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Yemen - Connecting the Yemeni Private Sector to the World

2024-03-25, World Bank

This Private Sector Assessment Report on the Republic of Yemen is delivered as part of the Private Sector Technical Assistance project. The goal of the project is to understand the dynamics of the country’s private sector during conflict; identify constraints to trade, investment, and finance; and propose recommendations for inclusive private sector entry, survival, and growth. The report also includes an overview of the financial sector’s impact on the private sector, especially on the latter’s resilience during conflict. Finally, the report provides structural and policy recommendations that, once implemented by the authorities on both national and subnational levels, would prepare the Yemeni private sector to participate in the country’s post-conflict recovery and reconstruction.

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The Business Case for Investing in Women’s Employment in Iraq: Company Insight - Ashur International Bank for Investment - Advancing Women in Business Leadership & Management Banking/ Financial Sector, Iraq

2022, International Finance Corporation, World Bank

In Iraq, women are generally absent from senior management and leadership positions, with an estimated representation of just 1 percent - even lower than the regional average. Women also account for more than half of the financial sector’s workforce, owing in part to government directives to appoint more females within Iraqi banks. In 2018, with International Finance Corporation (IFC) assistance, the Central Bank of Iraq required that every Iraqi bank’s board of directors should include at least one woman. Many private banks in Iraq are currently developing modern banking practices, with several of them prioritizing gender diversity in leadership positions. This company insight explores the experience of one such Iraqi bank, Ashur International Bank for Investment (Ashur Bank), which has been a pioneer for private banks in recruiting and promoting women to management positions. In Ashur Bank’s experience, these policies have improved the company’s performance, driven economic growth and profitability, and improved innovation. The sample size however is not statistically significant and cannot be used to draw definite conclusions but rather provides anecdotal evidence on the topic of this study.

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Driving Growth from the Ground Up

2019-10-07, Malpass, David

David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, spoke about the urgency of growth in developing countries. He discussed innovations in digital financial services that provide secure systems to allow poor people to electronically receive remittances, foreign aid, and social safety-net payments as well as their earnings. He cautioned about the slow global growth, and it's paramount that countries carry out well-designed structural reforms to ignite domestic growth. He highlighted on the importance of a clear analysis and understanding of a country's laws and regulations and a path of reforms or catalytic investments that will expand the private sector. Finally, he concluded by saying that World Bank Group won’t give up on its main goal of reducing extreme poverty.

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Mobilizing the Middle East and North Africa Diaspora for Economic Integration and Entrepreneurship

2016-12, Malouche, Mariem Mezghenni, Salsac, Fanny

This paper advocates for the need to rally the MENA professional and skilled diaspora. It discusses the findings of a unique outreach exercise to the MENA diaspora and provides policy recommendations. First, the paper highlights the linkages between the diaspora and trade, investment, and knowledge transfer based on the literature and concrete examples. Second, it describes the outreach and the profile of the diaspora members surveyed. Third, it presents the main findings of the survey of the MENA diaspora in four areas: (i) overall engagement, (ii) appetite for investment, (iii) trade, and (iv) the role of institutions. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.

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Morocco Country Climate and Development Report

2022-10, World Bank Group

Climate change poses a serious threat to Morocco’s economic growth and human potential but with the right investments and policies in place, a more sustainable future is possible. A new World Bank diagnostic tool, The Country Climate and Development Report explores the linkages between climate and development and identifies priority actions to build resilience and reduce carbon emissions, while supporting economic growth and reducing poverty. The Morocco climate report identifies three priority areas – tackling water scarcity and droughts; enhancing resilience to floods; and decarbonizing the economy. The report also looks at the cross-cutting issues of financing, governance, and equity. The underlying message in the report is that if Morocco invests in climate action now and takes the appropriate policy measures, the benefits will be immense. Ambitious climate actions will help to revitalize rural areas, create new jobs and position the Kingdom as a green industrial hub, while also helping Morocco to reach its broader development goals. The report identifies key pathways to decarbonize the economy, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and massively deploying solar and wind power. The report estimates that total investment needed to put Morocco firmly on a resilient and low carbon pathway by the 2050s would be around $78 billion in present dollar value. The good news is that these investments could be gradual and that with the appropriate policies in place, the private sector could shoulder much of the cost.

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Women, Business and the Law 2021

2021-02-23, World Bank

Women, Business and the Law 2021 is the seventh in a series of annual studies measuring the laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunity in 190 economies. The project presents eight indicators structured around women’s interactions with the law as they move through their lives and careers: Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension. This year’s report updates all indicators as of October 1, 2020 and builds evidence of the links between legal gender equality and women’s economic inclusion. By examining the economic decisions women make throughout their working lives, as well as the pace of reform over the past 50 years, Women, Business and the Law 2021 makes an important contribution to research and policy discussions about the state of women’s economic empowerment. Prepared during a global pandemic that threatens progress toward gender equality, findings on government responses to COVID-19 and pilot research related to childcare and women’s access to justice.

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Remarks from World Bank Group President David Malpass at the G20 Leaders Summit

2019-06-29, Malpass, David

These remarks were delivered by David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, at the G20 Leaders Summit held in Osaka, Japan. He spoke about how giving women better access to economic opportunities is critical to eliminate differences in living standards between men and women. He highlighted We-Fi which is so important and how the Bank was proud to celebrate its two-year anniversary in Osaka. He spoke about the developing countries and the Bank's role in actively identifying changes in the private sector environment that will attract investment and enable higher living standards and better lives. He explained the Bank's work in fragile states, such as the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, to help countries build stronger foundations so that young people are more able to stay rather than seeking to immigrate. He discussed reducing inequality and realizing inclusive and sustainable growth around the world, and how addressing these requires jobs, education, healthcare, attention to the environment, and robust commerce and trade among neighbors and nations. He concluded by saying that the Bank would continue to work with all the nations on these challenges.

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Unlocking Sustainable Private Sector Growth in the Middle East and North Africa: Evidence from the Enterprise Survey

2022, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank

Economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been weak since the global financial crisis of 2007-09 and the Arab Spring of the early 2010s. Achieving higher and sustainable growth is particularly important in view of other economic challenges facing the region: public debt in MENA countries has increased considerably over the last decade, accompanied by declining investment. This report seeks to understand what lies beneath that relatively slow growth, with a particular focus on the reasons for stagnating productivity and inadequate accumulation of human capital and physical capital in the region’s private sector. To this end, the report summarizes the main findings from nine background papers based on enterprise survey data. It also draws conclusions for policy, not only for promoting stronger firm performance, but also for addressing the challenge of climate change by pursuing sustainable growth.

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World Development Report 2020: Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains

2020, World Bank

Global value chains (GVCs) powered the surge of international trade after 1990 and now account for almost half of all trade. This shift enabled an unprecedented economic convergence: poor countries grew rapidly and began to catch up with richer countries. Since the 2008 global financial crisis, however, the growth of trade has been sluggish and the expansion of GVCs has stalled. Meanwhile, serious threats have emerged to the model of trade-led growth. New technologies could draw production closer to the consumer and reduce the demand for labor. And conflicts among large countries could lead to a retrenchment or a segmentation of GVCs. This book examines whether there is still a path to development through GVCs and trade. It concludes that technological change is, at this stage, more a boon than a curse. GVCs can continue to boost growth, create better jobs, and reduce poverty provided that developing countries implement deeper reforms to promote GVC participation; industrial countries pursue open, predictable policies; and all countries revive multilateral cooperation.

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Privilege-Resistant Policies in the Middle East and North Africa: Measurement and Operational Implications

2018-02-12, Mahmood, Syed Akhtar, Slimane, Meriem Ait Ali

Renewing the social contract, one of the pillars of the new World Bank Group strategy for the Middle East and North Africa, requires a new development model built on greater trust; openness, transparency, inclusive and accountable service delivery; and a stronger private sector that can create jobs and opportunities for the youth of the region. Recent analytic work trying to explain weak job creation and insufficient private sector dynamism in the region point to formal and informal barriers to entry and competition. These barriers privilege a few (often unproductive) incumbents who enjoy a competition-edge due to their connections or ability to influence policy making and delivery. Policy recommendations to date in the field of governance for private sector policymaking have been too general and too removed from concrete, actionable policy outcomes. This report proposes -for the first time- to fill this policy and operational gap by answering the following question: What good governance features should be instilled in the design of economic policies and institutions to help shield them from capture, discretion and arbitrary implementation? The report proposes an innovative conceptual and measurement framework that encapsulates the governance features that could shield policies from capture, discretion and arbitrary enforcement that limits competition. The report offers a menu of operational and technical entry-points to enhance privilege-resistant policy making in a concrete way, that is politically tractable in different country contexts.