Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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    Malaysia’s Experience with the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Masterplan: Lessons Learned
    (World Bank, Malaysia, 2020-02) World Bank Group
    Productivity-enhancing measures play a pivotal role in Malaysia’s aspirations of becoming a high-income economy. Malaysia has enjoyed an impressive growth performance over the past few decades, with growth rates of at least 7 percent per year for more than 25 consecutive years. However, with the rise of other emerging economies, notably China and India, Malaysia has faced challenges in pivoting away from a ‘low-cost, high-volume’ strategy towards a ‘high-value’ one. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a crucial component of Malaysia’s strategy to become a high-income nation. As SMEs account for all but 1.5 percent of firms and the bulk of production and employment, they are central to Malaysia’s objective of becoming a high-income economy. SMEs form the bedrock of the private sector and innovation and can contribute to growth by supplying multinationals or accessing international markets directly. Despite their critical importance, the share of Malaysian SMEs in GDP (32 percent) and total exports (16 percent) was far lower than competitors in 2010. At the time of preparation of the Masterplan, the export share was more than 20 percent lower than that in countries such as the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan and even the US, and there was also scope for greater sectoral and geographical diversification. It was recognized that specific policies to enable favorable conditions for SMEs to flourish were needed so that they can easily expand into fast-growing markets and increase the production of knowledge- and innovation-based products and services.
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    Enhancing Competition Conditions and Competitiveness of Philippine Domestic Shipping
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-09) World Bank Group
    For the economy to attain its full potential, the Philippines requires an efficient water transport system. However, this is presently not the case. The domestic shipping industry is characterized by high costs, low quality of service, and a poor safety record. Logistics cost accounts for 24-53 percent of wholesale price, while shipping and port handling cost around 8 percent of wholesale price and 5 percent of retail price. Philippine domestic shipping is generally more expensive than in Malaysia or Indonesia, 2 other archipelagos. Moreover, it is more expensive to transport goods between 2 Philippine ports than between 2 Philippine ports via an international port. In the East Asia region, the Philippines trails behind its neighbors in various logistics performance and connectivity indices. For instance, in liner shipping connectivity, the Philippines ranked 66th out of 157 countries in 2013, and performs the worst among a group of East Asian comparators. Delays in shipment, slow cargo handling, and frequent accidents are the top complaints of businesses. In the East Asia Region, the Philippines has the highest absolute casualty rate and this is 40 percent higher than the second ranked country, Indonesia. On average, there are 228 ships involved in accidents and 303 casualties per year in the Philippines. In seeking to enhance competition in the delivery of domestic shipping services, this assessment has therefore focused particularly on measures that would increase the opportunities and incentives for new players to enter the market, and for existing operators to expand or vary the services they offer.
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    Policy Options for Liberalizing Philippine Maritime Cabotage Restrictions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-07) World Bank Group
    The purpose of this policy note is to present reform options on cabotage liberalization. The goal of cabotage liberalization is to help i) foster more competition in the domestic shipping industry, ii) reduce shipping cost, and iii) improve efficiency, maritime services, and safety standards. These, together with complementary reforms in domestic shipping and ports, can help enhance consumer and producer welfare through lower consumer prices, higher household real income, timely delivery of goods, and ultimately, job creation and poverty reduction through greater market access. This policy note on cabotage is organized as follows. Part one provides an overview of the domestic shipping industry and discusses the key issues that it faces. Part two discusses the underlying reasons for the industry’s inefficiency. Part three discusses the concept of cabotage, the cost and benefit of cabotage liberalization, and the cabotage regimes of the Philippines and of selected countries. Part four closes with a discussion of reform options.