Worldwide Competitiveness Assessment

Client: United States Agency for International Development

CARANA Corporation was contracted to review worldwide experiences in competitiveness practices, with a focus on history, narrative, results, and constraints. The review began with an analysis of CARANA’s history in the competitiveness practice—beginning with early initiatives, such as import substitution versus export-led strategies, and then leading to a discussion of the company’s expansion into the competitiveness practice.

Following the discussion of CARANA’s approaches to competitiveness was an assessment of current practices as demonstrated in a sample competitiveness project—the Uganda Competitive Private Enterprise Support and Trade Expansion (COMPETE) project. The report included discussions of the CARANA approach to the COMPETE project, which incorporated the following elements:

  • Emphasis on being demand-driven
  • Maximum economic impact
  • High level buy-in by the government and private sector
  • Selection of specific opportunity areas        
  • Engaged ‘drivers’ that can sustain a national export initiative

The competitiveness methodology and practices, as applied to Uganda COMPETE, were then chronicled with a step-by-step evaluation of the following project initiatives:

  • Understand markets and customer requirements for the product
  • Reform market and production structures to respond to demand
  • Reform production and processing techniques to ensure quality
  • Develop institutions that can support and sustain these reforms
  • Analyze and attack the key constraints that limit access to markets

The CARANA team complemented the COMPETE program initiatives with several factors that were deemed state of the art.

In conclusion, results and constraints of the COMPETE project were analyzed. Constraints faced by the project team were related to improving competitiveness in the cotton and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector.