Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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  • 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.