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PublicationCreating Markets in Chile: A Stronger Private Sector for a More Productive and Inclusive Society - Country Private Sector Diagnostic(Washington, DC, 2022-06) International Finance CorporationChile has long had a strong private sector that has enjoyed an accommodating and supportive policy environment. The imperative of building a green, knowledge-based, inclusive economy will inevitably continue to rely on the private sector playing a potent role as a partner in development. In an environment constrained by lower growth and productivity, Chileans are demanding access to better opportunities and improved services. The current constitutional process is an opportunity to set the stage for the private sector to be a stronger partner in building a more inclusive society and an innovative, productive, and greener economy. For this to happen, this country private sector diagnostic (CPSD) argues that three avenues will be essential: enhancing productivity, building a knowledge-based economy through more support to innovation, and upgrading skills for greater inclusion and innovation. PublicationCreating Markets In Honduras: Fostering Private Sector Development for a Resilient and Inclusive Economy - Country Private Sector Diagnostic(Washington, DC, 2022-05) International Finance CorporationHonduras has significant investment potential, with ample productive resources, a solid industrial base, a market-oriented reform agenda, a strategic location with access to many international markets, and a growing labor force. The country’s young and growing population is yielding a demographic dividend, which presents new opportunities for economic growth and diversification, especially in the service sectors such as business-process outsourcing (BPO) and in development of digital financial services (DFS). Honduras’s rich endowment of resources and improving business climate have attracted rising levels of private investment, and the country achieved the second highest tradeto-GDP ratio in the Latin America and the Caribbean region prior to COVID-19 crisis. However, large-scale investment and trade have yet to generate rapid economic growth and robust poverty reduction. The public and private sectors will both play vital roles in Honduras’s economic recovery. Ongoing targeted support will be necessary to address the health and humanitarian consequences of the pandemic, mitigate the resulting increase in poverty and inequality, and support the resumption of economic activity. This Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) is designed to help guide Honduras’s private sector development agenda in this challenging and rapidly evolving context. 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. PublicationArgentina - Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Argentina : A Potential Engine for Economic Growth and Employment(Washington, DC, 2002-08) World BankThe convertibility law, and economic liberalization in the early 1990s in Argentina, brought about dramatic changes in economic performance. To adjust to increasing globalization, and a series of external shocks, small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) were confronted with the task of developing business strategies to secure their niches in the new arena. However, such strategies were obstructed by constraints in the legal, and economic framework, weak information and technology aspects, and insufficient access to finance. The report builds on the following issues: 1) the critical aspect of the SME sector to the Argentine economy, both from a growth/efficiency, and equity standpoint; yet on average, SMEs have failed to attain their potential; 2) the highly heterogeneous configuration, particular organizational, and technological characteristics of SMEs; 3) the high degree of institutional rigidity of the country's business environment; 4) the need to develop policy actions to deepen financial markets for SMEs; 5) the significant knowledge constraints - by and large, no training nor technical assistance services are available, mainly because of high costs; 6) the striking multiplicity of SME programs, yet with uncertain impact; and, 7) the need to overhaul SME policies, and programs to prod more incentive- and demand-driven approaches. Elements for effective SMEs assistance programs include the development of a standard set of metrics to measure performance of SMEs, and, entrepreneurial management, deemed of critical importance. As well, cost recovery growth should be targeted, extensively using follow-up techniques, and leveraging their effectiveness through the use of information, and communications technology. Most importantly, the policy challenge lies in taking initiatives to develop institutions at the national, and local levels, to encourage transition from inward-looking firms, narrow search routines, and information-poor markets, to learning-oriented firms, and mature, information-rich markets.