Mr. Mark W Lewis, Ms. Aurelie Martin, and Gabriel Di Bella
Assessing a country's competitiveness routinely starts with an analysis of the real exchange rate. However, in low-income countries, empirical analysis of the real exchange rate is often subject to important limitations that seriously weaken the results. This paper summarizes the methodologies used to assess real exchange rate misalignments and discusses the range of obstacles common to low-income countries. Recognizing the importance of using a wide range of indicators for assessing competitiveness in low-income countries, the paper discusses alternative competitive measures and then proposes a template of indicators to allow for a systematic assessment of competitiveness in low-income countries. The template is then used to rank countries according to their competitiveness performance in 2006.
Despite the rapid increase in FDI flows to LICs, there have been relatively few studies that have specifically examined these flows. This paper attempts to partially fill the void by throwing light on one particularly dynamic aspect of global FDI-flows from Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs). The paper finds that official data sources undoubtedly underestimate the volume and scope of FDI flows as many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not always register their investment. As a result, while it is difficult to estimate accurately the growth impact of BRIC FDI, there is case study evidence that it is increasingly significant. Second, while initial investment, mostly by state-owned companies, has often been destined for natural resource industries, over time, investment has been spreading to agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries (e.g., telecommunications). Third, FDI from BRICs flows into many non resource-rich countries in LICs and plays a significant role in growth in those countries.