration policies implemented since the early 70s and evaluates the impact thereof on the FDI, exports and employment. Chapter two examines the current challenges and major reforms necessary to correct the side-effects of past integration policies. Chapter three attempts to identify the reforms necessary to improve quality and lower prices of services. Finally, chapter four examines the prospects for export of professional services (accounting, auditing, legal services) and health by Tunisia, which showed a real capacity to compete in these areas in recent years.
  • Publication
    Angola : Oil, Broad-Based Growth, and Equity
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2007) World Bank
    This book points out that the main issues confronting the Angolan authorities in their efforts to consolidate macroeconomic stability on a sustainable basis and in promoting an improvement in the welfare of the Angolan citizens do not seem to differ significantly from those addressed in the 1990 report. Therefore, in the current Country Economic Memorandum, the Bank reassesses some of the key issues that remain relevant nowadays and that should help the Angolan economy reach a path of sustainable economic development. The analysis in this report centers around the following four core issues: (i) taking stock of socio-economic realities; (ii) the options available for the management of the country's mineral wealth without deleterious macroeconomic consequences; (iii) the main constraints to economic diversification away from the mineral sectors; and (iv) the challenges and opportunities to improve the welfare of the population. Each of these core issues forms the building blocks that provide an overview of the current situation and a possible solution to Angola's structural problems in the short to the medium term. The report thus plays an informative role and offers policy recommendations. In Chapter 1, the analysis starts with a brief discussion of socio-economic realities in the country. In Chapter 2, a comprehensive macroeconomic assessment is presented highlighting major past features, the country's constant search for stability, and recent successes in the macroeconomic front. In Chapter 3, the report discusses the structure of the petroleum sector, the future production profile, the size of the oil wealth, and policy options to manage the revenue windfall. Chapter 4 focuses on the diamond sector, its structure, legal and fiscal framework, and explores ways in which the sector can improve its contribution to social development. In Chapter 5, the report assesses the quality of the business environment and the opportunities to improve the investment climate. Chapter 6 discusses alternatives to unleash the potential of the agricultural sector in generating employment outside of the mineral sectors. Finally in Chapter 7, the analysis focuses on how to improve the livelihoods of the poor and of the vulnerable with recommendations on how to use the mineral wealth to improve public service delivery targeted to the poor.
  • Publication
    Financial Accountability in Nepal : A Country Assessment
    (Washington, DC, 2003-03) World Bank
    This document assesses the quality of financial accountability and transparency in Nepal and makes recommendations for improvement. The findings and recommendations were widely discussed with various government agencies, non-government agencies, private sector, oversight agencies, and donor partners. The review concluded that the lack of compliance and poor implementation of the regulations is the single most important problem that affects public sector financial accountability of Nepal. With respect to public funds, the report reviews the government's budgeting, financial planning, cash flow management, accounting and financial reporting, at the central and local government level. It assesses what it would take to qualify the country for programmatic lending or budgetary support in replacement of individual project lending. With respect to the private sector, the report examines accounting and auditing standards and practices, the development of the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of Nepal, the demand for, and the supply and training of accountants and auditors. The report also assesses the framework for corporate governance and reviews the activities of the Registrar of Companies, the Securities Exchange Board, and the Stock Exchange. With respect to non-governmental sector, it examines the financial accountability aspect of non-governmental organizations.
  • Publication
    Bangladesh : Financial Accountability for Good Governance
    (Washington, DC, 2002-05) World Bank
    This document assesses the quality of financial accountability and transparency in Bangladesh, and makes recommendations for improvement. With respect to public funds, it compares the financial management standards, and practices of agencies using such funds against and international, or "best practice" standard, and also the standards, and practices of the external "oversight" agencies - nine Audit Directorates of the Comptroller and Auditor General's Office, parliamentary committees concerned with public expenditure, donor agencies, and the media. It assesses what it would take to qualify the country for programmatic, or sector lending in replacement of all individual project lending. With respect to private funds in the hands of companies, commercial banks, insurance companies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), it examines the regulatory activities of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the two Stock Exchanges, Bangladesh Bank, NGO Affairs Bureau, and the accounting and auditing profession that serves both public, and private sectors.
  • Publication
    HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean : Issues and Options
    (Washington, DC, 2001-03) World Bank
    Intensified efforts are needed in the Caribbean region if inroads are to be made against the AIDS epidemic. Although many Caribbean governments have initiated a limited response to HIV/AIDS, much remains to be done to bring proven interventions quickly up to nationwide scale. Moreover there is growing recognition that HIV/AIDS is not just a serious health issue in developing countries, but a major developmental catastrophe that threatens to dismantle the social and economic achievements of the past half century. The challenge for Caribbean countries is to learn from the dramatic experiences of some African countries and act decisively now to prevent the progressive extension of the epidemic to the general population. This report provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities in addressing the problem of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. It presents a snapshot of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region, offers examples of ways in which Caribbean countries and regional bodies have responded to the epidemic, discusses alternative actions for addressing the crisis, and highlights a range of strategies for donor coordination and cooperation in the region. Finally, the report identifies the potential role of the World Bank in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean.