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  • Rapid, private sector-led growth is essential for ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, the World Bank Group’s Twin Goals. For the past three decades, economic growth centered on strong contributions from the private sector has been the main driver of poverty reduction around the world.

    It is estimated that one billion young people will enter the labor market between 2015 and 2030. This brings the role of the private sector the largest engine of economic transformation and provider of good jobs to the forefront for governments around the world. Economic transformation depends on a growing private sector and a shifting role for the public sector – from a primary source of formal wager employment to facilitator and enabler of efficient markets.

    But growth by itself is not enough. Patterns of growth and trends in income inequality also matter if poor are to benefit. In countries afflicted by slow growth and pervasive poverty, for instance, poverty declines when growth patterns become more labor intensive and when poor people’s work becomes more productive. Also critical to poverty reduction is reduced income inequality and improved quality of jobs for the hundreds of millions who are underemployed or work in the informal work

    Achieving the Bank’s twin goals will require unparalleled efforts by developing countries to expand market opportunities, enable private initiative, and develop dynamic economies. By most estimates, achieving the goal of reducing extreme poverty to no more than 3 percent by 2030 requires national growth rates well above historical precedents. The private sectors in lower- and middle-income countries and in fragile and conflict-affected states will need to be more dynamic in identifying opportunities, competing and innovating, and creating jobs. They cannot do it alone. Governments will need to ensure economy-wide incentive frameworks for broad-based growth, and aggressively work to improve the business climate and human capital. This, in turn, depends on coordinated global actions to ensure an open multilateral trading system.

    Last Updated: Oct 07, 2019

  • Well-functioning product markets are vital to economy-wide efforts to spur growth, productivity, and job creation. Their policy and institutional underpinnings include open trade regimes, competitive markets, favorable investment climates, and national innovation capacities. These facilitate integration with global value chains (GVCs), increase investment volumes and returns, lower business costs, and encourage business formation.

    The World Bank Group work on competitiveness focuses on four areas: firms, entrepreneurship and innovation; markets and technology; investment and competition; and business regulations. We work with countries to help strengthen innovation policies, strategies, and financing. The team also helps promote entrepreneurship and small business development. We are also supporting business environment reforms as well as investment policies. 

    The work also focuses on sector-specific policies, value chains and product markets, looking in particular at how new technological disruptions affect market structures and sectoral policies and regulations. 

  • Markets and Technology

    Governments and the private sector around the world are actively seeking more effective ways of improving competitiveness in sectors—one of the key elements of successful growth strategies. Part of the World Bank Group’s on sector competitiveness aims to create and grow competitive, contestable, sustainable, and inclusive markets and industries that deliver quality jobs and economic transformation.

    A holistic engagement in Bangladesh aims to build, strengthen, and make markets more efficient. The diagnostic phase focuses on sector prioritization, public-private dialogue, value chain mapping, environmental regulatory gap analysis, etc. Supported sectors include textiles, footware, leather, plastics, and light manufacturing. Sector reforms are targeted through complementary and sequenced IFC advisory work on cleaner textiles and sector competitiveness ($20 million) with a World Bank lending operation on export competitiveness for jobs ($100 million).

    In Ethiopia, the World Bank Group is bringing diagnostics, operational support, and impact evaluation capabilities to understand job creation through new digital business models. Coordinated interventions include IFC advisory services on SOE reform and telecom sector privatization and a pipeline $300 million World Bank lending operation aiming to increase access to affordable, high quality internet services for government, businesses and citizens, and to promote digital skills and entrepreneurship, under a MFD approach.

    In Pakistan, the World Bank Group is addressing identified constraints and supporting the implementation of the Punjab Growth Strategy through a Program for Results operation focused on investment climate reform, such as sub-national doing business, labor conventions, and investment promotion, and spatial development, such as a Punjab spatial strategy, industrial infrastructure PPPs, and cluster development. The project aims to catalyze over $3 million in new investment and has already increased the number of workers in existing industrial estates to 120,000 from a baseline of 82,000. 





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