Established in 1944, the World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. It has set two goals for the world to achieve by 2030: ending extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3%, and promoting shared prosperity by fostering income growth for the poorest 40% of people in every country. With more than 100 offices in client and partner countries, the World Bank Group consists of five specialized institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). IBRD and IDA are commonly known as the World Bank, which is organized into regional vice presidencies, global practices, and cross-cutting solutions areas to help developing regions and countries fight poverty and improve living standards.
THE ROLE OF THE WBG IN TRADE AND COMPETITIVENESS
Trade and Competitiveness (T&C) is a joint World Bank and IFC Global Practice, built around a common vision: sustained economic growth, productivity gains, job creation, and rising incomes for developing countries to eradicate poverty and boost shared prosperity. T&C’s mission is to serve as a trusted partner for countries that seek to develop dynamic and resilient economies, expand market opportunities, and enable private initiative. To this end, T&C supports global and country efforts to boost the volume and value of trade, enhance the investment climate, improve competitiveness in sectors, and foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
T&C boasts a global footprint of about 500 staff working in over 80 locations around the world. T&C’s current portfolio comprises about 100 World Bank active and pipeline lending operations, totaling $6.8 billion in commitments; and over 400 advisory and analytical activities and projects, totaling $376 million in over 100 countries.
To ensure that the Bank Group is at the forefront of knowledge and development practice, T&C has enriched its offerings and organized them under four global themes: trade, investment climate, competitive sectors, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Under trade, the global practice supports trade policy and cooperation, trade facilitation and logistics, trade performance, and competition policy. T&C’s offering under investment climate covers business environment, indicator based reforms, as well as investment policy and promotion. Competitive sectors work focuses on sector or industry-specific policies and growth, as well as spatial growth and investment strategies. Under innovation and entrepreneurship, T&C helps strengthen innovation and technology policies, strategies, and financing, and it promotes entrepreneurship and SME development.
T&C also focuses on five cross-cutting topics: global value chains, connecting to markets and opportunities, catalyzing firm productivity, private sector development in fragile and conflict states, and promoting green competitiveness.
Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a 3 year term appointment.
Myanmar just emerged from years of isolation is trying to quickly catch up with the rest of the world. Myanmar has the opportunity to revitalize its strong history of entrepreneurship and private sector led growth. This warrants continued efforts at opening up the regulatory environment. The potential for expanding foreign trade and investment is enormous, given Myanmar’s strategic location and proximity to China, India and ASEAN. Exports continue to grow since the removal of sanctions and opening of the economy, though they remain dominated by natural resources. Vertical linkages between foreign and domestic firms could be an important driver of domestic enterprise growth. T&C’s agenda in Myanmar focuses on trade, logistics, private sector development, and investment climate– through Technical Assistance, Lending, and Advisory services. This position is for an Economist in the East Asia unit of T&C. The position is based in Yangon, Myanmar.
Duties and Accountabilities
The primarily role and responsibility of the candidate will be to work with the T&C team in Myanmar (as well as in other countries in East Asia as needs emerge) on on-going and new programs and projects related to trade policy, trade facilitation, investment climate and tourism. The World Bank Group is engaged with the Government of Myanmar in a multi-faceted and long-term strategy in this areas that is supported through different Bank instruments, including technical assistance (through Trust Funds), Development Policy Financing (DPF) as well as Investment Project Financing (IPF) or Program-for-Results (PforR) financing.
The Economist is expected to support the growing engagement in trade and tourism competitiveness through a mix of analytical and operational work, as well as support where needed other parts of the T&C portfolio, as needs arise. In particular the candidate will:
• Co-lead the design and implementation of analytical work on trade policy and competitiveness issues to inform the advice to the government;
• Translate findings of analytical work into clear policy messages and present them to the government and other relevant stakeholders;
• Support the dialogue with government counterparts to advise the government strategies on trade and competitiveness;
• Provide program preparation and implementation support to government counterparts on T&C’s lending portfolio;
• Provide support in the organization of dialogue forums and workshops;
• Assist in building capacity in government including by providing tailored trainings on analytical techniques.
• Graduate degree in Economics, Public Policies or related fields (PhD preferred)
• Minimum of 5 years working experience in international economics (3 years if the candidate has a PhD)
• Strong analytical skills in international economics and microeconomics;
• Familiarity with standard econometrics/statistics software packages (including STATA);
• Full proficiency in English and Burmese speaking and writing;
• Extensive knowledge of the Myanmar economic context; knowledge of other economies is a plus.
• Highly effective communication skills; able to persuasively communicate in English; demonstrated high quality of written and verbal communication skills;
• Strong organization skills; familiarity with operational tasks (project management, monitoring, supervision) is a plus;
• Previous experience working with the government is a plus;
• Knowledge of political economy of reforms in Myanmar is an asset.