Person:
Coulibaly, Souleymane

Central Africa Unit, Africa Region, The World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Macroeconomic and structural policies, Growth diagnostics, Fiscal policy
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ORCID
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Central Africa Unit, Africa Region, The World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Souleymane Coulibaly, from Cote d'Ivoire, holds a double Ph.D. degree in International Trade and Economic Geography from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (France) and the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). His publications and ongoing research deal with the impact of geography on firms’ location, trade flows and regional integration. He was a co-author of 2009 World Development Report "Reshaping Economic Geography", contributed to the 2005 Global Economic Prospect report on regionalism, and recently published the book “Eurasian Cities: New Realities along the Silk Road” in the ECA regional studies series. He is the Program Leader and Lead Economist for Central Africa. He joined the World Bank Africa Region in January 2014 from the Operation and Policy and Quality Unit (OPCS) where he was covering Development Policy Lending and Guarantee policies and operations, and represented the unit in the Non-Concessional Borrowing Policy committee. Before OPCS, he was in the Eastern and Central Asia (ECA) region working simultaneously as trade economist and country economist of some former Soviet countries (Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), as well as ECA regional trade coordinator. Before joining the World Bank as a Young Professional in September 2006, he used to be lecturer at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Statistiques et d’Economie Appliquée (ENSEA) of Abidjan, teaching assistant at the University of Lausanne, and economist at the Economic and International Relations department of NESTLE in Vevey, Switzerland.

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Shifting Comparative Advantages : Implications for Growth Strategy

2012-07, Coulibaly, Souleymane

The future development of the Tajik economy will be shaped by its comparative advantage on world markets. Exploiting comparative advantage enables an economy to reap gains from trade. Tajikistan's most important comparative advantage is its hydropower potential, which is far larger than the economy's domestic requirements. Yet, high capital costs of building hydropower plants and the unstable geopolitical situation in the transit region to reach South Asian export markets are constraining the realization of this potential. In the short term, the sector, which provides the greatest opportunity for Tajikistan to diversify its exports, appears to be agro-industry and, to a lesser extent, clothing. For both sectors, the main export market is likely to be the regional market. Tajikistan also has a comparative advantage in labor exports, which it has successfully exploited since the mid-2000s. To harness the full potential for labor exports will require improving the skills base of migrant workers and, in particular, their command of the Russian language. In the medium term, the paper argues that an export diversification strategy should tap the agglomeration economies generated by cities. More specifically, establishing Tajikistan's two leading cities, Dushanbe and Khujand, and their surroundings as enclave economies, linked to each other and to major regional markets through improved transport infrastructure so as to minimize production and transportation costs. The two enclave economies should provide the supporting services (finance, logistics, transport and storage) for private sector businesses. In the long term, regional cooperation on trade and transport facilitation could be pursued to reduce transport costs to attractive regional markets such as China, India, Russia and Turkey.