Vacancy for Senior Private Sector Specialist in Baku, Azerbaijan
Senior Private Sector Specialist
Background & General Description:
THE WORLD BANK GROUP
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 (WB), 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.
Azerbaijan faces an urgent need to diversify its oil- and gas-driven economy in the face of the sharp decline in the price of oil and market expectations of continued low oil prices going forward. With investment-friendly policies, reduction of the burdens of inspections, licensing and other administrative procedures, improvement of physical infrastructure and access to capital, Azerbaijani business will be capable of growing its non-oil and gas sector and benefit from participation in global markets.
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then IFC has invested $460 million and mobilized $73 million from other lenders financing 55 long-term projects across a range of sectors, including financial services, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors. In addition, IFC has supported around $80 million in trade through its trade finance program and provided $250 million for Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. IFC has also implemented a range of advisory projects aimed at encouraging private sector growth. The State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ), Azerbaijan’s sovereign wealth fund, has committed $350 million to three funds managed by the IFC Asset Management Company. IFC supports sustainable growth and the diversification of Azerbaijan’s economy through investment and advisory support to the non-oil sectors, with a focus on agribusiness and infrastructure.
About the Project:
Azerbaijan Agribusiness Competitiveness Project will be implemented from 2017 to 2020. The overall goal of the project is to promote sustainable private sector-driven growth in Azerbaijan. The Project will assist the government of Azerbaijan (GoA), in keeping with its strategic development objectives, to foster greater economic competitiveness and diversification. The GoA is focused on rapid diversification of its oil- and gas-driven economy in view of the dramatic drop in the price of oil since mid-2014 and market expectations of sustained low oil and gas prices going forward. While experiencing rapid, hydrocarbon-based economic growth over the last decade, Azerbaijan’s economy has not significantly diversified beyond oil and gas and related construction and services, and its investment policies were, until recently, oriented towards attracting investments in these sectors. The Project will partner with the relevant economy, trade and development and agriculture ministries, selected parliamentary committees, domestic and international business associations and Prime Ministerial and Presidential administrations. To ensure good coordination, effective communication is key for successful project implementation and to systematically liaise and connect with various relevant stakeholders inside and outside the WBG. This project will assist the GoA to diversify and increase the competitiveness of the economy, in line with its strategic objectives, by:
(i) increasing the competitiveness of the agribusiness sector—which employs nearly 40 percent of the workforce—as a first priority in diversifying the economy, by: (a) enhancing access to quality seeds; (b) improving access to markets by strengthening linkages in agribusiness value chains (VCs); (c) modernizing food safety inspections; and (d) expanding access to agri-finance products (insurance and other lending) for agri-enterprises; and
(ii) improving the overall investment climate by (a) streamlining business regulation, (b) developing and implementing a national FDI strategy and upgrading key areas of the legal and administrative framework for investment policy and promotion, (c) supporting Doing Business (DB) reforms.
WBG is seeking to hire an experienced Senior Private Sector Specialist to lead the activities of the Azerbaijan Agribusiness Competitiveness Project. His/her role will be to take responsibility for the activities of the project and contribute to the T&C delivery of policy advice and implementation support to the client government and other stakeholders. The Senior Private Sector Specialist will be based in Baku, Azerbaijan. He/she will work closely with other T&C staff in the region and other relevant thematic units of the WBG.
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 1- year term appointment with potential further 2-year extension.
Roles & Responsibilities:
Scope of the Assignment:
The Senior Private Sector Specialist will lead the T&C operations in Azerbaijan by: 1) implementing current advisory services project; 2) working on developing and implementing knowledge, lending and advisory operations in the country; 3) Liaising with Government counterparts, key stakeholders, the Private sector and Donors in private sector development. (S)he will be based in Baku. Travels across Azerbaijan and beyond will be necessary to oversee all aspects of project implementation in the country and to contribute to the implementation of other T&C projects in the region. The Senior Private Sector Specialist will report to the T&C ECA-E Practice Manager.
Specific Duties and responsibilities:
• Lead/contribute to the policy dialogue on the investment climate portfolio, including business regulations, legal, regulatory and institutional issues related to the business environment; investment policy with key government and private sector counterparts in Azerbaijan.
• Lead/contribute to the legal and process review of primary and secondary business legislation, and contribute to comments and discussions with authorities and other stakeholders and related regulatory reforms.
• Lead in developing and implementing recommendations to the GoA for improvement of regulatory procedures according to the project’s objectives, taking into account local context and international practice, including input from Global T&C team;
• Maintain a permanent dialogue with government officials at the President’s Administration and Prime Minister’s Office, Parliament, line ministries and government agencies as well as relevant donor agencies, including the EU, key private sector stakeholders, in particular agribusiness associations on agribusiness, regulatory environment and private sector development issues;
• As the primary focus will be on Investment climate reforms, the candidate is expected to contribute and link-up with T&C’s global investment climate teams, share knowledge and information and contribute, as appropriate, to global knowledge generation and dissemination.
• Further develop the current project work plan and maintain day-to-day oversight of the project team, activities, and budget, complying with all IFC and WB regulations and guidelines; be responsible for tracking results according to IFC results measurement;
• Ensure compliance with WBG and donor regulations, including the preparation of operational and financial reports;
• Produce technical notes, briefings, presentations, donor reports, etc., as required;
• Participate in strategy and planning of IFC and WB activities in Azerbaijan and the region; play an active role within the WBG Country Office to achieve Country Partnership Strategy and IFC Country Strategy goals and to ensure the integration of relevant T&C issues articulated in the country work programs. Identify and encourage opportunities for cooperation within WBG with a focus on achieving complementarities and synergies with the Agriculture GP;
• Support in developing effective coordination with other Global Practices (GPs), key clients and development partners. The candidate will be expected to engage in business development by establishing strategic relationships with country clients, donors, and IFC and WB management.
Selection Criteria & Competencies:
• Master degree in economics, business, law, agriculture, or related field with at least eight years of experience in project management, preferably in the private sector or in international organizations in developing or transition economies; experience in designing and implementing country- and region-wide advisory/technical assistance programs in emerging markets.
• At least eight years of professional experience; experience in economy-wide and/or industry-specific business regulatory reform (agribusiness experience preferred); Strong theoretical base in at least one core area of Trade and Competitiveness, combining a broad grasp of relevant theory and principles and of involved practices and precedent. Ability to translate theory into practical applications in context of World Bank Group work. Has broad knowledge base and experience;
• Strong analytical, writing and communication skills – with the ability to communicate ideas clearly and confidently, articulate issues and recommend solutions; excellent presentation and facilitation skills;
• Well developed and very strong client relationship skills and sensitivity in dealing with development partners and government authorities; Strong sense of diplomacy and ability to engage high level government officials in policy dialogue;
• Policy Dialogue Skills Experience – The candidate is expected to lead policy dialogue at the higher level of government;
• Ability to work across sectors – The candidate is expected to work within multi-sector teams and should be able to understand, conceptualize, and operationalize linkage between different policies and/or programs;
• Proven leadership abilities with multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams;
• Demonstrated knowledge of regulatory reform advisory services in transformation or developing economies, in particular with regard to creating incentives and regulatory mechanism in agribusiness value chains, including vertical and horizontal integration of producers, seed and other input markets and food safety regulatory reforms; Solid understanding of economic factors in public decision making and policy formation, cost/benefit analysis and applications and implementation of public policy;
• Results-oriented approach with demonstrated history of accomplishments;
• Well-organized, efficient and able to deliver results;
• Knowledge of the WBG policies, procedures, and operational systems are a strong advantage;
• Excellent English written and oral communication skills. Azerbaijani or Russian is a plus.
For application please use the link below: