Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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    Private Participation in Public Transport in the FSU
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-04-01) Gwilliam, Kenneth M.
    This paper describes and analyses the growth of private sector participation in public transport supply in the countries in the Former Soviet Union in which the World Bank has had recent sector involvement. This includes Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz S.R. and Turkmenistan. While this does not covers only 7 out of the 15 independent states comprising the former, this sample of countries accounts for over 96 percent of the land area and 85 percent of the population of the FSU. It also includes a wide spectrum of countries in terms of size, reform philosophy and income levels. The region only contains two megacities with populations in excess of 5 million (Moscow and St. Petersburg) but has many cities in the range of 0.5 to 2.0 million. Privately owned buses already carry the majority of bus passengers in Russian secondary cities and in Kyrgyzstan, probably about half in Uzbekistan, and a growing proportion in all other countries except turkmenistanstan. In Kazakhstan, where some of the competing companies still have majority state ownership the process of privatization is likely to be taken to completion in the near future. That trend, which merely reflects the ownership structure trends world wide is unlikely to be reversed. Only in Latvia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine is there strong resistance to this trend. But that is not to say that the current situation is stable or sustainable. The threats to that sustainable development can be grouped either by country or by issues.