Items in this collection
PublicationBringing HOPE to Haiti's Apparel Industry : Improving Competitiveness through Factory-level(World Bank, 2009-11-01) World BankIn October 2008 the United States Congress enacted legislation that gave the Republic of Haiti expanded, flexible access to the U.S. market for its apparel exports. The Second Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement act of 2008 (HOPE II, updated from the original legislation passed in 2006) was welcomed for its potential to revitalize a decaying industry, attract new foreign investment, expand formal sector employment, and jumpstart growth and opportunity for Haiti's people. The purpose of the analysis of Haiti's apparel value-chain in this report is to provide a comprehensive view of the advantages and challenges of manufacturing in Haiti relative to manufacturing in the Caribbean and Central America and elsewhere. It situates Haiti's attributes and suggests priorities for improving its competitiveness relative to that of other suppliers. An apparel buyer in the United States today juggles an impressive list of potential suppliers from China and elsewhere in Asia and from Latin America and beyond. Each country offers a unique combination of workforce skills, business environment, costs, 'full-package' services, proximity to raw material or to end markets, preferential access to the U.S. market, and thus competitiveness. This report helps readers to see how Haiti fits into this ever-changing global apparel market kaleidoscope. PublicationThe Afghanistan Investment Climate in 2008 : Growth Despite Poor Governance, Weak Factor Markets, and Lack of Innovation(World Bank, 2009-08-12) World BankThis survey report will help the government of Afghanistan think through its approach to private sector development. Historically, there has been a dearth of information and reliable statistics about Afghanistan's economy. This report reviews the constraints that firms currently operating in Afghanistan face and provides a basis for possible policy recommendations to address these constraints. It is hoped that the report will be a useful tool to support investment climate reforms and enhance the private sector dialogue in Afghanistan. The report also identifies a group of emerging issues that include the interlinked issues of competitiveness, innovation, and diversification. Despite strong growth, policymakers should be concerned about the lack of entry of new firms, especially foreign firms, and the lack of innovative behavior. These two factors indicate a lack of competitiveness and warrant further research. An undiversified manufacturing sector that is overwhelmingly linked to the agriculture and agro-processing sectors are also of concern. The strong growth trend itself needs more evaluation. A country that has weak governance, poor factor markets, and firms that are not innovative is unlikely to achieve sustainable long-term growth. The report discusses the issues noted above, summarizes the status of reforms, and suggests some next steps, including further analytic work on a number of topics, public private dialogue on certain issues, and stronger government reform efforts. PublicationRomania : Diagnostic Review of Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy, Volume 1. Key Finding and Recommendations(Washington, DC, 2009-07) World BankThe diagnostic review on consumer protection and financial literacy in Romania is the fourth in a World Bank-sponsored pilot program to assess consumer protection and financial literacy in developing and middle-income countries. The objective of this review are three-fold to: (1) refine a set of good practices for assessing consumer protection and financial literacy, including financial literacy; (2) conduct a review of the existing rules and practices in Romania compared to the good practices; and (3) provide recommendations on ways to improve consumer protection and financial literacy in Romania. The diagnostic review was prepared at the request of National Authority for Consumers Protection (ANPC), whose request was endorsed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Support was provided by the National Bank of Romania (BNR), which supervises banks and non-bank credit institutions. Further assistance was given by supervisory commissions for securities (CNVM), insurance (CSA) and private pensions (CSSPP). Volume one notes the importance of consumer protection and finical literacy, provides statistics on the size and growth of the retail financial sector in Romania, describes the EU and Romanian strategies on consumer protection and financial literacy, and sets out the key finding and recommendations of the review. Annex one lists all recommendation in the diagnostic review from both volumes and notes which recommendations relate to European Union (EU) Directives or European Commission (EC) recommendations and which are taken from the good practices annex two provides two sample consumer protection code: one for the banking securities, insurance and pensions sectors; and another for non-bank credit institutions. Annex three lists the key lawn and institutions related to financial consumer protection in Romania and annex four indicates which Romanian laws have incorporated the EU Directives on financial consumer protection. Volume two provides: (1) a detailed analysis of the key consumer protection issues in five segments of financial sector - banking, securities, insurance, private pensions, and non-bank credit intuitions; (2) an assessment of the Romanian consumer protection framework and practices compared to the template of good practices; and (4) a brief survey of financial literacy programs worldwide. PublicationRussian Federation : Diagnostic Review of Consumer Protection in Financial Services, Volume 1. Key Findings and Recommendations(Washington, DC, 2009-07) World BankThis paper is a pilot diagnostic review of consumer protection in financial services in the Russian Federation. The review examines financial services in Russia, but also emphasizes the need for a set of good practices, or benchmarks, for use in reviewing consumer protection in financial services in any jurisdiction. This work will prove helpful to the international community, and those in emerging markets. The review finds that most people in Russia do not consider themselves financially literate, and have little understanding of their rights as consumers. The review's objectives are to conduct a review of the existing rules and practices in Russia, compared to international good practices on consumer protection in financial services; provide recommendations on ways to improve consumer protection in financial services in Russia; and refine a set of good practices prepared by the World Bank for assessing consumer protection in financial services. As part of the conclusion, methods for better financial education for consumers, are provided PublicationCosta Rica : Competitiveness Diagnostic and Recommendations(World Bank, 2009-07-01) World BankCosta Rica is a clear success story. The country enjoys the highest standard of living in Central America and one of the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Not surprisingly, poverty levels are among the lowest in LAC. Indeed in 2004, Costa Rica had the second lowest poverty headcount in LAC with just nine percent of households below the US$2 poverty line. This report is a contribution to those efforts. Based on multiple data sources, it assesses the main obstacles that affect private sector growth in Costa Rica and provides policy options and targeted interventions for improving the business environment and increasing competitiveness, with the goal of achieving sustained and broad-based growth. In this regard, the main focus of the report is on the long-term instead of on cyclical issues. This report outlines a program to address the critical bottlenecks that hamper Costa Rica in diverse fields including infrastructure, technological innovation and quality, human capital, red tape, and access to credit. The result is a rich and encompassing agenda. The rest of the report is structured in the following way. In section two, the report diagnoses the principal obstacles to export growth and of competitiveness in Costa Rica. The diagnostics reveal four areas most in need of reform: infrastructure, human capital and innovation, business regulation, and access to finance. Sections three to six cover each of these areas. Finally, the report closes with a section on conclusions and recommendations. PublicationOrganization of Eastern Caribbean States - Increasing Linkages of Tourism with the Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Service Sectors(Washington, DC, 2008-09) World BankTourism has become the leading economic sector of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) islands, thus expanding linkages with the local economy seems crucial going forward. Tourism has replaced agriculture as the main economic driver within all the islands comprising the OECS. In the early 1990s, agriculture contributed nearly 12 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) overall; however by 2007 its share dropped to only 5 percent of GDP. Conversely, in the same year the tourism sector of these islands accounted for an estimated 45 percent of GDP, and around 60 percent of foreign exchange earnings, as a result of the more than 2.6 million tourists that visited these islands. This study analyzes the purchasing patterns and demand for agriculture, manufacturing and services by the tourism industry, both directly and indirectly, through a structured survey and in-depth interviews. A detailed survey covering 70 hotels, marinas, and other tourism operators analyzed the current purchasing pattern of agricultural and food products (13 categories from fruits to canned goods), services (12 categories, from legal support to flower arrangements), and manufactured goods (8 categories). From the supply side, 16 small and medium enterprises were surveyed on the obstacles they were facing for their development, and on their revenue and cost structures. Three different missions covered the 6 largest OECS islands, conducted over 80 interviews and included experts from the agricultural sector including Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Private Sector Development (PSD). Additionally, a value chain analysis evaluated the economics of key products. This combined approach provided an extensive source of data and information on linkages that was not available in the islands, as well as insights to improve them going forward. Overall, there seem to be interesting opportunities to increase linkages between tourism and other sectors of the OECS economies. Most hospitality operators, particularly hotels, demonstrate high willingness to increase the share of products and services purchased from local origin; and in addition, local suppliers of goods and services are willing to focus more their offer on the needs of the tourism industry. This study intended to provide some initial conclusions about specific economic activities and particular ways to increase such linkages in the agricultural and food, manufacturing, and services sectors. PublicationSouth Africa : Enhancing the Effectiveness of Government in Promoting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise(Washington, DC, 2007-02) World BankThis study focuses in particular on the question of whether incentives and support programs have: (a) been correctly targeted to address the diverse and specific needs of small, especially micro, enterprises; (b) been implemented efficiently by the responsible agencies in terms of their delivery and impact, and (c) have been effective in helping smaller firms access a wider market for their products and services. The findings of the micro-enterprise survey, the review of the various incentive programs and the value chain analyses indicate that: (a) among specific constraints faced by the small, micro and medium enterprises (SMME) sector, the skills gap and the issue of access to finance are of particular relevance; and (b) while the economic rationale that existed in 1995 for SMME support remains valid, there is a need to find cost-effective and well-targeted programs that meet that rationale. The issue of skills development, in particular, is central to the medium-term agenda as a means of raising productivity and, hence, employment in segments of industry - both in the formal and informal sectors. As regards the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) programs, there is a need to improve the effectiveness of promotion, strengthening selection criteria, and modulate the process of scaling up of individual programs. As regards other incentives, implementation of the Duty Credit Certification Scheme (DCCS) incentives has not been highly effective in ensuring the compliance of beneficiaries with the training and skills development requirements of the scheme; and this will need to be tightened up in the future. PublicationHow to Revitalize Infrastructure Investments in Brazil : Public Policies for Better Private Participation, Volume 2. Background Report(Washington, DC, 2007-01) World BankAmid a shifting policymaking environment from private to public, volume one of this report discusses how public policies could attract more and better private investments. In attracting back private capital, this report argues that Brazil must do three things. First, it must eliminate remaining regulatory bottlenecks and policy uncertainties in selected sectors. Secondly, design infrastructure concessions to avoid "excessive" renegotiations while simultaneously guaranteeing an adequate rate of return for investors and protecting consumers' welfare. And finally, strengthen the quality of the regulators for technically sound and coherent decision-making processes. Volume two is the background report and looks at infrastructure statistics in Brazil and international benchmarks, regulatory policy issues, contract negotiations, and gives conclusions and policy implications on these topics. PublicationHow to Revitalize Infrastructure Investments in Brazil : Public Policies for Better Private Participation, Volume 1. Main Report(Washington, DC, 2007-01) World BankAmid a shifting policymaking environment from private to public, volume one of this report discusses how public policies could attract more and better private investments. In attracting back private capital, this report argues that Brazil must do three things. First, it must eliminate remaining regulatory bottlenecks and policy uncertainties in selected sectors. Secondly, design infrastructure concessions to avoid "excessive" renegotiations while simultaneously guaranteeing an adequate rate of return for investors and protecting consumers' welfare. And finally, strengthen the quality of the regulators for technically sound and coherent decision-making processes. Volume two is the background report and looks at infrastructure statistics in Brazil and international benchmarks, regulatory policy issues, contract negotiations, and gives conclusions and policy implications on these topics. PublicationPakistan Labor Market Study : Regulation, Job Creation, and Skills Formation in the Manufacturing Sector(Washington, DC, 2006-09) World BankIn an effort to improve employment outcomes and industrial productivity, the Government of Pakistan (GoP) has launched a dual-track reform process involving broad-based overhaul of labor laws and institutions, and expansion and reform of the Vocational and Technical Training (VTT) system. Labor market regulation and laws are useful economic and social institutions designed to protect workers from undesirable consequences of market failure such as arbitrary or discriminatory actions by employers. They also help stabilize employment and household incomes against aggregate business cycles and shocks. Labor regulation is also an important element of society's instruments for the provision of social security and the maintenance of health, safety, and environmental standards in economic activities. Labor regulation in Pakistan is excessive by international standards, as can be seen from data on a number of indicators of labor market flexibility. All things considered, Pakistani industry and workers will seem to be better off with a more flexible labor market. The report analyzes the existing labor laws and institutions, along with the new draft laws, from this point of view. It also provides a review of the current VTT system and changes for it.