Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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  • Publication
    Creating 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 Corporation
    This 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.
  • Publication
    Business Registration Reforms in China: A Case Study
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) Wei, Wenting; Sanchez Ortega, Luis Aldo
    In 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.
  • Publication
    Vietnam: Science, Technology, and Innovation Report 2020
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 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.
  • Publication
    Thailand Manufacturing Firm Productivity Report
    (World Bank, Bangkok, 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.
  • Publication
    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.