Toward a Business Climate Reform Agenda in the Caribbean
This paper is meant to help national and regional policymakers navigate the complex topic of business climate reform in the Caribbean. It combines the findings of four relatively independent data collection efforts to uncover which aspects of the current business climate most affect the private sector in that region. The analysis from the four sources indicates that the most pressing business climate constraints affecting private sector performance are: (i) an inadequately educated workforce; (ii) the cost of finance, and (iii) access to finance. These issues are discussed in detail along with others that significantly affect private sector development. The paper ends with a regional agenda and country-specific prioritized agendas for business climate reform.
The Impact of R&D and ICT Investment on Innovation and Productivity in Chilean Firms
Developing countries face the enormous challenge of closing the productivity gap with rich countries. According to previous studies, this is especially relevant for firms in the services sector, which, albeit its growing importance in the economy, still has a large productivity gap with other sectors. Given that ICT investment can help close this gap by increasing innovation and productivity, we study this issue using a sample of Chilean firms covering a wide range of industries, particularly in the services sector.
Debt, Fiscal Adjustment and Economic Growth in Jamaica
The buildup of debt in Jamaica has been concurrent with the country’s slow economic growth, and the issues are intertwined. High debt slows economic growth, and slow economic growth makes the process of reducing the debt burden more difficult. Jamaica committed itself to a strict fiscal consolidation program to reduce its debt burden. The fiscal consolidation will be long—spanning more than half a generation—until reaching the debt-to-GDP target of 60 percent by 2026. Besides adhering to the fiscal targets, success will depend on the country’s ability to break away from a history of low economic growth.
The New Imperative of Innovation Policy: Perspectives for Latin America and the Caribbean
The main purpose of this study is to present the conceptual basis that supports science, technology, and innovation (STI) policy in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). It starts by clarifying STI relationship, both conceptual and empirical, to economic growth and it explains how market and coordination failures hinder innovation. Then, it discusses a variety of demand- and supply-side policies aimed at addressing these private sector and institutional insufficiencies. In the specific case of LAC, it examines the region’s underperformance in innovation relative to both emerging and advanced economies, and analyses the degree to which scientific productivity and knowledge inputs have led to accelerated economic development. Finally, the publication presents five dimensions of success for STI policies based on international best practices that should stimulate innovation and economic growth and guide the IDB’s work in STI in the region.
Building Up Business: Microenterprise Demand for Credit in the Caribbean
The present study investigates the role that formal and informal savings and credit mechanisms play in the financial lives of microentrepreneurs in the Caribbean, partly as an attempt to explain the relatively low outreach of microcredit in the region to date. Informal financing mechanisms studied include friends and family loans, moneylenders (unregulated “loan sharks”), store credit, and rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCA s).
Donor Matrix – Antigua and Barbuda (2013, Updated 2015)
Antigua and Barbuda demonstrates a number of strengths in relation to the potential for growth in the private sector; however, there are also a number of issues which could threaten to derail any future growth in the private sector. Although the overdependence of the Antigua and Barbuda economy on tourism can be considered a weakness as regards vulnerability to the performance of economies in other jurisdictions, the country has a well established reputation in tourism and has the appropriate environment.
Donor Matrix – Barbados (2013, Updated 2015)
Even though Barbados has graduated from developing country status, the donor community still plays an import role in relation to private sector development in Barbados. In recent years donors have directly supported private sector development via a mixture of loans and grants. The programmes/projects span a wide range of objectives including development of the business environment as well as coordination and infrastructure development.
Donor Matrix – Dominica (2013)
Main donors to Dominica include: The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), The European Union’s European Development Funding (EDF) program, The Department for International Development (DFID), The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Donor Matrix – Grenada (2013)
In relation to the nature of projects funded, the majority of active projects are focussed on Business Support, Finance (access to finance), the Business Environment in general or a combination of these objectives. For projects focussed on these objectives, there are 35 active or recently completed donor funded projects in Grenada specifically, and 12 operating at the OECS level.
Donor Matrix – Guyana (2014)
Guyana has many public and private institutions that directly or indirectly focus on the expansion of private sector activities. The country, compared to other countries in the region, has a welldeveloped framework for growth and development that has been presented to the general public and that over time has been implemented.