Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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Private Sector Opportunities for a Green and Resilient Reconstruction in Ukraine: Synthesis Report

2023-11-02, World Bank

In March 2023, the Second Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA2) identified $411 billion worth of investments required for Ukraine’s reconstruction. The World Bank Group’s new report “Private Sector Opportunities for a Green and Resilient Reconstruction in Ukraine”, developed in cooperation with Ukraine’s government, assesses the potential for private financing to meet these needs under both a status quo scenario and a scenario with reforms and other sectoral interventions.

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Antitrust and Digital Platforms: An Analysis of Global Patterns and Approaches by Competition Authorities

2021-09-27, World Bank

The pace at which markets are evolving, thanks to the accelerated adoption of digital technologies, poses important challenges to competition law and its enforcement. This work aims to support this process by building an understanding of the experiences of competition authorities in deciding on competition enforcement cases in the digital economy. This note analyzes the global digital antitrust database of the markets, competition, and technology unit (the MCT DAD or the database) and provides a summary of key patterns and trends in antitrust in the digital economy (and specifically in relation to digital platforms firms). This database aims to be a holistic source of information on abuse of dominance, anticompetitive agreements, and merger cases involving digital platforms, which have been finalized by antitrust authorities worldwide. It also identifies some risks to competition arising from various digital platform business models in different sectors and generates learnings for antitrust authorities globally on the approach to assessing such cases. The analysis contributes to the discussion and learning on competition assessments in the digital economy. The data also show how different sectors may be prone to different types of anticompetitive behavior, depending on the typical business models of digital platforms. Antitrust authorities in less developed countries should be encouraged to participate more actively in the debate on data protection and privacy as a dimension of competition. Finally, authorities should continue to strive to make their decisions public and provide clarity about the factors justifying their decisions.

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Creating Markets in Pakistan: Bolstering the Private Sector

2021-05, International Finance Corporation, World Bank

This Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) analyzes and synthesizes cross-cutting and sectoral impediments to private sector development in Pakistan. It also proposes a policy reform agenda that would be transformational for the growth and competitiveness of the private sector. It complements the World Bank’s Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD, 2020) and aims to contribute to the national dialogue by focusing specifically on private sector issues. The Pakistan@100 body of work is the base and it draws on recent thematic World Bank reports and consultations with business leaders and public officials. Technical solutions to Pakistan’s institutional constraints and policy distortions are readily available, but the implementation of these solutions requires committed political leadership. This has proven hard to muster in Pakistan’s young and noisy democracy. Successive administrations have been humbled by vocal public opposition or internal resistance to change influenced by special interest groups. Maintaining political stability has been challenging with frequent transfers of power between civilian and military administrations. The devolution of powers to the provinces and local governments has resulted in an institutional footprint with sometimes overlapping or unclear mandates that give rise to uncertainty for businesses. The question is therefore what it would take for Pakistan’s policymakers—and its elites and informal decision makers—to step up to address the multitude of issues as Pakistan falls behind its peers. Or, in other words, what would enable the government to break the economy’s many sub-optimal equilibria.

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Benchmarking Madagascar’s Free Zone Competitiveness

2020-06-17, World Bank

The Government of Mauritius is implementing the Mauritius Africa Strategy, which is focused on positioning Mauritius as a bridge for investment and trade in order to open new markets in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A cornerstone of this strategy is sharing the successful experience of Mauritius in providing an attractive business environment bundled with good infrastructure and services in order to accelerate investments in trade, services and manufacturing in SSA countries. This technical note is in response to a request from both the MAF and Government of Mauritius and the EDBM and GoM for: i) an update of the current status of the SEZ regime in Madagascar i.e. policy, legal, regulatory and institutional framework and current proposals being considered by the GoM as well as opportunities for improvement, ii) benchmarking Madagascar’s main competitors in the global textile and apparel markets (such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya) and comparing their SEZ regimes for textile and garment zones to identify competitiveness strengths and weaknesses and lessons learned, and iii) outline opportunities for successful development of the proposed zone for consideration by both the GoM and the MAF and Government of Mauritius.

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The African Regional Weather Enterprise: Current Private Sector Landscape

2023-10-25, World Bank

This study focuses on the role of the private sector in the development and delivery of hydrological and meteorological (hydromet) and early warning services (EWS) in Sub-Saharan Africa within the current landscape of the Africa Regional Weather Enterprise (ARWE). The study begins with a global industry overview of 87 participating companies who either work in or have interest in the region’s hydromet market. It highlights the types of activities, end-user categories, research and development, and focuses on innovation and capacity building initiatives that underpin the key components of the following pages. The study analyzes how private sector actors operate within the framework of national, regional, and international hydromet projects. It makes an inventory of ongoing initiatives that focus on the current status of public-private engagements (PPE) and partnerships for development of the ARWE.This report concludes by drawing on lessons from the positive dynamics and gaps in partnerships and engagements between public and private actors. It supplies 16 recommendations to further improve the ARWE by emphasizing PPE, successfully completing African hydromet programs, and satisfying enduser needs. The recommendations are focused on protecting lives and property while supporting national economies for the prosperity of all.

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Creating Markets in Vietnam: Bolstering the Private Sector During COVID-19 and Beyond - Relief, Restructuring, and Resilient Recovery

2021-09, World Bank, International Finance Corporation

The objective of the Vietnam Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) is to examine opportunities and challenges, both cross-sector and sector-specific, to strengthen private sector development and facilitate investments in Vietnam. The CPSD is closely aligned with the government’s strategic priorities (as outlined in Vietnam’s Socio- Economic Development Strategy [SEDS] 2021-2030 and the Vietnam 2035 report) and World Bank Group policy priorities and programs (WBG Vietnam Country Partnership Framework [CPF] FY18–FY22 and IFC’s Vietnam Country Strategy 2020–22). The CPSD relies on multiple data resources, including knowledge from the literature (including sectoral studies) and from World Bank Group staff, enterprise surveys, high frequency/ real-time data generated by private firms, and interviews and consultations with the private sector, Vietnamese authorities, and other external stakeholders.

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Vietnam: Science, Technology, and Innovation Report 2020

2021, World Bank

The science, technology, and innovation (STI) report provide analytical support for Vietnam’s upcoming ten-year STI strategy 2021-2030 and the socio-economic development strategy (SEDS) 2021-2030. The STI report has been prepared in response to a request from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). The new STI strategy is expected to contribute to a strengthened national innovation system (NIS) that will promote a more innovation-driven enterprise sector, and in turn lead to sustained high-growth in Vietnam. As the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) triggered economic shock continues to spread globally and its impact deepens in Vietnam, the importance of innovation and technology adoption for business resilience as well as for productive growth has been amplified. This report will highlight specific changes in policies and present institutional options to strengthen technology adoption and innovation in enterprises to inform the new STI strategy 2021-2030 and the SEDS 2021-2030 in section one. Towards this end, section two presents the conceptual framework for the study. A brief overview of the current STI policy institutional framework is presented in section three. Section four reviews the state of Vietnam’s developing NIS and identifies the recurring gaps that hinder Vietnamese enterprises from adopting and applying technology. The coherence and quality of STI policies - the last pillar of the NIS - is examined in section five. Section six reviews the implication of the emerging domestic and global shifts and how they inform the new STI strategy. Section seven provides a roadmap of priority reform actions that are needed to reset the new STI strategy towards business innovation and technology adoption.

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Paths of Productivity Growth in Poland: A Firm-Level Perspective

2021-10-31, World Bank

After a long period of economic transformation that included introducing a series of market-oriented reforms and joining the European Union (EU), Poland was one of the fastest-growing economies in the world by 2020. This report investigates differences in productivity dynamics across economic segments and attempts to derive policy recommendations to improve the Polish economy’s productivity performance. First, the authors estimate firm-level total factor productivity (TFP), compute labor productivity indices, and analyze the main productivity patterns between 2009 and 2019. Second, the authors decompose aggregate productivity performance into the within, between, and net entry components using the Melitz Polanec decomposition method to understand the underlying response behind the observed productivity growth in Polish sectors and industries. The efficiency of resource allocation (measured by the between effect) worsened over time in manufacturing and was responsible for the sector’s productivity slowdown while allocative efficiency gains improved productivity performance in construction and services. To boost Polish productivity, the empirical evidence provided in the report indicates certain areas for policy actions as well as a few directions for necessary further investigation.

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Enabling Private Sector Growth in Menya and Assiut, Egypt

2021-07-01, World Bank

Egypt has considerable potential to become a regional trade hub. A key challenge is how to leverage this potential to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth that benefits the country’s population at large. In alignment with Egypt’s decision to expand the Upper Egypt Local Development Program (UELDP) from an initial focus on Sohag and Qena to also include Menya and Assiut, this paper focuses on identifying opportunities and barriers to realizing inclusive and sustainable growth in these two governorates. Menya is the fourth-lowest and Assiut the fifth-lowest productive governorates in Egypt as measured by gross value added per capita. There is thus a pressing need for measures to promote inclusive growth and competitiveness in the two governorates The paper aims to inform the deliberations of the governorates recently established Economic Councils, as well as the continuous sub-sector specific public private dialogue, which forms part of UELDP. This paper thus serves as a starting point, and forth-coming dialogue could give rise to follow-on in-depth studies of sub-sectors of high priority to the governorates. Indeed, cluster competitiveness initiatives which focus on resolving sub-sector specific constraints are a part of the UELDP.

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Thailand Manufacturing Firm Productivity Report

2020-06-17, World Bank

Thailand is an enduring development success story. Between the late 1960s and mid-1990s, strong and sustained economic growth propelled the country from low-income to upper-middle-income status. To achieve high-income status by 2037, the authorities will need to draw on the experiences of other upper-middle-income countries that have successfully completed the transition, as well as those that continue to struggle. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has severely impacted growth in Thailand, with the economy expected to contract in 2020 amid heightened uncertainty surrounding the path of the pandemic. This report focuses on the manufacturing sector builds on a framework that emphasizes the microeconomic and macroeconomic linkages of the sources of productivity growth. In line with this framework, Chapter 1 begins with an overview of Thailand’s productivity dynamics at the macroeconomic level and identifies the causes of its slowing GDP growth rate.7 Chapter 2 analyzes the characteristics of Thai manufacturing firms and sub-sector productivity dynamics, revealing the drivers of firm productivity and distinguishing the relative contributions of within-firm effects, between-firm effects, and market dynamism. Chapter 3 evaluates the impact of competition on firm productivity by comparing market entry and exit indicators with price markups. Chapter 4 concludes with a set of policy recommendations designed to boost firm productivity in Thailand’s manufacturing sector.