Africa Can Compete!: Export Opportunities and Challenges in Garments and Home Products in the European Market, Parts 63-300

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World Bank Publications, 1996 - Business & Economics - 118 pages
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All 15 new independent states established in the economic space of the former Soviet Union suffered big declines in output and trade after gaining independence. This study summarizes cross-country experience on the role of trade and payments policies in the linked contraction of output and trade by drawing on eight country case studies: Estonia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The results of the case studies show that trade reform and reorientation of trade toward the rest of the world have done much to arrest the decline in output usually associated with the transformation from plan to market. Also available in English: Stock no. 13615 (ISBN 0-8213-3615-0).

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Page 109 - Learningby-doing, on-the-job training and internal tinkering, adaptation and modification are cited as the most important sources of technological capability and productivity gains over the lifetime of the firm. Such technical efforts are also occurring in African firms. The firms that we interviewed in Africa are engaged in training workers, rudimentary research and development activity, and development and use of technical documentation and technical offices.
Page 111 - ... benchmark" the firm's operations against internationally competitive firms in the same business; (iii) training opportunities and specialized consultancy services are weak or non-existent locally, and expensive if imported; and (iv) information sources on technical and business matters are poor. Collective support services to assist and facilitate enterprise technical learning are often poorly...
Page 3 - Second, the transaction costs which link local producers to international markets need to be lowered and the process streamlined. Transaction costs can be reduced through the use of private mechanisms like trading intermediaries, search efforts by foreign buyers, indirect exporting opportunities via subcontracting and the presence of preexisting private networks that can facilitate entry to particular countries and markets.
Page 3 - Third, technical learning within the factory needs to be an ongoing process so that African manufacturers can remain competitive. Companies need encouragement to adopt systematic research and development with staff and facilities dedicated to these tasks, and they must tap into the international network of technical information.
Page 46 - ... infrastructure creates hurdles for on-time delivery. During the rainy seasons dirt roads can become impassable. Lack of electricity keeps workers from being able to work longer hours to meet a deadline and limits production to a single shift. Because of significant delivery problems throughout SSA, handicraft intermediaries in Africa as well as foreign wholesalers who have specialized in African craft imports state that they have to keep rather significant levels of inventory in order to ensure...
Page 111 - The priority task for public policy at the firm level is first to ensure that the business environment facilitates — rather than obstructs — the development and functioning of the private-to-private flow of technical know-how at home and from abroad.
Page 115 - The tendency is to try to mold the customer to an existing set of financial products. As a result, bankable small and medium enterprises have a hard time accessing overdrafts and short term capital, let alone credit for expansion.

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