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Private Sector Development

Working with governments, firms and international development and aid agencies, CGA strives to advance the development of the private and financial sectors and the shared prosperity arising from that development. Our work is guided by our belief that the private sector is the main engine of economic growth and, when governed by sound policies and institutions, and a competitive financial system, it serves as the best means for achieving inclusive, pro-poor growth.  Our experts specialize in designing and applying program approaches that engage the private sector in development and provide advice and technical assistance to governments, regulators, and international financial institutions to deepen the financial sector. 

Our services include:

  • Designing and advising on policies that develop the financial sector and improve access to financial services for the poor.
  • Strengthening legal, regulatory, and supervisory frameworks for banks and non-bank financial institutions.
  • Assisting with development of financial infrastructure, including stock markets, credit bureaus, payment and settlement systems, and public registries.
  • Supporting product innovation (e.g., commercial micro-finance, SME banking, leasing, partial credit guarantees schemes).
  • Designing, implementing, and monitoring challenge funds and matching grant schemes that support development of financial products for SMEs and the poor in developing countries.
  • Evaluating programs and investments in micro-finance and other areas of the financial sector.

Consilium Group Advisors approach is to use our experts’ long and successful development experience and their in-depth understanding of the complexities involved in transactions, financing and policy to assist our clients develop fruitful public-private partnerships. Our experts have experience reconciling investors’ need for profit with Government’s requirements for political and financial transparency and value for money.

Consilium Group Advisors (CGA) provides a range of specialized services to public and private sector clients covering all facets of PPP/PFI projects, from initial concept and business case development through to final delivery and operation.

For private sector clients, CGA provides bid management support on design, build, finance and operate/maintain projects, with an extensive scope of works which includes coordinating tender submissions through to acting as SPV Manager and Employer’s Agent. CGA can also assist in bringing consortia together and identifying the right partners for design, construction, facility management and equity sponsorship.

For public sector clients, CGA offers expert knowledge of all forms of PPP, assisting them with structuring projects and then bringing them to market. The multi-disciplinary nature of CGA’s business allows it to fully consider market trends in construction, finance and consortia appetite for taking risks. Client support includes preliminary and detailed appraisal of projects and value-for-money analysis.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are important drivers of shared growth and social harmony. Recognizing this, governments around the world implement programs and policies to facilitate SME development. Yet, SME development remains an agenda half-finished! More often than not, SME development efforts have not yielded expected results either because their proper implementation has been challenging or their impacts could not be measured and monitored.

Consilium Group Advisors consultants have helped develop SME development strategies which have been recognized as best practice (see below). We offer a new approach to SME development by creating an in-depth analytical foundation which allows a simpler, more effective program implementation. We build-in effective and financially sustainable monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to provide policy maker with timely policy implementation data. We identify market imperfections and information asymmetries, and by doing so, tackle the obstacles to SME growth and competitiveness, while reducing the need for continued government intervention in market.

Examples of our staff’s experience are included below:

Supporting the Government of Malaysia to develop SME Master Plan (2012-2020)

In the context of World Bank support to the Government of Malaysia, CGA’s Private Sector Development Practice leader, Hamid Alavi assisted in the development of the country’s master plan for SME development –a broad-based program aimed at improving the performance of SME and in devising a new new development path for SMEs across all sectors until 2020. The work received high praise, winning the World Bank’s VP award for innovation in SME development and was considered a “game-changer” in assisting the development of Malaysian SMEs.

Assisting the Government of China Develop its Competition and Advocacy Agenda

In the context of World Bank support to the government of China, CGA’s Private Sector Development Practice leader, Hamid Alavi assisted in the development of China’s competition and advocacy agenda. The work consisted in providing international best practice and advice on matters of competition policy.

Assisting the Government of Malaysia implement its Competition Policy

In the context of World Bank support to the government of Malaysia, CGA’s Practice Leader, Hamid Alavi carried out a number of sectoral studies to inform governments competition policy implementation. The work entailed carrying out an in-depth analysis of the performance and challenges facing multiple sectors in the economy and providing recommendations on how to improve sectoral competitiveness.

Our staff understands the challenges faced by the public and private sector alike to rise to the challenge of regional integration. They have experience supporting and advising clients, both public and private, to carry out reforms to facilitate regional integration. We provide below some examples of their experience.

Assessment of the current status of East Asian Regional Integration 

In the context of World Bank support to the Government of Malaysia, CGA’s Practice Leader, Hamid Alavi carried out a comprehensive assessment of the status of South Asian integration. The study proposed measures to successfully fill the reform gaps in various areas, such as financial and services sector liberalization.

CGA provides technical assistance and advice on the three building blocks of trade facilitation that promote transparency, streamline cargo clearance, simplify regulatory requirements, and smooth the exchange of information between parties involved in a trade transaction. Our experts specialize in the four building blocks as follows:

Customs modernization: CGA assists clients ensure compliance with international agreements (WCO, SAFE, WTO), risk management, post clearance audit, authorized economic operator, and prearrival processing systems; automating customs procedures; and more.

Single Windows: CGA recognizes that single windows are the result of high-level government commitment and sustained cooperation among many public and private sector parties, as well as streamlined clearance and technical control processes in the customs and other agencies involved in trade transactions clearance and processing. We provide services to draft single window roadmaps and action plans and raise public awareness; develop single window financial feasibility and sustainability studies; conduct business process analysis and data harmonization; establish trade portals; and plan, design, and establish single window connectivity.

Logistics: Delays caused by poor logistics in ports, border crossings and transport corridors drive up the cost of shipping and make trade flows unreliable and unpredictable. CGA experts evaluate transport corridor performance and quantifies the impact of bottlenecks on logistics performance and trade. We help clients pinpoint and measure the impact of logistics bottlenecks; conduct time release studies and assess the impact of logistics policies; conduct corridor diagnostic studies and performance monitoring; and provide corridor management and institution building support.

We provide below some examples of our experts’ experience:

Development of a Regional Trade and PSD Strategy for Food Security in the ASEAN region

In the context of World Bank support to ASEAN, CGA’s Practice Leader, Hamid Alavi led a team of international experts in the development of a regional PSD and trade strategy focused on food security. The activity, undertaken in cooperation with representatives of ten ASEAN country governments, was fundamental in facilitating trade and developing exports.

Development of Export Market Access Funds in Tunisia, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Malaysia

Export Market Access Funds are financing vehicles used to enable small businesses looking for funding to expand internationally. They are especially important in developing countries where access to finance is difficult, especially for small and medium enterprises. CGA’s Hamid Alavi assisted the authorities of Tunisia, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Malaysia authorities to develop Export Market Access Funds. The Funds were highly successful and had a catalytic impact on export development in those countries.

Design and Development of Tunisia Trade Net

In the context of World Bank support to Tunisia, CGA’s Hamid Alavi assisted the authorities to develop Tunisia Trade Net. Since its inception in February 2000, Tunisia Trade Net has linked  different participants in Tunisia’s external commerce (banks, public sector agencies, custom authorities), thus reducing bureaucratic constraints, and increasing the transparency and traceability of international commercial flows. In addition, Tunisia Trade Net also provides consultancy and engineering services.

Design and Development of a Single Window for Trade Facilitation in the Philippines and Indonesia

In the context of World Bank support to the Philippines and Indonesia, CGA’s Hamid Alavi assisted the governments of the Philippines and Indonesia develop a single window for trade facilitation. The single window system enables international cross-border traders to submit regulatory documents at a single location, thus greatly reducing the time and costs associated with these bureaucratic transactions.

Our staff understands what is required to develop sustainable and competitive economic zones and growth poles. We highlight below some of the projects which our staff has carried out in this field.

Developing a Competitive Economic Zone in the Thanh Hoa Province of Vietnam.

In the context of World Bank support to Vietnam, CGA’s Hamid Alavi designed a local development program around value chains and other market opportunities presented by large investments in economic zones in Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa Province. Multiple international donors supported the preparation of this project.

Our staff has supported the design and implementation of programs and projects focused on the development of women entrepreneurship. We provide below some examples of our staff’s experience.

Analysis of the Gender Dimension of Development in the Middle East and North Africa Region

In the context of World Bank support to the Middle East and North Africa Region, CGA’s Private Sector Development and Access to Finance Principal, Hamid Alavi was part of an elite team tasked to evaluate how to best integrate the gender dimension into development related interventions. The study covered 16 Middle Eastern and North African countries and focused more specifically on the role of women in the public sphere.

Strengthening Access to Finance for Women-Owned SMEs in Papua New Guinea

In the context of World Bank support to Papua New Guinea, CGA’s Hamid Alavi expanded the ability of women entrepreneurs to access finance. Women entrepreneurs in PNG are more likely than their male colleagues to be in the informal sector, running smaller firms mainly in service sectors and thus operating in lower value added sectors. Women entrepreneurs have lower access to finance than male entrepreneurs. Not only are they less likely to take out a loan, but the terms of borrowing can also be less favorable for women, including higher interest rates, be required to collateralize a higher share of the loan, and have shorter-term loans.

Access to finance for women is limited by non-financial barriers. These can include conditions in the broader business environment that may differentially affect women’s and men’s businesses (e.g., the legal and regulatory environment or the quality of available infrastructure); personal characteristics of the entrepreneurs (e.g., differentials in education or management training).

Our staff has a long and successful experience carrying out assessments aimed at improving the investment climate world wide. We present below some of their relevant experience.

Assessing the Investment Climate of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Malaysia

In the context of World Bank support to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Malaysia, CGA’s Practice Leader Hamid Alavi carried out Investment Climate Assessments. This covered a broad range of factors affecting firm productivity, spanning from political stability to the efficient delivery of permits. The data used in Investment Climate Assessments are collected through face-to-face interviews with hundreds of managers, hence the analysis reflects the managers’ actual experience. The objectives of these assessments were to (i) evaluate the state of the business environment; (ii) benchmark the quality of the business environment across countries; (iii) identify the key constraints to increasing firm productivity and (iv) identify policies that will alleviate obstacles and improve firm productivity and competitiveness.

Our staff has facilitated the commercialization of productivity enhancing and business generating innovations. We highlight here below some of their achievements

Commercialization of Productivity Enhancing Innovation through the use of Public Private Partnerships in Malaysia

In the context of World Bank support to Malaysia, CGA’s Hamid Alavi contributed to the design and launch of PlatCom Ventures, a public-private partnership for technology commercialization. PlaTCOM Ventures is now considered the national technology commercialization platform of Malaysia. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) formed in collaboration with SME Corporation Malaysia under one of its six High Impact Programs (HIPs) in SME Master Plan 2012-2020.

Its mission is to assist inventors and entrepreneurs develop commercially successful products and services.

PlaTCOM Ventures is designed to discover and support innovations wherever they may be, assess ideas very critically, explore them systematically, and turn the best ones into successful products and services. Rather than following traditional technology transfer models, PlaTCOM Ventures has designed a model that facilitates any segment of the entire commercialization process (end-to-end facilitation) from idea to products and services. The whole approach will be market-driven in supporting industrial innovation and competitiveness. The model is more suited to the innovation environment in the South East Asia region in providing commercialization support for the fledgling businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs including those from academia and public research institutes.

Our staff has supported the design and the implementation of innovation and inclusive innovation strategies and programs. We provide below an example of their experience.

Assisting the Chinese authorities in the preparation of their Inclusive Innovation Policy

In the context of World Bank support to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Malaysia, CGA’s Hamid Alavi contributed to the preparation of the government’s innovation and inclusive innovation strategy. Inclusive innovation leads to affordable access to quality goods and services for the poor on a sustainable basis and with extensive outreach. The recommendations of the analysis were included in China’s 5th Development Plan and highlighted in the Book “China Inclusive Innovation for Inclusive Growth”.

One great challenge for small businesses is accessing the finance they need to develop and grow. Issues of collateral and alignment with international accounting standards affect SMEs disproportionately, while financial institutions have less experience lending to the small business segment and often perceive them as hire riskier than the evidence suggests.

CGA consultants have a long and successful experience assisting enterprises and start-ups to obtain financial services. The Risk-Sharing Facilities we have designed and helped implement in various countries in East Asia are among some of the most successful in terms of facilitating access to SME finance. Similarly, we recognize that there is a gap between venture capital and banking lending, when is comes to financing SMEs at their early stages of development. Accordingly, we have designed instruments and models to address such gaps. We combine our analytical and design skills, with capacity building that that our experts have provided to commercial banks for developing SME business and small financing instruments in several countries, helping to enhance bank financing to the SME sector.

Below are examples of our staff’s experience in supporting the design and development of structured financed facilities.

Developing a Structured Financed facility for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Access in Papua New Guinea

In the context of World Bank support to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Malaysia, CGA’s Hamid Alavi led the development of a public-private partnership between the government of Papua New Guinea multilateral development agencies like IDA, IFC and international and local banks. The project was implemented through commercial banks.

Designed a Sub-Regional Risk Share Facility for SMEs in the Pacific Islands

A risk-sharing facility allows a client to sell a portion of the risk associated with a pool of assets. The assets typically remain on the client’s balance sheet and the risk transfer comes from a partial guarantee provided by multilateral development organizations such as IFC. In the context of World Bank support to the Pacific Islands, CGA’s Practice Leader, Hamid Alavi led a team to develop a sub-regional risk share facilities for SMEs.

Access to Financing for SMEs in Malaysia

Under the Malaysia SME Masterplan 2012-20, our Practice Leader has collaborated with SME Corp and the Securities Commission to create a Program aiming to enhance access to financing for SMEs, particularly those at start-up and early stage, through the provision of risk capital financing. The Program entails a co-funding initiative between the public and private sector, whereby one or more investment entities are established to raise funds from private investors which is matched by the funds from the Government through SME Corp Commitment. As sufficient capital is raised, the Fund channels the funds to viable SMEs in the form of loan, equity or a hybrid of loan and equity.

Our staff has experience supporting the design and development of structured financed facilities.

Developing a Structured Financed facility for SME Access in Papua New Guinea

In the context of World Bank support to Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Malaysia, CGA’s Hamid Alavi led the development of a public-private partnership between the government of Papua New Guinea multilateral development agencies like IDA, IFC and international and local banks. The project was implemented through commercial banks.

Designed a Sub-Regional Risk Share Facility for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME) in the Pacific Islands

A risk sharing facility allows a client to sell a portion of the risk associated with a pool of assets. The assets typically remain on the client’s balance sheet and the risk transfer comes from a partial guarantee provided by multilateral development organizations such as IFC. In the context of World Bank support to the Pacific Islands, CGA’s Practice Leader, Hamid Alavi led a team to develop a sub-regional risk share facilities for SMEs.