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Chapter | Economy from The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

Following the achievements of the past few years, Côte d’Ivoire is in a good position to continue along its path of strong economic growth once the global economy has recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Moves made to diversify the economy away from a reliance on raw exports are already paying dividends, as are improvements made to the investment environment in sectors with untapped potential, such as mining. However, further strengthening the business climate will be necessary to encourage expansion led by the private sector. While the current strategy of investing into poverty reduction highlights the government’s recognition of the need for more equitable growth, poverty rates are still high. Initiatives such as the Social Government Programme 2019-20, which aims to reduce poverty by raising formal employment and boosting productivity across nascent sectors such as manufacturing, will be key to the nation’s development. This chapter contains interviews with Emmanuel Esmel Essis, Director-General, Investment Promotion Agency of Côte d’Ivoire; Jean-Marie Ackah, President, General Confederation of Businesses of Côte d’Ivoire; and President, Federation of West African Employers’ Organisation; and Eric Kacou, CEO, Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners.

Chapter | Country Profile from The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

Côte d’Ivoire is one of Africa’s most rapidly expanding economies, with significant oil, gas and mineral reserves; a major agriculture sector; and a growing, youthful population driving the country forward. Spread across a wide range of ecosystems, from tropical rainforests to dry savannah, the former French colony is a mosaic of ethnicities, languages and religions. The presidential elections in October 2020 will be a key test of how far this diverse country has come towards peace and reconciliation since the political instability from 2010 to 2011. Meanwhile, economic inclusion continues to be a priority. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic the country’s growth trajectory was expected to continue, but due to the fallout from the lockdowns and other social-distancing measures this figure is expected to slow significantly. This chapter contains a viewpoint with President Alassane Dramane Ouattara; interviews with Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General, UN Conference on Trade and Development; and Sean Cairncross, CEO, Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Report | The Report: Cote d'Ivoire 2020

Côte d’Ivoire is an economic powerhouse in West Africa, posting average growth of 8% between 2011 and 2018. However, the rate of GDP growth in real terms fell to 6.7% in 2019 and is expected to contract to 2.7% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent widespread shutdowns. Looking to the future, the IMF expects growth to rebound to 8.7% in 2021, highlighting the country’s economic resilience. 

Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority approved updated corporate governance regulations for joint-stock companies listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in February 2017, and amended them in May 2019. The regulations set standards for best corporate practices by promoting accountability, clarity and transparency for management, board members, shareholders and stakeholders. This overview covers shareholder rights, the responsibilities of an organisation’s Board of Directors, competition law, tenders and procurement, arbitration and bankruptcy. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Zeyad Khoshaim, Managing Partner, Khoshaim & Associates.

Chapter | Tax from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

Saudi Arabia’s income tax rules are governed by the Income Tax Law, which came into force in 2004. The Tax Law is supplemented by implementing regulations. Zakat, for its part, is governed by the implementing regulations for zakat collection. The Ministry of Finance issues resolutions concerning aspects of tax and zakat, and the General Authority of Zakat and Tax (GAZT) regularly issues circulars and responses to frequently asked questions containing its interpretation or position on regulations. The GAZT generally takes a substance-over-form approach in dealing with tax matters. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Wadih AbouNasr, Head of Tax, KPMG KSA Levant Cluster.

Chapter | Tourism & Entertainment from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

The second half of 2019 saw some of the most exciting developments yet for Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector. In a softening of regulations, the government created a new visa category for tourists as it looks to grow the industry. While the full extent of the impact of Covid-19 on Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector was difficult to gauge as of March 2020, it is clear that the pandemic is set to significantly affect tourism numbers not just in the Kingdom but around the world for the year. In the long term, however, the prospects for the sector look bright, with efforts to open up Saudi Arabia’s once little-known and undiscovered landscapes, history and culture to foreign visitors.

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