Abstract From the perspective of someone who has observed the private and public sectors in emerging economies for many years, it is interesting to recall that in the past it was the World Bank that supported the development of state-owned utilities and industrial enterprises in developing countries, especially Latin America. It is also in Latin America that the World Bank became a convert to and promoter of privatization. A key lesson of privatization in emerging markets is the importance of competition, not only in the sale process but in the subsequent operation of privatized enterprises. Protective devices, such as core shareholders and areas off-limits to foreign investors, are counterproductive. Privatization has spawned a new generation of entrepreneurs and been especially beneficial to the development of domestic capital markets.