Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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Malaysia’s Experience with the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Masterplan: Lessons Learned

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.

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Poland Structural Policies for Competitiveness: Position Paper for Regulatory Policy

2018-08-01, World Bank Group

Regulatory policy is essential for economic growth and social welfare. Regulations are the rules set by the state to govern the daily life of citizens and businesses. Regulatory policy, the prerogative to establish these rules, is a key lever of state power. Poland has made progress in improving the quality of its regulatory processes, but important challenges remain. High quality regulations are essential for a sound legal framework based on certitude, legality, and transparency. The strategy for responsible development (SRD) recognizes the importance of regulation to stimulate economic activity in Poland. As the main policy document for economic transformation, the SRD identifies shortcomings in the current development model and makes proposals on how to address them. The strategy offers a good starting point to identify areas in which the World Bank could engage with the Government of Poland to further support the efforts to strengthen a sound regulatory environment for business. This position paper aims at: (i) assessing some of the current efforts made by the Government of Poland in terms of regulatory policy, particularly affecting business; and (ii) identifying areas of potential engagement between the World Bank and the Government of Poland.

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Shifting Kenya's Private Sector into Higher Gear: A Trade and Competitiveness Agenda

2016-04-01, World Bank Group

Shifting Kenya’s private sector into higher gear: a trade and competitiveness agenda’ was born out of the World Bank’s Trade and Competitiveness (T&C) Global Practice recent stock taking of its work in Kenya. This was part of a Programmatic Approach that aimed to organize T&C’s knowledge, advisory, and convening services to address Kenya’s development challenges in the private sector space. By Sub-Saharan African standards, Kenya has a large private sector, which accounts for around 70 percent of total formal employment. As a result, the dynamics of the private sector are a key determinant of the trajectory of the Kenyan economy. The country’s product market regulations a restrictive for domestic competitors and foreign entrants, and the actions of cartels and behavior of dominant firms across sectors undermines competition and hurts consumers. The Kenyan Government recognizes these challenges and has invested significantly in unlocking these bottlenecks with impressive results so far and several important laws passed. Additional efforts to ease regulatory constraints and expedite important legislative changes could improve the investment climate at national and county levels.

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Czech Republic: Assessment of the SME Policy Mix

2019-10-01, World Bank Group

This report provides an assessment of the policies devoted to supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Czech Republic. It presents an original analysis of all national-level SME-related policy instruments, totaling 93 instruments operational from 2013 to 2017 and disbursing 108.5 billion CZK (4.71 billion USD), using an analytical framework that compares the SME policy mix to the country needs (see Annex 1 for framework and methodology). The analysis integrates three interrelated segments: 1) A country needs assessment to determine the national needs for SME policies. The needs assessment included a macro-level analysis of the Czech Republic's performance in productivity and trade; an analysis of national- and firm-level innovation performance; a firm-level analysis of productivity across firm sizes, sectors, and regions (leveraging original data from the Czech statistics office); and an analysis of market and institutional conditions that influence resource allocation and firm productivity. 2) A policy mix analysis to determine if the Czech Republic's SME policy mix matches the needs identified in the country needs assessment. The policy mix analysis included a review of relevant SME policy stakeholders, institutions, and governance; a review of national-level strategies; identification of the characteristics of SME policies instruments (administering agency, mechanism of support, beneficiaries, etc).; and a cluster analysis to evaluate the internal consistency of the policy mix and identify overlaps. 3) Recommended areas for policy action were developed using the needs assessment and policy mix analysis to improve the effectiveness of the policy mix and the business environment.

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Creating Markets in Ghana: Country Private Sector Diagnostic

2017-11, World Bank Group

The objective of the Ghana Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) is to identify the main opportunities for the private sector that will have a strong development impact in Ghana and to highlight the key constraints (both cross-cutting and sector-specific) hampering private sector growth. The CPSD consists of a systematic assessment of all of Ghana’s economic sectors along two dimensions: (a) desirability: how private investments in these sectors could help Ghana to address its development challenges; and (b) expected feasibility: how the constraints standing in the way could be removed. This sector scan led to identification seven priority sectors, of which, three were selected to conduct deep dive studies: namely agribusiness, ICT and education.Four main opportunities exist for the private sector to make a major contribution by creating markets in Ghana. First, the private sector can help to develop new high-value export markets, such as horticulture and ICT-enabled services, in which Ghana is already well positioned. Second, the private sector can leverage ICT to improve the performance of Ghana’s most important sectors, including for improving government activities and services. Third, the private sector can help to promote efficiency and innovation in the key social sectors of education and health. Fourth, the private sector can play an important role in helping to address the main cross-cutting constraints, such as facilitating trade, providing competitive green energy, opening rural land markets, developing technical skills, and financing promising small and medium enterprises (SMEs).There are fewer opportunities for transformative private sector investments in the other sectors (mining, tourism, retail, construction, water and sanitation, and manufacturing).Ghana can seize these opportunities through a mix of public and private interventions:The government should pursue essential economic reforms to resolve the energy crisis by reforming the regulatory framework for electricity tariffs; facilitating trade, through customs reforms and the Ghana Community Network Systems;These reforms would pave the way for the private sector to invest in projects with a high development impact, including through large firms. Such opportunities already exist in Ghana in the three priority sectors of ICT, agribusiness and education that are reviewed in this report.The government should also consider supporting the entry of ‘pioneer’ investors, which are often in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI).Supporting promising SMEs will also be critical, especially during their acceleration phase.This could be achieved through a combination of public financing and capacity building, technical support adapted to the sector in which they operate, and risk-sharing and mezzanine finance facilities. Similar to the pioneer investors, such support should be provided in an inclusive, transparent and competitive manner. Examples of promising SMEs were found in all three deep-dive sectors.

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The Untapped Potential of Mauritania’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Lessons from the Entrepreneur's Marathon

2019-08, World Bank Group

In Mauritania – a country dominated by the Sahara Desert and defined by tradition – players from across society are coming together to encourage innovation and set a new path for the country's development. From the public sector to local and international businesses, as well as the donor community, entrepreneurship is beginning to emerge as a crucial element in any strategy to address Mauritania's greatest challenges: socio-economic inclusion, poverty reduction, youth employment, economic diversification and climate change. Since independence, the country has pursued a traditional state-driven model that has failed to catalyze the necessary investments and private sector-driven solutions to these problems. Due to structural limitations of competition in the economy, the country's private sector is a concentration of large business groups that dominate the trade, banking and procurement markets. New entrants are crowded out, with formal micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Mauritania numbering a mere 3,000. Informal self-employment and micro-businesses in agriculture, livestock and commerce currently make up the vast majority of jobs among the poorest households in Mauritania. Smaller independent firms continue to encounter obstacles, discouraging the emergence of local suppliers and directly impacting international investors who face higher operating costs. Poor quality in education and professional training reinforce these challenges, limiting job opportunities even in expanding sectors in the economy. A lack of expertise and practical skills are compounded by complex labor regulations, making it even harder for businesses to recruit and retain young job-seeking Mauritanians.

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Creating Markets in Kazakhstan: Country Private Sector Diagnostic

2017-11, World Bank Group

The first section identifies the overlaps between Kazakhstan's development objectives and the goals of IFC's new strategy of creating markets for the private sector. Kazakhstan's development objectives are to increase diversification, employment, and productivity. These are based on the government's 2030 Strategy and 2020 Plan, as well as World Bank Group (WBG) country assessments. Operationalizing the IFC 3.0 strategy requires identifying the markets with the greatest potential to help meet these objectives. The approach amounts to: (a) identifying those sectors with the greatest market potential which, if realized, would have the greatest impact on development objectives; (b) providing an assessment of what is preventing the realization of market potential; and (c) indicating the IFC and WB activities that should be the top priorities to help meet this double bottom-line of development impact and market creation. The assessment in the second section indicates that the sectors with the greatest unrealized development and market potential are food-grains, meat and poultry, and cross-Kazakhstan transport and logistics. The market potential assessment relies on quantitative tools (multiplier models, product space and competitiveness benchmarking), expert interviews and a survey of policy reports. The assessment in the second section indicates that the sectors with the greatest unrealized development and market potential are food-grains, meat and poultry, and cross-Kazakhstan transport and logistics. The market potential assessment relies on quantitative tools (multiplier models, product space and competitiveness benchmarking), expert interviews and a survey of policy reports. The last section summarizes the priority horizontal reforms, sector-specific policies, and promising sectors with the potential for expansion and greater firm entry. The first part of this section is intended to inform the high-level dialogue between WBG management and Kazakhstani authorities. The second part is essentially the sector-wide measures without which private sector investments will not be forthcoming, recognizing that the aim is to create markets and expand private sector development. The third part identifies promising areas where private sector actors could play a catalytic role, recognizing the ease of playing such roles differs by sector: it is greatest for grains, somewhat less for meat, and least for transport and logistics.