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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.

Chapter | Health & Life Sciences from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

The outlook for the health care sector remains positive despite Saudi Arabia facing a number of challenges in terms of increasing capacity to meet rising demand and a higher incidence of non-communicable diseases, as well as the more recent threat of Covid-19. The government’s efforts to restructure the public sector through decentralisation and digitalisation initiatives are increasing efficiency and reducing costs. Meanwhile, ongoing privatisation and efforts to create a more competitive health care environment are improving care and attracting significant investment. The shift towards public-private partnerships and build-operate-transfer contracts is expected to support private sector activity in the decade to come, while the burgeoning health start-up ecosystem is set to contribute to a greater level of digitalisation. This chapter contains an interview with Hisham bin Saad Aljadhey, CEO, Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Chapter | Education & Training from The Report: Saudi Arabia 2020

Education has long been a key sector in Saudi Arabia and a major recipient of government funding. Recently, focus has shifted to boosting the efficiency and quality of services, while also integrating technology in order to achieve the government’s ambitious goals for the sector as part of Saudi Vision 2030, the country’s economic diversification plan. To this end, the authorities are increasingly turning to the private sector for support, creating new opportunities for foreign investors. The year 2019 saw various international players enter Saudi Arabia’s private general education segment, which is still largely underdeveloped. Opportunities for private sector involvement are not limited to traditional education providers, with the rollout of edtech initiatives opening the door for technology companies to develop innovative new systems to modernise teaching and learning in the country. This chapter contains an interview with Ibraheem Almuaqel, Rector, Saudi Electronic University.

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