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Chapter | Trade & Investment from The Report: Myanmar 2020

Since initiating the process of liberalising its economy and encouraging greater foreign participation, Myanmar’s international investment inflows and trade have expanded significantly. This has gone hand in hand with strong domestic economic growth, even at a time of global trade slowdowns and protectionist headwinds. Capitalising on its strategic location as a crossroads between China, India and South-east Asia, as well as leveraging its abundant natural resources and youthful population, Myanmar has indeed made remarkable progress in just a few short years. Yet the horizon is not without storm clouds, both in the form of economic responses to the country’s internal conflicts from the international community and continuing challenges to the ease of doing business. Nevertheless, investment from Asia’s economic powers remains strong, even if Western commitments are limited. This chapter contains interviews with U Thaung Tun, Chairman, Myanmar Investment Commission; and Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations; and U Than Myint, Minister of Commerce.

Report | The Report: Myanmar 2020

Foreign companies are showing interest in Myanmar’s geostrategic location, abundant natural resources and youthful population. A focus on following international best business practices and reducing the informal economy, paired with an annual GDP growth forecast at around 6% in the coming years, is setting Myanmar on a path to catch up with some regional peers.

Chapter | Tax from The Report: Dubai 2020

The UAE currently has no system of federal income taxation. Instead, most of the emirates – including Dubai – enacted their own corporate tax decrees in the late 1960s. These emirate-level decrees are of general application and remain in force as amended. These corporate tax decrees are similar in nature and text, and deal in broad terms with the identities of taxable persons, rates, administration, taxable profits and loss relief. The decrees limit the scope of taxation to “bodies corporate” carrying out a trade or business in the respective emirates. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Mark Schofield, Partner, PwC Middle East Tax & Legal Services Leader.

Chapter | Industry from The Report: Dubai 2020

Fuelled by public infrastructure investment and attractive incentives for foreign investors, Dubai’s industrial sector continues to be a major driver of the emirate’s economic growth. While industrial output has been historically built on low-tech but high-value-added segments such as base metals and chemicals production, the emirate is pursuing a diversification agenda under its Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030. This policy appears to be paying dividends, with 2019 seeing growth in priority areas including the food and beverage segment as well as emerging industries such as auto manufacturing. Furthermore, with the reform of foreign ownership laws and the reductions in fees for businesses operating in the emirate’s free zones in 2019, foreign direct investment inflows are expected to rise steadily over the coming years.

Chapter | ICT & Innovation from The Report: Dubai 2020

Dubai is looking to place itself ahead of global trends by investing heavily in ICT and innovation. With an already highly developed market for ICT products and services, the emirate is seeking to harness the transformative potential of digitalisation to facilitate government-to-government and government-to-citizen transactions, and increase efficiency across a range of industries. While the public investment-driven nature of the sector’s momentum contrasts with the private sector model pioneered by Silicon Valley in the US, the approach is proving to have its own advantages. At the same time, the emirate is leveraging its free zone network to attract international investment, while pursuing policies aimed at developing the start-up ecosystem. This chapter contains an interview with Aisha bin Bishr, Director-General, Smart Dubai Office.

Chapter | Education from The Report: Dubai 2020

In a short time Dubai has established a vibrant education sector with an increasing variety of choice at all levels. While the private segment continues to dominate, recent reforms have seen major improvements to public sector schooling, modernising it and bringing it in line with international best practices. Inevitably, high rates of growth in the number of international schools and higher-education institutions have led to consolidation, gradually slowing expansion and creating greater barriers to entry for prospective players. In general, however, there remain opportunities for investors with savvy value propositions attuned to ongoing shifts in market needs in Dubai and in the broader region.