The Competitive Industries and Innovation Program (CIIP), a multi-donor partnership among the World Bank Group, the European Union, the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat, and the governments of Austria and Switzerland, recently welcomed Norway as its new partner.  Norway joins the CIIP with contribution of Norwegian Kroner (NOK) 11,000,000 (equivalent of approximately US$1.5 million). The Administrative Agreement was signed on December 2, 2014 by Anabel Gonzalez, Senior Director, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank Group and Bjørn Brede Hansen, Director, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
 
The CIIP, a five-year global program that intends to mobilize $100 million, was set up in late 2012 and is housed at the World Bank Group’s new Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice.  CIIP plays an instrumental role in the Practice by providing needed integrative solutions in response to requests from client governments for support in design and implementation of industry-focused competitiveness strategies and policy reform initiatives in key sectors such as agribusiness, tourism, extractive industries, and light manufacturing. 
 
Since its inception, CIIP has experienced strong demand for its policy support and knowledge services. In its first year of operation, the program began implementing 12 high-potential country operations alongside an ambitious global knowledge agenda.  The client work and knowledge-building activities are already helping shape an emerging growth paradigm that can deliver integrated solutions, tailored to the particular needs of each client country, as they strive to meet the challenge of maximizing growth and job creation.  
 
Through end of FY14, CIIP country operations leveraged $5 billion in public finance, and supported the creation of over 5000 new jobs. CIIP-funded initiatives supported new national legislation and regulatory reforms to promote competitiveness in Ethiopia, Georgia, and Macedonia.  Through its institutional capacity building and infrastructure development, CIIP supported policy reforms that enhanced the governance of a technological industrial development zone in Macedonia, and the establishment of innovation and enterprise development agencies in Georgia, among others. Read more ...
 
Looking ahead, the CIIP will select early in 2015 a new set of country operations and knowledge initiatives, which will enable it to expand geographic reach and thematic focus as per the CIIP strategy.  
 
CIIP’s focus on competitiveness and job creation places it at the forefront of achieving the World Bank Group's twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in developing countries. CIIP’s partnership structure allows leveraging each institution’s effort for a better impact.