Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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  • Publication
    Creating Markets in Botswana - A Diamond in the Rough: Toward a New Strategy for Diversification and Private Sector Growth - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-06) International Finance Corporation
    Diamonds have been at the center of Botswana’s growth miracle for decade - but the urgency to diversify is stronger than ever. Although Botswana’s economy has undergone transformation over the past decades, the shift has been largely into non-tradable services, with limited gains in employment, income equality, and export diversification. In addition, Botswana’s high vulnerability to climate change, which affects all major sectors of the economy, underscores the need to strengthen Botswana’s response to climate factors as a basis for renewed, sustainable growth. A positive growth outlook and steps taken as part of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis response should give the government new impetus to accelerate reforms. Success in diversifying the economy will depend on the decisive implementation of structural measures to increase private sector participation in nonmineral exports and transformative sectors. The dominant role that the government of Botswana still plays in large parts of the economy, particularly through its footprint as a shareholder in companies in the corporate sector, is a critical constraint that inhibits the entry and success of private sector participants. Gaps in infrastructure, access to finance, and skills are additional key constraints to employment and productivity growth. A coordinated approach to financing entrepreneurship and policies to increase uptake of digital finance can help close the gap. Trade barriers are another key cross-cutting constraint for the private sector, and a greener path for the economy can be unlocked by facilitating improved trade in environmental goods and services (EGS). Three key recommendations for the energy sector are as follows. The first recommendation is the fast tracking of instruments to facilitate investment in energy infrastructure development, including independent power producer (IPP) licensing, and procurement guidelines and processes. The second recommendation is the enhancement of the institutional capacity and governance model of the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA). The third recommendation is the development of credit-enhancement and risk-mitigation strategies and supporting instruments to attract and mobilize private sector investment.
  • 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
    Paths of Productivity Growth in Poland: A Firm-Level Perspective
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-10-31) World Bank
    After a long period of economic transformation that included introducing a series of market-oriented reforms and joining the European Union (EU), Poland was one of the fastest-growing economies in the world by 2020. This report investigates differences in productivity dynamics across economic segments and attempts to derive policy recommendations to improve the Polish economy’s productivity performance. First, the authors estimate firm-level total factor productivity (TFP), compute labor productivity indices, and analyze the main productivity patterns between 2009 and 2019. Second, the authors decompose aggregate productivity performance into the within, between, and net entry components using the Melitz Polanec decomposition method to understand the underlying response behind the observed productivity growth in Polish sectors and industries. The efficiency of resource allocation (measured by the between effect) worsened over time in manufacturing and was responsible for the sector’s productivity slowdown while allocative efficiency gains improved productivity performance in construction and services. To boost Polish productivity, the empirical evidence provided in the report indicates certain areas for policy actions as well as a few directions for necessary further investigation.
  • Publication
    Reforming Business Registration in Greece: A Case Study
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-09-13) Conserva, Nicolas; Zanelli, Alessio; Muco, Sagita
    This case study explores the reforms of the business registration process implemented in Greece since 2005. It identifies lessons that can be valuable for public servants and policymakers in other countries, especially those who are considering reforming their business registration systems. The case study can also be useful to Greek policymakers and practitioners as they reform other areas of the business environment. In 2004, Greek entrepreneurs had to complete several procedures and go through a burdensome court-based process to register a business. Research suggests that streamlining business registration has the potential to support entrepreneurship, encourage the creation of new firms, and reduce informality, but of course needs to be considered in the backdrop of the broader business climate. From this perspective, establishing one-stop shops facilitates the registration of firms, which may be deterred by complex entry regulations.
  • 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
    Creating Markets in Kenya: Unleashing Private Sector Dynamism to Achieve Full Potential
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2019-07-31) International Finance Corporation
    Kenya has the opportunities and resources to stimulate sustainable economic growth and development, but its potential has been constrained by under-investment and low firm-level productivity. Altogether, its development has not been sufficiently sustainable or equitable to transform the lives of ordinary citizens. Poverty remains high, with thirty-six percent of Kenyans living under the national poverty line, whereas the richest ten percent of the population receive forty percent of the nation’s income. This country private sector diagnostic (CPSD) sheds light on how the private sector can more effectively contribute to advancing the country’s developmental goals. Applying a sectoral lens, it puts forward operational recommendations highlighting strategic entry points for diversification and growth and addresses key constraints to private sector engagement. It also seeks to inform World Bank and IFC strategies, paving the way for joint programming to create markets and unlock private sector potential.
  • Publication
    Creating Markets in Burkina Faso: Growing Burkina Faso’s Private Sector and Harnessing it to Bolster Economic Resilience
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2019-07-01) World Bank; International Finance Corporation
    A small landlocked economy in the heart of West Africa’s French-speaking Sahel, Burkina Faso is characterized by its modest economic size, with a rapid population growth, with one of the highest per capita birth rates in the world. Burkina Faso needs to create 300,000 jobs annually to match its demographic growth, while about ninety percent of its workers are in the informal sector. Despite sustained robust economic growth over the past two decades driven by cotton and gold exports, private investment is low. Compounding the considerable development challenges that it faces, Burkina Faso is currently confronted by acute security and climatic threats, together with emerging fiscal risks. This country private sector diagnostic (CPSD) therefore investigates whether opportunities exist for the private sector to contribute more substantially to Burkina Faso’s development. The CPSD proposes a platform for action aimed at boosting Burkina Faso’s development through greater private sector investment. The remainder of the report provides an overview of: (i) the private sector environment; (ii) the cross-cutting constraints to the private sector; (iii) the critical enabling sector bottlenecks to the private sector; (iv) the opportunities for the private sector; and (v) a series of priority private sector focused recommendations.
  • Publication
    Creating Markets in Morocco: A Second Generation of Reforms - Boosting Private Sector Growth, Job Creation and Skills Upgrading
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2019-06-01) International Finance Corporation; World Bank
    Morocco has steered significant resources towards large investments in economic sectors identified as strategic to growth, and for increased productivity and value addition. Despite Morocco’s strikingly high investment rate, one of the highest in the world at an average of thirty-four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) annually since the mid-2000s, the returns in economic growth, job creation and productivity, have been disappointing. The Moroccan economy has performed particularly poorly in terms of job creation. A more vibrant private sector is needed to create more jobs. This CPSD identifies policy recommendations and investment opportunities that would foster job creation by the formal private sector and improve labor supply in skills that would anchor Morocco as an emerging economy, to continue its path of growth, and to move into higher value-added and innovative sectors.
  • Publication
    Yemen Bringing Back Business Project: Risky Business - Impact of Conflict on Private Enterprises
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Sofan, Sami A
    Escalating in March 2015, the conflict spanning across Yemen has resulted in massive casualties, a wave of internally displaced persons, substantial infrastructure damage, and hampered service delivery across both the economy and society. The business climate across Yemen has dramatically deteriorated as a result of the conflict, and businesses throughout the country experienced severe disruptions that for many firms constituted a force majeure situation, hindering their ability to either operate effectively or plan ahead for the future. Addressing these challenges requires substantial effort by the GoY and the international community to support the resilience of the private sector and prevent its further deterioration and losses. The loss of private sector wealth and activity of this magnitude is part and parcel to the food insecurity, poverty, public health issues, and defunct service provision that plagues the war-fatigued population. As such, both in the future post-conflict setting and at present, engaging and revitalizing the Yemeni private sector is a crucial and indispensable step towards the successful reconstruction and recovery of Yemen, and the long-term well-being of the population.
  • Publication
    Creating Markets in Ethiopia: Sustaining Progress Towards Industrialization
    (International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC, 2019-03-20) World Bank; International Finance Corporation
    Ethiopia has made impressive strides along its developmental path. Job creation is now the critical development challenge, raising the importance of the private sector agenda. After more than a decade of sustained public sector-led growth, the government is revising its growth strategy to allow for a much greater role for the private sector in driving growth and job creation. Broadening the base for job creation beyond light manufacturing toward a wider range of high productivity agricultural and services activities will help to overcome the uneven spatial distribution of manufacturing jobs across the country. Ethiopia has a number of advantages that it can leverage to attract the investment needed for job creation. These include rapidly improving transport and energy infrastructure, low labor costs, a large and growing domestic market, cheap power, an ideal climate, and preferential market access to the European Union, the United States, and other major markets. The purpose of the Ethiopia country private sector diagnostic (CPSD) is to support the transition to a private sector- driven growth model that advances the country’s development objectives and, in particular, delivers the necessary jobs. It identifies investment opportunities that can materialize in the short term, and the reforms that are needed to enable these opportunities to emerge. It also discusses how specific actions by the public sector, in collaboration with the private sector, in filling gaps in public investment, reforming business regulations and trade policy, addressing market failures, and enhancing the efficiency of key backbone services and sectors, while tackling gender inequalities, can fully unleash the potential of private sector investment.