Industrial policymakers from several Vietnamese government ministries have attended a one-week training course on methodological tools for carrying out evidence-based analysis of sector competitiveness. The course considered different perspectives, including production, export, value addition, potential for spill-over effects over total economy, productivity and social factors related to employment, market dynamics, and competitors’ performance.
The “Capacity development for evidence-based industrial policy making in Vietnam – Sector competitiveness analysis and selection” training, run by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, kicked off in Ninh Binh on 13 August. The training was designed for key members of the Task Force Group responsible for the development of Vietnam’s industrial strategy 2030.
During the training, UNIDO experts worked with professionals from Ministries of Industry and Trade, Planning and Investment, Finance, Agriculture and Rural Development, Science and Technology and several associated think tanks and agencies in Viet Nam using analytical tools like the Competitive Industrial Performance (CIP) index and the Enhancing the Quality of Industrial Policy (EQuIP) toolkit to assess the performance of different manufacturing sub-sectors and how they contribute to the overall development of the country.
Speaking at the training, UNIDO industrial policy advisor, Andrea Antonelli, said, “We expect that through this training Vietnamese policymakers will get an in-depth conceptual understanding of several quantitative tools to measure sector level performance and to inform the sector selection process, including limitations, and will be able to individually carry out analysis using the set of tools and critically analyzing results. They will also gain the skills in using the required international databases to obtain data required for assessments and better understand different data classifications according to the selection criteria.”
Trang Quang Ha, Deputy Director General of Viet Nam’s Industrial Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade, emphasized, “This workshop is very useful as it considers the objectives and priorities set by the Central Economic Commission following Resolution No.23 of the Party Central Committee dated March 22 2018, specifying the direction on formulating the national industrial development policy until 2030 with a vision towards 2045.”
According to Le Thi Thanh Thao, UNIDO Country Representative in Vietnam, the training is part of the project, “Support to the Government of Viet Nam in the formulation of Sub-Sector Industrial Strategy and of the related Implementation Policy through Institutional Capacity Building”, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. The project aims to enhance the quality of Viet Nam’s industrial development strategy and policy through building institutional capacity, compiling industrial reports for the public and the private sector, and proposing concrete strategies and policies to enhance Viet Nam’s industrial competitiveness.
The workshop is the third of a series of capacity-building activities for Viet Nam’s industrial policymakers. The first workshop, organized earlier this year, conveyed some of the basic principles and outlined the benefits of evidence-based industrial policymaking. The second discussed challenges and opportunities associated with industry 4.0, discussing several case studies internationally, and bringing experts from Korea and South Africa to explain their countries’ current efforts.
ADB Project to Improve Fiscal Management, Develop Capital Markets in Armenia
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $40 million-equivalent policy-based loan attached to reforms that help strengthen fiscal sustainability and develop the financial and capital markets in Armenia. These are crucial enablers of private sector development.
Armenia’s economic growth over the last few years has been hampered by low levels of investment, both foreign and domestic, given the high costs of local currency finance and related constraints in the financial system. Efficiency-promoting upgrades in public investment and fiscal management are also needed to ensure sustained improvements in fiscal outlook and sovereign risk pricing.
“Financial markets remain nascent in Armenia, which limits the development of the country’s private sector and the banking industry,” said ADB Senior Financial Sector Economist for Central and West Asia Mr. João Farinha Fernandes. “This also constrains public finance and fiscal management, while exposing the economy to financial stability risks. ADB’s assistance is intended to help ensure that Armenia develops a conducive fiscal and financial intermediation environment where private sector players, both big and small, can contribute to growth and development.”
ADB approved a $50 million policy-based loan in November 2018 as part of an ongoing programmatic engagement on financial reforms to strengthen public debt and fiscal risk management, and to develop financial markets in Armenia.
The Second Public Efficiency and Financial Markets Program continues these reforms by strengthening the effectiveness of the government’s fiscal risk management function; promoting the development of fiscally responsible public–private partnerships; and enhancing market transparency and predictability in public debt management. The program will also improve the infrastructure of the government securities market and money market infrastructure, enhancing the sustainability and resilience of Armenia’s finance sector.
Bangladesh Can Boost its Exports with Better Logistics
To meet the needs of its growing economy and to boost export growth, Bangladesh needs to improve its transport and logistics systems, says a new World Bank report launched today.
The report Moving Forward: Connectivity and Logistics to Sustain Bangladesh’s Success, finds that by making logistics more efficient, Bangladesh can significantly boost export growth, maintain its position as a leading ready-made-garments and textile producer, and create more jobs. The report notes that congestion on roads and in seaports, high logistics costs, inadequate infrastructure, distorted logistics service markets, and fragmented governance hamper manufacturing and freight, further eroding Bangladesh’s competitive edge and putting its robust growth path at risk.
“Bangladesh’s congested transportation and often unsophisticated logistics systems impose high costs to the economy,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. “By making its logistics more efficient, Bangladesh can significantly optimize its connectivity, business environment, and competitiveness, putting the country on the right path to become a dynamic upper-middle-income country.”
Efficient logistics, the report argues, has become one of the main drivers for global trade competitiveness and export growth and diversification. For Bangladesh, improving its logistics performance provides an opportunity to increase its world market share in garments and textiles, which account for 84 percent of its total exports, expand into new markets, and diversify its manufacturing and agriculture into high-value products.
The report notes that improving Bangladesh’s logistics requires a system-wide approach based on greater coordination among all public institutions involved in logistics and with the private sector, increasing the effective capacity of core infrastructure, and removing distortions in logistics service markets to reduce costs and improve quality. At a regional level, harmonizing its logistics systems and aligning its customs with that of its neighbors could turn Bangladesh into an important node for regional freight flows and further boost its trade.
“There’s no doubt that reforms and investments for better transport and logistics will yield Bangladesh substantial economic benefits and strengthen its competitive advantage,” said Matías Herrera Dappe, Senior Economist at the World Bank and author of the report. “But the solution to logistics is not just to invest more but to invest better, by focusing on the service gap, and creating the incentives for high quality and competitive logistics services.”
New development models to drive growth and employment for youth in Africa
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today launched the Global Environment Outlook-6 (GEO-6) for Youth in Africa report on the margins of the 17th session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN).
The report analyses the economic opportunities that Africa’s natural resources can provide for job creation and sustainable development. It also provides a package of solutions to tackle Africa’s youth unemployment through the Green Economy.
“This Publication is anchored substantively in the UNEP’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) Regional Assessment for Africa,” said Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Africa. “This Assessment has a very clear message; Africa has an opportunity to use its large young population to drive its growth.”
Africa’s youth remains the most hit by unemployment. One-third of Africa’s 420 million youth aged 15 to 35 are unemployed. Of these, 35 per cent are vulnerably employed and 19 per cent are inactive. These numbers will increase dramatically unless urgent actions are not taken.
The report recommends that Africa’s natural capital should be managed sustainably to enhance the livelihoods of African young population, create more sustainable and decent jobs as well as increase social and economic cohesion.
“The Green Economy calls for a paradigm shift in the way that we produce and consume. If young people are the centre of such a shift, they will secure a sustainable future replete with sustainable livelihoods,” said Professor Lee White, Minister for Environment, Forest and Oceans of Gabon and outgoing President of AMCEN. “The Global Environment Outlook-6 for Youth, Africa: A Wealth of Green Opportunities digs deep into that future and shows young people how they can secure their livelihoods through green jobs.”
Natural resources remain a key source of employment in Africa. Eight out of ten people’s employment on the continent are supported by natural resources. Nearly six million Africans are employed in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, ten million people work in the wildlife sector and an average of 54 per cent in the agricultural sector.
The report includes case studies and success stories on African youth who have invested in natural resources to develop entrepreneurship, improve their knowledge and skills as well as create jobs and sustain their livelihoods.
The report calls on governments to encourage youth to invest in green economy through creating platforms for innovation in sustainable development. While confirming the potential of youth in leading green growth in Africa, the report strongly establishes the correlation between green economy and decent jobs.
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