CIIP helps leverage large amounts of aid funding to support the creation of private sector employment by enabling and promoting firm-level competitiveness across industries.

Vision & Purpose

CIIP partners and the World Bank Group recognize the potential of competitive industries and innovation approaches to enhance country growth and employment prospects as part of a new growth paradigm.  

To realize this vision, the World Bank Group along with the European Union (EU), the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Secretariat (ACP), and the Governments of Austria and Switzerland (with Norway joining in December of 2014) have formed a partnership that aims to add value in three ways:

  • Supporting integrated solutions for the design and implementation of public policies and investments that promote competitiveness and innovation in high potential industries and countries. These solutions in turn help motivate investment, enhance firm level productivity, enable value chain integration and cluster growth, and contribute to job creation.
  • Pushing the knowledge frontier on “what works” in competitiveness and innovation by sharing lessons in real time from its active country engagements and by motivating cutting edge operational research across its global network of academic, policy, and industry actors.
  • Raising the awareness of practitioners on contemporary industrial policy across countries.


The Challenge

CIIP partners believe that expanding sustainable sources of income is essential to ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. The challenge for developing countries is to rapidly create more and better jobs, and thereby enhance productivity and living standards, and promote social inclusion. 

According to the World Bank’s 2013 World Development Report on jobs, no fewer than 600 million new jobs are needed over the next 15 years just to keep pace with the rapid growth of the world’s working-age population. In Africa and South Asia alone, an average of 1 million jobs per month will need to be created in the next decade.  Countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America and the Caribbean face a similarly daunting task.   

Policymakers around the world agree that economic growth is a necessary condition for job creation.  They also recognize that macroeconomic and investment climate reforms do not by themselves lead to increased investment and employment.  More often than not, market and governance failures—characterized by infrastructure bottlenecks, lack of access to finance and technology, administrative barriers to entry, and skills gaps—persist within and across specific industries.  They in turn forestall real sector investment and employment growth. 

A growing number of developed and developing countries have shown that progress can be made.  They have created jobs by focusing on competitiveness—the ability of firms to generate new investments and to increase market share in goods and services through improved productivity." 

Contemporary competitiveness strategies have gained traction by focusing on specific industries. They target policies and public investments, catalyze private investments, and foster innovation systems with a view to growing those industries and therefore, jobs.

At the heart of these efforts is a new growth paradigm that seeks to motivate collective action by public and private actors at the industry level, and to forge linkages to the larger domestic economy through cross-sectoral and spatially-targeted efforts.  For instance, these efforts take the form of economic zones, growth poles, value chain development, city-level competitiveness strategies, and innovation systems.

They integrate and sequence basic elements of private sector development: regulatory and business environment reforms, public investment in basic and industrial infrastructure as well as skills development, institutional strengthening of public agencies and cluster institutions, and catalytic mechanisms to enhance access to finance for private firms.  In the process, they deliver economies of scope and scale, and magnified impact. Increased private sector investment, greater entry of new firms, higher productivity in select industries will result in positive spillovers to the broader economy and significant sustainable job growth.