Within its first two years of operation, the Competitive Industries and Innovation Program (CIIP) moved quickly to approve twelve high-potential country operations that are under implementation, as well as an ambitious knowledge agenda. During the fiscal year 2015, the program approved 7 new promising projects (see below) and 4 ambitious global knowledge initiatives. All its country operations were selected on a competitive and transparent basis. Projects in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries are funded through the Single-Donor Trust Fund (SDTF) supported by the EU along with the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Secretariat (ACP).
In FY15 CIIP has continued to support client countries with their objectives of transforming their economies. CIIP has contributed to major policy changes in countries like Ethiopia, Haiti, etc. that have triggered a systemic change in the policy environment for private investment. Most of these policy changes have resulted in decrees, regulations and cluster strategies. While most of these reforms will demonstrate an impact in private sector jobs or investments beyond the Grant cycle, some impacts are already being reported by Task Teams in some countries, i.e. Macedonia and Georgia.
The main trust of CIIP activities this year has been the development of the institutional capability and the establishment of public private dialogue. This is particularly satisfying as it bodes well for the sustainability of the reform beyond the funding period and because it enables countries to develop their own industrial strategies, according to their position within the global economy. In FY15 CIIP operations leveraged 554 million in public investment. Through CIIP operation in Georgia $27 million was committed to SME support in FY15. With support from CIIP, $8.1 million was committed for institutional capacity building in FY15. With CIIP’s support 102.2 million USD of additional finance was approved and disbursed to private sector in Georgia and Tunisia. CIIP helped leverage $79 million of private investment in Macedonia. The CIIP operation in Georgia supported creation of 102 new firms.
SUPPORT TO COUNTRY OPERATIONS
During the fiscal year 2015, the program’s second full year of operation, CIIP-funded activities have continued to support the design and implementation of industry-focused competitiveness strategies and policy reform initiatives in the first wave of 12 country operations. Coordination between CIIP partners at country level has improved significantly and will continue to be strengthened. Going forward, it will be tracked to ensure that best quality advice is offered to clients.
Over the course of FY15 the institutional framework related to industrial parks and investment in Ethiopia has been revamped and strengthened with support of CIIP. Reforms supported by the CIIP engagement contributed to substantial green-field investments in high value-added manufacturing in Macedonia, especially in the fast-growing automotive value chain. In Georgia, CIIP has supported the creation of the Research and Innovation Council that serves as a strategic coordinator of the country’s innovation policies as well as the Investors Council tasked with promoting constructive dialogue
between the private and public sector. CIIP also provided critical technical assistance to strengthen capacity of the newly established GITA - Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency. Over the past year, the Enterprise Support Services (ESS) Program in Haiti was launched and became fully functional across the country. In Russia the CIIP funded a number of knowledge sharing events which led to much better understanding of the essence and value of industry clustering. During the implementation of the CIIP program, Sierra Leone was hit by the deadly Ebola virus. CIIP’s multi-sectoral analysis undertaken in the previous year was not fully operationalized. However due to CIIP grant and analytical work the team was well positioned to swiftly work with government counterparts and develop an Ebola response for private sector recovery. The CIIP team’s analytical activities as well as the policy dialogue on local content in Tanzania are expected to inform the Government’s policy formulation process by feeding into the final version of the Local Content Policy and the Natural Gas Act, as well as the second Five Year Development Plan (2016/17- 2020/21). In Tunisia the CIIP has focused its efforts on helping strengthen a number of promising clusters. Through sectoral PPDs the team identified and prioritized the most binding constraints to competitiveness and exports in each of these sectors, and helped develop specific action plans that have been adopted by the government and the private sector as one of the main objectives going forward.