Amman, Jordan, May 17, 2011 — As
countries around the globe seek new ways to hone their competitive edge,
the World Bank Group is helping governments improve their business environments
by incorporating technology into government services that increase efficiency
and help businesses grow.
Increasingly, governments around the world are using online information
and technology, known as eGovernment, to ease the regulatory burden on
businesses by making it easier for new entrepreneurs to register their
businesses and access government services. Innovations such as cloud computing
and mobile applications also offer new opportunities for governments to
improve cost-effectiveness, increase transparency, facilitate the government-to-business
dialogue, and extend access to information and services to entrepreneurs
in underserved segments of the business economy.
To support adoption of these technologies, World Bank Group recently sponsored
an event in Amman, Jordan, that brought together eGovernment experts and
investment climate reformers to explore how technology solutions can improve
business and regulatory environments in Middle East and North African countries.
“While many of our clients have undertaken substantial legal and process
reforms to improve their investment climate, the deployment of eGovernment
services still varies widely across the Middle East and North Africa,”
said IFC Manager Magdi Amin. “This event has enabled participants to learn
more about emerging technology solutions, as well as the institutional
and change management considerations they must address in re-engineering
government service delivery.”
Jordan was a logical venue for the workshop, as the World Bank Group has
already worked closely with the government there to create a more dynamic
private sector through initiatives like streamlining the licensing and
inspection process, helping establish a private credit bureau industry,
and supporting the government’s creation of leasing legislation and promoting
it among relevant stakeholders.
Workshop speakers included representatives from regional and international
governments as well as World Bank Group specialists and private sector
technology firms. These speakers highlighted a number of best practice
technology approaches currently in use for registering businesses, administering
business licenses and managing business inspections. Other workshop sessions
focused on new innovations in technology and their application in facilitating
The workshop was organized by the World Bank Group’s Investment Climate
Advisory Services and Global ICT Sector Unit. Investment Climate Advisory
Services offers client governments a range of advisory services to assist
them in improving the investment climate for domestic and foreign investors.
Support is provided to implement reforms that reduce unnecessary costs
and risks faced by firms, strengthen fair competition, and promote investment.
More information on World Bank Group Investment Climate Advisory Services
is at www.wbginvestmentclimate.org.
Further details on the World Bank’s eGovernment advisory services are