This volume had its origins in a programme of advisory work by the Commonwealth Secretariat, which sought to assist member governments to formulate public policies to enhance industrial competitiveness in an integrated world economy. This work consisted of country studies of industrial competitiveness for economic ministers as well as executive programmes for senior government officials and the private sector representatives. The first executive programme was held in Barbados in late 1999 in partnership with its government and dealt with the restructuring challenges facing Caribbean enterprises and possible policy options. Subsequent programmes, on a Pan-Commonwealth basis, took place in Singapore in collaboration with Singapore's International Trade Institute of Singapore and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These initiatives high-lighted the need for a volume on industrial competitiveness in developing countries that would benchmark competitiveness performance, provide a framework for analysis and highlight examples of best-practice policies and institutions. This volume attempts to deal with these and other pressing issues.
The contributors are grateful to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation for its support for the volume. They are also grateful to the Barbados Ministry of Industry and International Business and the Singapore's International Trade Institute of Singapore that co-organised the executive programmes as well as participants at these events. Special thanks are due to Richard Gold (Director, Special Advisory Services Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat) for strategic guidance and to Elvis Gannon (its Programme Officer) for his constant support for the volume and efficient management of the details of Barbados and Singapore executive programmes; to Lionel Weekes (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of International Business, Barbados), Tan Song Chuan (President, International Trade Institute of Singapore), Grace Ng (its Vice-President) for their warm hospitality; and to Robert Langham (Senior Economics Editor, Routledge), Terry Clague (Editorial Assistant, Routledge), Prabir Bhambal (General Manager, India Liaison Office of Routledge) and Rupert Jones-Parry (Publications Manager, Commonwealth Secretariat) for assistance with publication of the volume.