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PublicationCreating Markets in Fiji: Overview and Summary of Key Findings from Sector Deep Dives - Country Private Sector Diagnostic(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-05) International Finance CorporationThis Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) comes at a challenging yet opportune juncture for Fiji to rebuild a more diverse and resilient economy amid the lingering impacts of COVID-19. Fiji recorded its strongest period of gross domestic product (GDP) growth (since achieving independence in 1970) in the decade leading up to COVID-19, underpinned by rising productivity and investment, improved political stability, and a booming tourism sector. However, the shocks of COVID-19 and a series of natural disasters, Tropical Cyclone (TC) Harold and TC Yasa, have been devastating for Fiji’s economy, bringing widespread production disruptions and job losses. The increasing frequency of these weather events has also complicated Fiji’s economic development strategy and plans. Fiji’s real GDP declined by 15.2 percent in 2020 and is estimated to have contracted a further 4.0 percent in 2021, with the long-term ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy yet to be fully seen. These shocks have also exacerbated some of Fiji’s long-standing structural vulnerabilities, including the economy being vulnerable to repeated climate-related shocks, its lack of sectoral diversification, and sluggish private sector job growth (particularly among youth and women). In this context, the CPSD approach for Fiji to ‘build back better’ revolves around four key interrelated pillars: (1) unlocking new sectoral sources of growth beyond tourism; (2) strengthening economic and climate resilience; (3) leveraging Fiji’s potential as an economic hub in the Pacific region; and (4) creating inclusive employment opportunities. PublicationBusiness Registration Reforms in China: A Case Study(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) Wei, Wenting; Sanchez Ortega, Luis AldoIn the past, the business registration system in China was complicated and market access was highly restricted and regulated. The business registration process focused too much on administrative approvals for market entry and not enough on oversight of firm activities. Firms are not allowed to start operations before being registered and receiving a business license and the business license is the only document indicating a firm’s legal identity. Before the 2014 business reform initiative, firms were also legally required to obtain various registration certificates in addition to a business license. People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) has been making a great effort to simplify its business registration process, enhance its efficiency, and reduce its cost. China has reduced both the amount of time and the number of procedures required to start a business by more than two thirds within the past decade.In 2014, China launched a country-wide multi-year National Business System Reform Initiative to ease market access, making it easier to start a business by streamlining administrative procedures, while strengthening post-registration supervision by setting up the corporate social credit system. China has made remarkable progress to reform its business registration system over the past decade, cutting the number of procedures to register a business by more than two-thirds, and shortening time to register from 34 days in 2014 to 9 days in 2020. PublicationVietnam: Science, Technology, and Innovation Report 2020(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021) World BankThe 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. PublicationThailand Manufacturing Firm Productivity Report(World Bank, Bangkok, 2020-06-17) World BankThailand 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. PublicationMalaysia’s Experience with the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Masterplan: Lessons Learned(World Bank, Malaysia, 2020-02) World Bank GroupProductivity-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. PublicationEnhancing Competition Conditions and Competitiveness of Philippine Domestic Shipping(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-09) World Bank GroupFor 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. PublicationPolicy Options for Liberalizing Philippine Maritime Cabotage Restrictions(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-07) World Bank GroupThe 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. PublicationFrom Technological Catch-up to Innovation : The Future of China’s GDP Growth(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-01-02) Yusuf, ShahidThis report stats that income gaps among countries are largely explained by differences in productivity. By raising the capital/labor ratio and rapidly assimilating technologies across a wide range of activities, China has increased factor productivity manifold since 1980 and joined the ranks of middle income countries. With the launch of the 12th FYP, China has set its sights on becoming a high income country by 2030 through a strategy combining high levels of investment with rapid advances in technology comparable to that of Japan from the 1960s through the 1970s, and Korea s from the 1980s through the end of the century. The report concludes that the best bet is an innovation system anchored to and drawing its energy from a competitive national economy. Technological progress and the flourishing of innovation in China will be the function of a competitive, globally networked ecosystem constructed in two stages during 2011- 2030. Government technology cum competition policies will provide impetus in the first stage, but success will hinge on the quality of the workforce, the initiative and policies of firms, the emergence of supporting services. PublicationChina : Integration of National Product and Factor Markets, Economic Benefits and Policy Recommendations(Washington, DC, 2005-06) World BankLack of market integration has been a long-standing concern in China. The existing empirical evidence on the degree and trend in local protectionism and market fragmentation, has painted a mixed picture - some concluding to increasing fragmentation, others pointing at increasing integration. This report uses a comprehensive set of survey data, and a provincial data set to examine the extent and trends in market fragmentation. It finds mixed results across the three key markets in product, labor and capital: Since the early 1990s, the product market is increasingly integrating, with converging prices across the country, and increasing regional specialization. The survey data suggests strongly that regional protectionism declined significantly over the past 10 years. The labor market, while getting more integrated over the reform period, still shows significant fragmentation across regions and across sectors. The remains of the hukou system, the limited access migrants have to social services, and the highly uneven quality of public services reinforce labor market segmentations. The capital markets still show large misallocations in capital across industries, and across China's regions. More significantly, the empirical evidence indicates that the degree of capital market fragmentation has actually increased in the 1990s compared to the 1980s. As China is moving towards a Xiaokang Society, national market integration takes on increasing prominence. Indeed, the gains for China of better integration of goods and factor markets can be huge - much larger than the gains expected from the World Trade Organization (WTO) accession for which the country worked so hard. The report conducts policy simulations to estimate these gains. The report also estimates the economic gains from greater financial market integration. It conducts a simulation by changing the long standing urban bias policy through the movement of investment from cities to rural areas, while keeping the total amount investment constant. As a continental economy, it is time China starts its own determined effort to more rapidly integrate its markets, to maximize efficiency and growth, and ensure that the welfare gains get distributed more evenly across the nation. PublicationIndonesia : Private Sector Development Strategy(Washington, DC, 2001-01-04) World BankThe report reviews the Bank's private sector development strategy in Indonesia, stipulating that the country's potential will not be realized without a pattern of private sector activity, - different from the past - but, taking the opportunity offered by the crisis to make fundamental changes in the business environment, and in how business is conducted. The first priority calls for the banking, and corporate sectors to speed up the resolution of corporate debt, and ease financial flows for investment, and working capital to resume. Second, the structural inefficiencies, partly conducive to the crisis, and to its long lasting effect, need to be overcome; therefore, reforms should enable Indonesia to become a modern market economy, able to avoid future crises. This encompasses fighting corruption in the public administration, ensuring the rule of law through the court system, reinforcing property rights, and dispute resolution mechanisms, and, ensuring transparency and corporate governance. Third, broad-based, and sustainable economic growth need to be ensured by measures such as removal of obstacles to small, and medium enterprise (SME) activity, as well as SME development promotion, including physical, and social infrastructure building. Finally, the creation of an infrastructure, and regulatory framework to take full advantage of new information/communications technologies, is paramount.