OBG
plus

Test Chapter

Donec augue nulla, tincidunt ut laoreet eu, facilisis facilisis ante. Suspendisse potenti. Nullam porta, ligula ut adipiscing aliquet, odio magna ultricies tellus, vitae convallis justo eros vel quam. Proin id ipsum ultrices, viverra libero et, ornare tellus. Phasellus a faucibus arcu. Nulla hendrerit commodo molestie. Cras consequat faucibus eros, vel tempus dui pharetra ac. Duis a feugiat magna. Vestibulum tellus libero, molestie id rutrum ac, tempus a nisl. Praesent quis sapien eu purus laoreet aliquam. Donec pretium tellus vestibulum nisi mattis volutpat. Pellentesque in scelerisque tortor. Suspendisse pharetra, sapien a pharetra sagittis, nisi justo luctus diam, sed venenatis tortor libero in lorem. Nunc vulputate sit amet erat non vestibulum.

Explore chapter

Energy

Proin viverra tellus nec purus eleifend dictum. Donec ornare luctus posuere. Praesent consectetur eu sem sed tincidunt. Aenean fermentum velit nec ligula fermentum, sed semper nisl iaculis. Proin facilisis tellus ac lacus facilisis aliquam. Suspendisse eu mauris euismod, auctor leo et, varius nisl. Proin vel lorem justo.

Explore chapter

Insurance

Explore chapter

Islamic Financial Services

Explore chapter

Banking

Explore chapter

Economy

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The Turkish government is working to advance a resolution process that could remake domestic politics and enhance its foreign policy clout. A 28-year conflict with the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) has cost over 40,000 lives, has held back economic growth and hampered Turkey’s bid for EU membership. Recent peace talks with the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, led to a ceasefire agreement and militants have since begun to pull back from Turkey. Given its ability to bridge the divide between Europe and the Middle East, Turkey has become something of a role model for political transformation in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. Still, issues including Cyprus and the Kurdish question remain key stumbling blocks for its EU bid, which is also hampered by continuing opposition from some European states. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is poised to continue the EU bid, but considers it to be non-vital and “not the end of the world” if it is not accepted. Irrespective of the accession process, Turkey is making its own way ahead, enjoying sustained economic growth and increasing clout within the region and internationally. This chapter contains interviews with Zafer Çağlayan, Minister of Economy; M Rifat Hisarcılıoğlu, President, Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB); and Hüseyın Diriöz, Ambassador and Assistant Secretary-General for Defence and Policy and Planning, NATO.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Lodged between the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, Brunei Darussalam is located on the north-west coast of Borneo, in the South China Sea. The Sultanate has a young population, with around 54% of Bruneians under the age of 30. The country also has one of the highest per capita GDPs in the region, hitting just over $48,000. This ranks Brunei Darussalam second only to Singapore within the 10-nation ASEAN bloc. The main language is Malay, although English is widely spoken and is the principle language of business. Much of the nation’s revenue comes from oil and natural gas, but other resources include timber and aquaculture. Free health care and education are testaments to the government’s dedication to the populace’s wellbeing. However, to sustain this success, the government has realised the need to increase value-added, downstream services within the oil and gas industry while developing industries outside the energy sector. This chapter contains interviews with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam; HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Kim Sung-Hwan, Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs ad Trade, as well as a viewpoint from Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

As the single largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa, and home to an estimated 16.1% of the world’s proven oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is a key player in the region and around the world. This chapter provides an outline of the economy, population and demographics, climate, history, religion, and system of government, as well as information about the Kingdom’s energy resources. This chapter includes viewpoints with Prince Khalid al Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor, Makkah Province; and David Cameron, UK Prime Minister. It also includes interviews with Shaukat Aziz, former Prime Minister of Pakistan; and Abdullah Al Sheikh, Speaker of the Majlis-Ash-Shura.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Largely spared the unrest that spread through the region as part of the Arab Spring, Morocco’s stability was in part thanks to subtle shifts in power brought about through constitutional changes in 2011 that further empowered parliament and devolved some responsibilities to regional authorities. A member of several regional and international bodies, Morocco has strong relations with a range of partners, especially the US and the EU, which is its largest trading partner. This chapter includes a viewpoint from His Majesty King Mohammed VI, and interviews with Abdel-Ilah Benkiran, Head of Government; and Alistair Burt, UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Over the past 40 years, Abu Dhabi has grown into a major economic power in the Middle East. A series of ambitious long-term development policies have transformed the emirate, turning it into a regional economic, political and cultural heavyweight. The country profile includes information about Abu Dhabi’s geography, climate, population and political system. This chapter features an interview with Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice-Chairman, Abu Dhabi Executive Council; and an interview with Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Republic of Korea. There are also viewpoints with David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister; and Janet Napolitano, US Secretary of Homeland Security.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

While the modern state of Indonesia only came into being after the Second World War, the islands’ history dates back much earlier: evidence of humanoid activity from 1.5m-1.6m years ago has been found on Java. Following the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, the islands experienced European colonial rule until the Second World War. The country was occupied by the Japanese during the war, with the Dutch recognising an independent Indonesia afterwards, in late 1949. Indonesia was one of the five founding members of ASEAN in 1967. Indonesia is the world’s 16th-largest economy, the third-most-populous democracy, the largest archipelagic state and home to the largest Muslim population. Indonesia’s natural resources include petroleum, gas, tin, nickel, timber, copper, coal, gold and silver. As ASEAN moves towards the launch of the Economic Community in 2015, tariffs have been gradually lowered, with impressive results. This chapter contains interviews with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Sukwoo Hong, Korean Minister of Knowledge Economy, and viewpoints from Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment; Ed Fast, Canadian Minister of International Trade; and Robert Hormats, US Under-Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment

Explore chapter

Country Profile

This chapter includes information about Dubai’s history, geography, climate, demographics, government and political organisation. It also includes interviews with Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Republic of Korea; Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar; and a viewpoint with David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

With a population of 2.8m inhabiting its wind-swept, grassy steppes and vast expanses of desert, Mongolia is the world’s most sparsely populated country. Its primary religion is Buddhism, though it is estimated that 40% of the population does not practise religion. Ninety per cent of the population speaks Mongolian, most using the Khalkha Mongol dialect, which shares lineage with Turkic, Japanese and Korean languages. Nomadic tradition, particularly the herding of livestock, remains one of the biggest influences on the national culture. In 1990, Mongolia abandoned a single-party communist dictatorship and adopted a mixed presidential-parliamentary system. The nation continues to emerge as a key centre for mining investment, with a wide variety of important mineral reserves, and also offers potential in a variety of other sectors, including telecoms and IT, agriculture, transportation and logistics. This chapter includes interviews with President Ts. Elbegdorj, Prime Minister N. Altankhuyag, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr and Russian Federation Ambassador Victor V. Samoilenko.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Split between Peninsular Malaysia and the island of Borneo, Malaysia has a diverse population of 29m, mainly ethnic Malays, Chinese and Indians. Bahasa Malayu is the official national language, but Indian and Chinese languages are spoken by their respective native communities, and English is widely used even beyond the business community. Malaysia, which gained real independence in 1957, is a federated constitutional monarchy that delegates considerable autonomy to states, with special status for Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo. The current head of government is Prime Minister Najib Razak of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled since the country’s founding, although opposition party Pakatan Rakyat looks competitive in upcoming elections. This chapter contains interviews with Mohamed Mahathir, former Prime Minister of Malaysia; William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary; Sebastian Pinera, President of Chile; Alessandro Golombiewski Teixeira, Deputy Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade of Brazil; and Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Algeria is the largest African country by geographical size, as well as the largest country in the Mediterranean region. Although 85% of the country is desert, Algeria is topographically diverse, in particular in the north, which consists of the Tell Atlas, the High Plateaux and the Saharan Atlas. Roughly 91% of the population lives in less than 13% of the country’s territory, mostly in the north along the Mediterranean. The population was an estimated 35.6m in 2010, with over 68% under 35 years of age. Arabic is the official language, although many Algerians are fluent in French as well. Hydrocarbons are the mainstay of the economy, representing 97-98% of exports, 60% of government revenue and upwards of 30% of GDP This chapter contains a viewpoint with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika; and interviews with Lady Olga Maitland, Chair, Algeria Britain Business Council; Mourad Medelci, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Daniel Kawczynski, British MP and Former Member, International Development Select Committee; and Shigeo Matsutomi, Director-General, Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Nigeria is the 14th-largest African country and possesses a rich and varied landscape, biodiversity and climate. While it is known for its oil and natural gas, Nigeria also has substantial reserves of coal, iron ore, zinc, tin, limestone, lead and niobium. The capital, Abuja, is located in the geographic centre and has a registered population of an estimated 1.6m. Nigeria has a varied assortment of ethnic groups, with the largest three – the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa-Fulani – accounting for a collective 68% of the total population. The country holds significant political power in the region and on the international stage. This chapter contains interviews with President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; Stephen Green, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment; and Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. It also includes a viewpoint with Ron Kirk, US Trade Representative.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

This chapter includes information about Qatar’s history, geography, language, culture and population. It also provides an overview of the country’s natural resources and education system.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Gabon has long been lauded on the global stage for its relative stability in a region that has, at many times over the past several decades, experienced significant political unrest. A member of both global and regional political and economic organisations, Gabon’s global engagement is closely linked to France, given its status as a former French colony. The country has a multi-party political system with the executive branch composed of a president, who serves as head of state and a prime minister, who is head of government. Legislative power rests with the 120-seat bicameral parliament. The government has more recently turned its view to economic reforms that will promote sustainable growth. This section also provides a quick overview of the country, its history, geography, population, religion, natural resources, climate and languages. This chapter contains interviews with President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Prime Minister Raymond Ndong Sima; and Jim O’Neill, Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

This section provides an overview of Egypt’s geography, history, government, foreign relations, population and language, as well as a discussion of the most recent elections and some of the more prominent socioeconomic issues. The chapter includes a viewpoint from President Mohamed Morsy, along with interviews from William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; and Nabil Elaraby, Secretary-General, League of Arab States.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

This chapter takes a look at Ghana’s history, trade relations and its impact on the regional and global stage. This chapter contains interviews with Mahatir Mohammad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia; Stephen O’Brien, UK Under-Secretary of State for International Development; and viewpoints from President President John Dramani Mahama and Fernando Pimentel, Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

This chapter features interviews with His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand; Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand; Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General, ASEAN; Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, Minister for Economic Affairs, Kingdom of Bhutan; William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; and Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the UK.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

This chapter provides information about RAK’s geography, economy, population, natural resources and political system. It also includes an overview of the large-scale development programmes that have been put in place in RAK over the past 10 years – projects that have aided the emirate’s reputation as an up-and-coming player in the Middle East and further afield. The industrial sector, which today accounts for a majority of the emirate’s export revenues, is the result of a great deal of long-term planning by the state. Furthermore, RAK has a number of competitive advantages for industrial development, including a prime location on the Strait of Hormuz and a substantial amount of undeveloped, affordable land. To secure economic growth, RAK is focusing on expanding water supply, as well as its number of power plants. Looking ahead, RAK’s reputation as an up-and coming regional leader in higher education could also be a major advantage in the wake of the Arab Spring; the emirate can expect to see increased interest from investors seeking calm markets. This chapter includes an interview with Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, the crown prince.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Includes information about Jordan’s geography, climate, population and demographics. The chapter also provides an overview of the kingdom’s natural resources, politics and government.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The Philippines, an archipelago of 7107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, has a complex history of human habitation and imperial conquest. Three centuries of Spanish occupation left their impression on the country’s food, language, and religion, with the population now over 90% Roman Catholic. US influence dominated in the 20th century, thanks to several decades of US control, and English and Tagalog are now co-equal national languages. The volcanic origins of the Philippines’ islands is responsible for the country’s vast deposits of nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, and copper, exports of which are important contributors to economic growth.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

This section includes information about Kuwait’s history, geography, culture, religion, population, education sector, language, natural resources and climate.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Includes information about Indonesia’s geography, history, economy, government, foreign relations, population, language and culture.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Containing key information about the Country, this chapter will introduce you to OBGs coverage of South Africa and give you an overview of the region.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The political leadership of Qatar has been working over recent decades to strategically position the country as a powerful economy and influential sovereign entity, well prepared to address future challenges. With a relatively small population and substantial revenue generated from having the third-largest proven natural gas reserves globally, Qatar has one of the world’s highest GDP per capita. The country is leveraging its natural resources to become a knowledge-based, diversified economy, and it aims to attract more foreign direct investment inflows, foster the expansion of its private sector, and further develop non-oil growth engines such as tourism, sports, financial services, technology, real estate and logistics. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Buy digital copy of this chapter - £22

The first country in Africa to achieve independence from the UK, Ghana has been widely regarded as a stable democracy, economic powerhouse and key player on the continent since the establishment of the Fourth Republic of Ghana in January 1993. However, recent economic challenges have resulted in acute financing issues, depreciation of the local currency and high inflation, while real GDP growth slowed to 3.1% in 2022 from 5.1% the previous year. Despite these pressures, Ghana aims to become a leading centre on the continent for financial services, and the federal budget for 2023 was demonstrative of the country’s willingness to pursue strategic investment to boost and retain foreign direct investment inflows. This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Nana Akufo-Addo, and interviews with Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry; and Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, Founder and Executive Chairman, Africa Prosperity Network.

Explore chapter

Profile

Buy digital copy of this chapter - £22

Sharjah stands out as a prime destination for manufacturing, culture and education. Its economy is nearly 96% non-oil based, and the emirate hosts six specialised free zones, offering flexible investment options and advanced infrastructure. In 2022 Sharjah's population reached 1.8m, with a focus on a young, urban demographic. The emirate's commitment to economic diversification is evident through initiatives supporting small businesses and investment in tourism. Recognised internationally for its culture, Sharjah aims to become a top regional family tourism destination, Sharjah is expanding its infrastructure, including Sharjah International Airport, while progressing towards a sustainable and diversified economy, harmonising economic resilience with cultural richness. This chapter contains interviews with Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority; Ahmed Al Qaseer, CEO, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); and Mohamed Al Musharrkh, CEO, Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah).

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Buy digital copy of this chapter - £22

Situated between Iraq and Saudi Arabia at the north-western corner of the Gulf, Kuwait operates as a constitutional monarch, and is a founding member of both the GCC and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Despite its modest land size, the country holds the world’s sixth-largest crude oil reserves, which have served as a robust foundation for sustained economic development and prosperity. With one of the most dynamic political systems in the region, the hope is that the executive and legislative branches of government can work together to advance the policy changes and strategies needed to fulfil the ambitions of the long-term development plan, New Kuwait 2035. This chapter contains a viewpoint from the Emir, Sheikh Mishal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah.

Explore chapter

Profile

Buy digital copy of this chapter - £22

Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate in the UAE, boasts 200 islands and 700 km of coastline. It is a vital player in the UAE’s economic and political landscape, with around 96% of the country’s oil reserves. To propel diversification, the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 is focused on key sectors such as finance, ICT, agri-tech, tourism and manufacturing. The Abu Dhabi Plan, meanwhile, which was initiated in 2016, aims to create a thriving private sector and enhance business opportunities. Despite headwinds stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, Abu Dhabi is making strides toward a diversified, globally integrated economy. Priorities include knowledge-based sectors like tourism, manufacturing, logistics, health care, education, financial services and ICT. Private sector investment and foreign direct investment are key drivers in this regard. By 2030 non-hydrocarbons sectors are targeted to contribute 64% of GDP, with oil and gas to account for 36%. This chapter contains interviews with Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Vice-President of the UAE, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; and Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and CEO, UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, Saudi Arabia boasts deep historical and cultural roots predating the modern Kingdom's establishment in 1932. Since its initial oil discovery in 1938, Saudi Arabia has become the world's leading oil producer and the sole Arab member of the G20. Underpinned by substantial oil revenue – exemplified by a $161bn profit for national oil company, Aramco, in 2022 – the Kingdom is actively financing giga-projects and strategic investments, bolstering sectors such as tourism, manufacturing and mining. Vision 2030, a comprehensive socio-economic development blueprint, is driving this transformation, aiming to diversify the economy and modernise society. Amid the global energy transition and geopolitical uncertainties, Saudi Arabia remains steadfast in its commitment to prioritise non-oil sectors, enabling sustained growth.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Located on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa and bordering Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria and Tunisia, Libya has a rich history dating back to the Phoenician era. Though there has been an end to violent conflict following the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, political stalemate continues and the government is currently divided between Tripoli and Tobruk Nevertheless, in the last couple of years, the country has made substantial strides towards recovery in the private sector and the wider economy, although challenges remain. Despite global economic challenges and supply chain constraints, Libya’s shipping and manufacturing industries have the potential to play a significant role in diversifying the economy and creating new business opportunities.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The strategic location of the island country of Bahrain, combined with its business-friendly ecosystem and diversified economy, has seen it emerge in recent decades as an attractive destination for foreign investment. The kingdom’s economic resilience during the disruption that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, aided by stable governance and a commitment to economic reform, has positioned the country as a competitive player in the GCC and broader Middle East. The country’s guiding plan, Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, aims to enhance private sector growth and promote government investment in infrastructure, affordable housing, human resource development and digital transformation. The kingdom maintains a developed industrial sector and hosts the world’s largest single-site aluminium smelter outside of China, Aluminium Bahrain, with downstream firms creating products for export. This chapter contains an interview with Shaikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Djibouti, a republic located on the Horn of Africa, is characterised by a young, urbanised and rapidly growing population, which presents opportunities for economic development. Political stability is another key strength, providing a favourable environment for domestic and foreign investment. With its advantageous location between Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Djibouti serves as a crucial centre for international trade and logistics. Its strategic positioning along major shipping routes and well-developed port infrastructure make it an attractive destination for businesses seeking connectivity and access to regional markets. With strategic planning and continued investment in key sectors, Djibouti has the potential to further harness its advantages and drive sustainable economic growth, while boosting the social well-being of its population. This chapter contains interviews with President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh; Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Authority on Development; and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organisation.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

If its population reaches 377m by 2050 as is projected, Nigeria is poised to become the world’s third-most populous country, with a diverse and complex social architecture comprising more than 250 ethnic groups and a plethora of faiths. The peaceful handover of power at both the executive and legislative level following elections in March 2023 buttressed Nigeria’s status as a symbol of political stability in the region. The new government faces several pressing issues, ranging from an Islamist insurgency in the north and secessionist agitation in the south-east, to an underperforming oil sector in the south-south, in addition to sluggish economic growth and a depreciating currency. This chapter contains interviews with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organisation; Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa; and Omar Alieu Touray, President, ECOWAS Commission.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Situated at the confluence of the Gulf and Arabian Sea, Oman occupies a strategically important location for trade and logistics. Although it is not on the Gulf, Oman possesses significant oil and natural gas reserves like its GCC neighbours. Since assuming leadership in January 2020, Sultan Haitham bin Tarik Al Said has renewed the country’s diversification efforts to reduce its reliance on the energy sector. Its long-term economic development is guided by Oman Vision 2040, the goals of which include establishing a diversified economy, creating sustainable cities, and facilitating privatisation and Omanisation. The sultanate’s 10th five-year plan (FYP), which covers 2021-25, is the first FYP launched under Vision 2040. The plan continues the country’s drive towards greater social development, fiscal sustainability, economic diversification and the optimal utilisation of its available natural resources. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sultan Haitham bin Tarik Al Said; and an interview with Khamis bin Saif Al Jabri, Chairman, Oman Vision 2040 Implementation and Follow-up Unit.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Kuwait has rebounded strongly from the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, and public finances have been bolstered by elevated oil prices in 2021-22. With one of the most dynamic political systems in the region, the hope is that the executive and legislative branches of Kuwait’s government can work together to advance the policy changes and strategies needed to fulfil the ambitions of the country’s long-term development plan, New Kuwait 2035. Recently, Kuwait has been pursuing a programme of economic diversification to jump-start expansion of the private sector via infrastructure projects and the privatisation of government assets. Among the many priorities of New Kuwait 2035 are goals to expand the role of the private sector, incentivise public-private partnerships, upgrade existing infrastructure, and generate a support mechanism for small and medium-sized enterprises. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

As the world’s largest oil producer and the only Arab country in the G20, Saudi Arabia is a key geopolitical player on the global stage. Officially established in September 1932, the Kingdom has begun to invest its considerable financial resources into a series of large-scale economic development, diversification and modernisation initiatives in recent years. Saudi Arabia has attracted international attention for the momentum of its socio-economic transformation taking place under the auspices of the Vision 2030 development plan, and the scale of giga-projects being developed across the country in support of emerging economic sectors such as tourism, entertainment and green technologies.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Côte d’Ivoire has a range of natural resources and varied landscapes inhabited by a wide variety of peoples speaking different indigenous languages and practising distinct faiths. Despite the country’s complex political climate, Côte d’Ivoire has come a long way in recovering from a period of civil conflict that ended in 2011. Following a contested presidential election in 2020, the National Assembly elections of 2021 took place in relative calm, a pattern that will hopefully be repeated for the local elections of 2023 and the presidential election scheduled for 2025. Ahead of these ballots, the government has prioritised its ambitious reform agenda and worked to address the main roots of conflict in the country. This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Alassane Dramane Ouattara and interviews with Kandia Camara, Minister of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Diaspora; and Franck Riester, Former Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness of France.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Bahrain has long taken a liberal approach to international trade and investment policy, which it conducts largely in line with its partners in the GCC, especially neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Historically, its closest foreign relations outside the region have been with the US and the UK. Initially built around the defence industry, these ties have expanded over the years to areas such as electrical machinery and agricultural goods. After a challenging couple of years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, several recent developments could open up new avenues of trade for the kingdom, along with the expansion of existing partnerships.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sheikh Khaled bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure; Chairman, Mumtalakat.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Egypt was seen as a global centre of knowledge, science, and development throughout antiquity. Today, it stands in an economically advantageous location, straddling the Mediterranean and the Red seas, and at the confluence of Europe, Africa and Asia. The Suez Canal, completed in 1869, is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Moreover, Egypt’s population is large and rapidly expanding, at a rate around 2.5% a year. It is seen as one of the country’s greatest economic assets if it can be harnessed by effective public policy. Moreover, the country is also characterised by a bottom-heavy population pyramid. The large youth cohort helps to limit the overall burden on the health care system, as evidenced by the relatively successful navigation of the Covid-19 pandemic. This chapter contains a viewpoint with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Since gaining independence in 1971 Qatar has developed into an economic, political and cultural powerhouse in the Middle East. With a relatively small population and substantial revenue generated from having the third-largest proven natural gas reserves globally, Qatar has one of the world’s highest GDP per capita, at nearly $62,000 at current prices and $103,000 in purchasing power parity in 2022, according to IMF estimates. The country is recognised in the international arena for many reasons, such as its extensive portfolio of investment abroad and substantial infrastructure projects at home, the latter of which led to the population growing by an estimated 50% between 2010 and 2020 due to an influx of foreign workers.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

With its tropical climate and overall low elevation due to the Volta Basin covering almost half of the country’s land area, Ghana has vast cocoa and gold resources. Its population is diverse, with a total of 75 ethnicities dispersed around the country due to increasing levels of human mobility. Ghana has witnessed robust urbanisation in recent years, with 58% of the population living in cities. It has overcome historical challenges to create a stable political and economic environment. For instance, its capital, Accra, hosts the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat and seeks to become one of Africa’s largest centres for financial services.

This chapter contains interviews with Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana; and Siri Walt, Head of Sub-Saharan Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Nigeria is the 14th-largest country in Africa by land mass and is culturally diverse, with a population of more than 200m spanning over 250 ethnic groups. It is rich in natural resources, with some of the largest proven oil reserves in Africa, and has a strong agriculture sector, with major exports including rubber, cocoa, peanuts and palm oil. The country gained independence in 1960 and declared itself a federal republic in 1963. The presidential election in 1999 ushered in a period of relative stability and marked a return to civilian rule, providing strong foundations to support a post-pandemic rebound.

This chapter contains interviews with President Muhammadu Buhari; and Helen Grant, Member of Parliament and UK Trade Envoy to Nigeria.

Explore chapter

Profile

Sharjah is the UAE’s third-largest emirate, accounting for just over 3% of the country’s territory, and has long played an important cultural and economic role in the region. Home to six free zones, two amphitheatres, around 30 museums and various annual festivals that attract visitors from around the world, the emirate has a wide offering when it comes to manufacturing, commerce and culture. The discovery of oil in Sharjah resulted in an economic boom, but even at its early stages the emirate’s leadership understood the importance of developing a non-oil economy. In the intervening decades Sharjah has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at developing the economy and encouraging investment inflows.

This chapter contains a viewpoint with Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the UAE’s Supreme Council; and interviews with Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority; and Mohamed Al Musharakh, CEO, Invest in Sharjah.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The Republic of the Philippines reaches from Taiwan in the north to Indonesia in the south. It is the fourth-largest country in South-east Asia after Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. Bordered by the South China Sea – also known locally as the West Philippine Sea – in the west and the Sulu and Celebes seas in the south, the Philippines is home to some 175 ethnolinguistic groups across thousands of islands. In January 2020 the Philippines reported the first Covid-19 case outside of China. Authorities enforced one of the world’s longest, most stringent lockdowns in response, starting in mid-March – with a range of restrictions still effective at the end of the year. A wide-ranging stimulus package was passed in March, followed by a second in September, to help mitigate the economic impact of the crisis and aid the health response. This chapter contains an interview with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Papua New Guinea is a vast archipelago, of which the main island – shared with Indonesia – forms the largest tropical island on Earth. Known for its unique flora and fauna, the country is famous for its environmental variety. However, with more than 850 languages spoken within its borders, it is also considered one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world. Enjoying heterogeneous landscapes and cultures, PNG is seen as a frontier market in economic terms. Hydrocarbons and mining are the cornerstones of production, thus there is significant scope for the development of nearly all other sectors. Agriculture and tourism are seen as prime engines for diversification, offering the potential to generate foreign exchange and employment. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Prime Minister James Marape.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

One of the world’s oldest civilisations, Egypt has long been central to the development of the MENA region and has built an extensive international trade network, benefitting from its location at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia. As the world’s 14th-most populous country and the most populous nation in the Arab world, Egypt also benefits from a large, rapidly expanding population. These underlying fundamentals should help the country to continue on a path to long-term growth, despite the disruption caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic. ­­ This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Explore chapter

Profile

Having declared its independence from the UK in 1971 as part of the federation of the UAE, the emirate of Abu Dhabi has significantly raised its political and economic profile in the intervening years, both regionally and internationally. While the emirate is home to the world’s sixth-largest proven oil reserves, financial buffers have helped it diversify and yield steady non-oil revenue. Centred on the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, an economic development strategy launched in 2008 to reduce dependence on oil and gas and foster a knowledge-based economy, the emirate has made important strides towards securing its growth plans amid global and regional risk. This chapter contains viewpoints from Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India; and an interview with Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, CEO, Alliances for Global Sustainability.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

While the Republic of Indonesia is just over seven decades old in its current form, the South-east Asian nation of more than 17,000 islands has a much longer history. The name Indonesia was first used in 1850 by British anthropologist James Richardson Logan in reference to the extensive group of islands that was known at the time as the Indian or Malay Archipelago. Archaeological analysis indicates that the ancestors of modern humans lived on the archipelago as far back as 1.9m years ago, while evidence of modern humans goes back 40,000 years. By 2000 BCE the islands were inhabited by a diverse group known as the Austronesians. These people exhibited impressive maritime skills and took full advantage of the archipelago’s location, engaging in extensive inter-island trading. This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Joko Widodo, better known as President Jokowi.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

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.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Home to an estimated 15% of the world’s proven oil reserves and as the largest economy in MENA, Saudi Arabia is a key player not only in the region, but on a global scale. Over the last few years, Saudi Arabia has attracted international attention for the momentum of its socio-economic transformation taking place under the auspices of the Vision 2030 development blueprint. In November 2020 Riyadh is set to host the 15th annual G20 Leaders’ Summit, bringing together the heads of some of the world’s largest economies. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as well as interviews with Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture, and Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Medina.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Prior to 2010 Qatar was primarily known for its vast gas reserves; however, the country’s global profile received a major boost in 2010 when it won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November and December of that year. Backed by sustained levels of economic growth, Qatar is channelling its resources into transitioning to a knowledge-based economy. The country has been working to translate recent economic growth into greater activity and sustainability throughout the private sector. As such, it has been investing in strategic sectors such as agriculture, services, and research and development to further diversify its economy and attract greater foreign direct investment. This chapter contains a viewpoint from HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Morocco is often described as the gateway to Africa, an apt description given its proximity to Europe and its geographic location at the north-eastern tip of the continent. Morocco's economy has traditionally been dominated by agriculture, which is one of the most strategically important sectors. Despite its significant economic weight, the agriculture sector's performance is highly dependent on rainfall and weather conditions. Meanwhile, other sectors have been increasing in importance, such as the industrial and mining sectors. At home, Morocco has identified the reduction of social inequality as a key priority, setting in motion a series of reforms and transferring critical development funds to less-developed regions. Abroad, Morocco’s foreign policy objectives focus on spearheading intra-African cooperation and positioning itself at the centre of Europe-Africa relations. Gains were made on all these fronts in 2019, supported by growing GDP that reached $118.5bn in 2018. This chapter contains a viewpoint with King Mohammed VI; interviews with Gerd Müller, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany; and Li Yong, Director-General, UN Industrial Development Organisation.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The twin-island nation of Trinidad and Tobago is located in the southern end of the Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela. Its rich and varied heritage lends itself to a vibrant society and cuisine derived from an array of ethnicities and religions. Developmentally, the World Bank categorises T&T as a high-income country, and it has the fourth-highest GDP per capita in the Americas in terms of purchasing power parity after the US, Canada and the Bahamas. T&T is the largest producer of oil and gas in the Caribbean; however, like many hydrocarbon-producing nations worldwide, the slump in global energy prices beginning in 2014 negatively affected broader growth. Nevertheless, the situation has provided renewed political momentum towards greater economic diversification as a means of ensuring sustained development. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; and an interview with Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President, UN General Assembly.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

In December 2020 Ghanaians will go to the polls to elect a president and members of the National Assembly. The incumbent leader of the ruling New Patriotic Party, President Nana Akufo-Addo, is seeking re-election. He will take on former President John Dramani Mahama, who was elected as the candidate for the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress. The event will be the seventh peaceful general election since the return to full democracy in 1996. As a presidential and unitary republic with a unicameral legislature and independent judiciary, Ghana also recognises the importance of its regions, each of which have their own assemblies and local government units. This chapter also contains viewpoints from President Nana Akufo-Addo; and Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados. In addition, this section includes interviews from Vice-President Mahamudu; and K Y Amoako, President, African Centre for Economic Transformation.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Located in the south-eastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is the only member of the GCC situated outside of the Gulf. To leverage its strategic location, Oman has invested in infrastructure with the goal of becoming a global logistics centre. Given that the country is less hydrocarbons-rich than its GCC neighbours, diversification efforts are a driving force behind economic growth. The sultanate’s long-term development strategy, Oman Vision 2020, is coming to a close, and in January 2019 the Vision 2040 conference set the stage for a new plan. Vision 2040 will continue to emphasise diversification, privatisation and Omanisation, with the goal to increase tourism, modernise agriculture, and foster technology and research and development.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

In 1932 Bahrain pioneered oil production in the Middle East, and in doing so established the region’s initial framework for the petroleum industry. The new resource enabled Bahrain to modernise its economy by moving beyond traditional industries such as pearl diving and fishing. Today, the country’s national plan, Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, aims to enhance private sector growth as well as continue government investment in infrastructure, affordable housing, human resource development and digital transformation. The kingdom maintains a developed industrial sector and hosts the world’s largest single-site aluminium smelter. This chapter contains a viewpoint from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

In what is considered to be the last frontier market in South-east Asia, the pace of business-friendly reforms is quickening, with a view to becoming a preferred investment destination in a region that is experiencing the effects of a global repositioning in trade and manufacturing. Following decades of military rule that maintained a socialist and centrally planned economic model that cut off access to the world’s financial markets and main trading routes, the country’s ongoing transition towards a market economy and electoral democracy has caught the attention of investors worldwide. Investors have been drawn by the size of its internal market, competitive wages, abundant natural resources, fertile land and strategic geographic location between the world’s most populous countries, China and India. This chapter contains an interview with Nick O’Donohoe, CEO, CDC Group.

Explore chapter

Profile

Covering a total area of 83,600 sq km, the UAE borders Saudi Arabia to the west and south, and Oman to the east. Its coastline stretches from the south-eastern shore of the Gulf, nearly reaching the Strait of Hormuz in the north. By area, Dubai is the second largest of the emirates after Abu Dhabi, covering a total of around 4110 sq km. A series of land-reclamation projects beginning in the early 1990s increased the emirate’s geographic area by 200 sq km and also contributed to an expansion of its coastline. This chapter contains interviews with Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; and Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Kuwait is a constitutional sovereign state situated in the north-western corner of the Gulf, bordered by Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Despite challenges in the region, Kuwait has largely maintained a neutral stance, which has benefitted its multilateral trade, investment and political bonds with its neighbours and the wider global community. By continuing with efforts to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil revenues, Kuwait is adding momentum to several large infrastructure development projects, and encouraging greater levels of private sector participation and investment. Ongoing and future projects are set to further integrate Kuwait into the global economy and raise its overall competitiveness. This chapter contains a viewpoint with Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Strategically located between the Americas, Europe and Asia, Mexico is one of Latin America’s largest economies, second only to Brazil. Aided by its proximity to the US market, the county has established itself as an important manufacturing and export powerhouse, due in part to extensive oil, gas and mineral reserves; public and private universities; a young population; and a booming tourism industry. Winning the 2018 presidential elections on a populist, anti-corruption ticket, the priorities of the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador are focused on reducing violence, as well as stemming the flow of Central American migrants and asylum seekers on their way to the US. The bright spot on the horizon remains the country’s tourism sector, which attracts millions of global travellers per year. This chapter contains interviews with Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada and; Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Papua New Guinea is a vast archipelago, of which the main island – shared with Indonesia – forms the largest tropical island on Earth. Known for its unique flora and fauna, the country is famous for its environmental variety. However, with more than 850 languages spoken within its borders, it is also considered one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world. While it enjoys heterogeneous landscapes and cultures, PNG is seen as a frontier market in economic terms. Hydrocarbons and mining are the cornerstones of production, thus there is significant scope for the development of nearly all other sectors. Agriculture and tourism are seen as prime engines for diversification, offering the potential to generate much-needed foreign exchange and employment. This chapter also contains interviews with Prime Minister James Marape; and Powes Parkop, Governor of the National Capital District.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Long viewed as an open economy with a unique geographic position at the centre of the Mediterranean, Tunisia has faced macroeconomic challenges since the 2011 revolution. The country has successfully navigated the difficulties of the post-revolutionary period by capably establishing robust democratic institutions. Furthermore, while issues of corruption and security remain a problem the current administration has displayed determination to address these challenges. The upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections – which are scheduled for late 2019 – are likely to shed new light on the current balance of power. Nevertheless, to ensure stability over the longer term more consistent efforts at economic reform, infrastructure upgrade and the provision of public services is needed. If Tunisia succeeds in ensuring sustainable development it may yet become not only a leader of the democratic process in the region, but also of prosperity as well. This chapter contains interviews with Ferid Belhaj, Vice-President for Middle East and North Africa, World Bank; and Chileshe Kapwepwe, Secretary-General, COMESA.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Spanning more than 300,000 sq km, the Republic of the Philippines reaches from Taiwan in the north to Indonesia in the south. The Philippines is the fourth-largest country in South-east Asia in territorial size and is home to some 175 ethnolinguistic groups across over 7000 islands. In terms of population, it has the 13th-largest population in the world and the seventh largest in Asia. According to the UN, the population reached 107.4m in the first quarter of 2019. Income inequality and uneven growth are problems that need addressing if the country is to escape the middle-income trap, with poverty incidence among Filipinos in the first quarter of 2018 estimated at 21%. This chapter also contains interviews with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte; and Teodoro L Locsin, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The end of the formal conflict between FARC and the government has boosted the country’s image abroad, allowing the tourism industry to fulfil its potential in areas that were previously out of bounds. Medellín, once known as the home of drug cartels, is now a focal point for innovation in Latin America. As such, it is set to become a regional leader in creative industries, an incentive reinforced by President Iván Duque and his Orange Economy Agenda. The government aims to promote Colombia as a regional and global target market and to double its contribution to GDP from 3.5% to 7% between 2012 and 2022. Meanwhile, the long-term Fourth Generation road infrastructure project is making considerable progress in its ambition to reduce journey times between major cities and industrial centres. This chapter contains interviews with Iván Duque, President; Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD; and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Peru is a major producer and exporter of copper and gold, as well as a prolific exporter of liquefied natural gas, seafood and agricultural products. In addition, it is a popular tourist destination, with 4.5m tourists visiting annually, bringing in annual revenue of $5bn. On the whole, 2018 was considered a recovery year for the economy, with investment in mining increasing by 25% over the previous year. President Martín Cornejo Vizcarra also took office in 2018, which has calmed the political environment. The outlook for 2019 is positive, with more large-scale investment in infrastructure and mining ahead. As Lima prepares to host the Pan-American Games in July, there is optimism that it will restore Peru’s image of economic prosperity with an investor-friendly framework and political stability. This chapter contains a viewpoint with Martín Vizcarra Cornejo, President of Peru; and an interview with Néstor Popolizio, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Egypt gained independence in 1922 with the end of the British protectorate, but it has operated as a presidential republic since the 1952 revolution. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is the current leader and has served since June 2014, while the current prime minister and head of government in office since June 2018 is Mostafa Madbouly. The country’s economy has struggled since the 2011 revolution and although economic growth has improved since, many challenges remain. A number of significant steps are being taken to improve economic order and stability in the country, such as to improve public finances, reduce the size of the state and to make the investment environment more attractive. Moreover, Egypt has recently oriented its focus towards increasing its investments across Africa and to boost trade with its African partners. The country has relied heavily on the US for aid and support in the past but is now build¬ing a broader network of international partnerships, including with Russia and China, both of which have entered African markets aggressively during the past decade and have continued to strengthen ties with Egypt through investments in several mega-projects. This chapter contains an interview with Abdel Fattah El Sisi, President of Egypt; a viewpoint from Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF; and an interview with Jeffrey Donaldson, UK Trade Envoy to Egypt.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

While the Republic of Indonesia is just over seven decades old in its current form, the South-east Asian nation of more than 17,000 islands has a much longer history. The name Indonesia was first used in 1850 by British anthropologist James Richardson Logan in reference to the extensive group of islands that was known at the time as the Indian or Malay Archipelago. Archaeological analysis indicates that the ancestors of modern humans lived on the archipelago as far back as 1.9m years ago, while evidence of modern humans goes back 40,000 years. By 2000 BCE the islands were inhabited by a diverse group known as the Austronesians. These people exhibited impressive maritime skills and took full advantage of the archipelago’s location, engaging in extensive inter-island trading. This chapter contains an interview with President Joko Widodo, and a viewpoint from Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East and the 13th-largest nation in the world, with an area of approximately 2.15m sq km, covering 80% of the Arabian Peninsula. Home to an estimated 15% of the world’s proven oil reserves and the single-largest economy in MENA, Saudi Arabia is a key player both regionally and globally. Established in September 1932, in recent years the Kingdom has poured its considerable financial resources into a series of large-scale economic development, diversification and modernisation initiatives. Saudi Arabia has attracted international attention for the momentum of its socio-economic transformation, taking place under the auspices of the Vision 2030 development blueprint. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and an interview with Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud, Governor, Makkah Province.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Since gaining independence in 1971 Qatar has quickly risen to prominence both regionally and internationally to become an economic, political and cultural powerhouse in the Middle East. With a relatively small local population and substantial revenues generated from having the third-largest proven natural gas reserves globally, Qatar boasts one of the world’s highest GDP per capita, according to IMF estimates. Prior to 2010 the country was primarily known for its large gas reserves; however, Qatar’s global profile received a major boost when it won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Now, the country is recognised in the international arena for many reasons, including its push for domestic infrastructure projects. This chapter contains a viewpoint from HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar; and an interview with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Sri Lanka has long served as an important strategic destination in the Indian Ocean, catering to merchants and travellers from South-east Asia, India, the Middle East and East Africa. While much of the country’s recent history has been tainted by a decades-long civil war, post-conflict euphoria brought with it a sense of renewal and optimism. A coalition administration elected in 2015 pledged its commitment to inclusive governance and economic reform, a rebalancing of foreign policy, and reconciliation with its ethnic minorities. However, the coalition has diverged on several key policy issues, leading to delays in the legislative agenda and culminating in a constitutional crisis that saw the prime minister removed from office by the president in October 2018, only to be reinstated two months later following a ruling by the country’s highest court. This chapter contains interviews with President Maithripala Sirisena; and Ganeshan Wignaraja, Executive Director, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute; and a viewpoint from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Explore chapter

Profile

Having declared its independence from Britain in 1971 as part of the federation of the UAE, the emirate of Abu Dhabi has significantly raised its economic and political profile in the intervening years, both regionally and internationally. While the emirate is home to the world’s sixth-largest proven oil reserves, financial buffers have helped it diversify and yield steady non-oil revenues. This has largely taken the form of expanding domestic industries, from aviation to renewable energy, enabling the emirate to weather a prolonged period of reduced oil prices and fiscal austerity that have put pressure on growth. This chapter contains interviews with Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; and Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman, Department of Community Development; and a viewpoint from Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Covering a total area of 83,600 sq km, the UAE borders Saudi Arabia to the west and south and Oman to the east. The country’s coastline stretches 1318 km from the south-eastern shore of the Gulf, nearly reaching the Strait of Hor¬muz in the north. Most of the country is situated along the Gulf. By area, Dubai is the second largest of the emir¬ates behind Abu Dhabi, covering around 4110 sq km in total. A series of land reclamation projects beginning in the early 1990s increased the emirate’s geographical area by 200 sq km and also contrib¬uted to an expansion of its coastline. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; President, Financial Audit Authority; and Chairman, Dubai International Financial Centre.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Morocco is the 25th-largest country in Africa and has a geographic area of 446,550 sq km. The country’s political capital is Rabat, but the largest city by far, as well as the business and economic capital, is Casablanca, located 85 km from Rabat. The current king, Mohammed VI, came to power in 1999. The country has seen substantial socio-economic changes during the current king’s reign, including many notable improvements in socio-economic indicators, though challenges remain. GDP per capita, in constant prices and purchasing power parity terms, has risen by more than two-thirds over the period. The king has called for improvements in education and training provision, as well as greater efforts to secure jobs for young Moroccans. These calls have been reflected in recent policy changes, among them an increase in education spending in the 2019 budget, and plans to overhaul the professional and vocational training system. This chapter contains a viewpoint with King Mohamed VI; interviews with Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank; Simon McDonald, Permanent Under-Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK; and Mohcine Jazouli, Minister Delegate for African Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

In 1957 Ghana became the first African country to achieve independence from a European colonial power, and today it is one of the continent’s most vibrant democracies. The 2016 elections saw Nana Akufo-Addo, now president, speak to voter dissatisfaction with the economy, which at the time was suffering from the protracted downturn in global prices of its chief commodity exports. The election was thus fought on an issue affecting all Ghanaians, rather than on sectarian grounds, while the exemplary behaviour of both presidential candidates and their supporters in the transfer of power also indicated the growing strength of democratic governance in the country. With a GDP of GHS256.6bn ($55.4bn) at the end of 2018, Ghana is also a contender to become the year’s fastest-growing economy worldwide. As it tries to move away from traditional resource dependency, the country now faces the challenge of ensuring the widest benefit from that expansion, particularly given its growing and increasingly urbanised population. This chapter contains viewpoints with Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana; Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice-president of Ghana; Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; and an interview with Rona Fairhead, Minister for Trade and Export Promotion, UK Department for International Trade.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The country’s national plan, Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, aims to enhance private sector growth and continue government investment in infrastructure, affordable housing and human resources. The kingdom maintains a developed industrial sector and hosts the world’s largest single-site aluminium smelter, Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), with downstream businesses creating products for export. Other industries in Bahrain include downstream oil and gas products, as well as a growing food industry, serving both the Saudi market and the global economy. This chapter contains a viewpoint from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Once one of Africa’s economic powerhouses, Côte d’Ivoire fell on hard times in the 1980s and entered a period of political instability and civil war at the end of the 1990s. The coun¬try has largely been at peace since 2011, enjoying some of the highest economic growth rates globally, especially during the period 2012-16. Still by far the world’s most important cocoa producer, the former French colony is linguistically, ethnically and religiously diverse, and well on its way to reclaiming its status as a dynamic driving force of the West African regional economy. This chapter contains a viewpoint with President Alassane Dramane Ouattara; an interview with Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa; and a viewpoint: Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development of Canada.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Considered to be the last frontier market in South-east Asia, Myanmar remains focused on creating the required conditions to attract and facilitate foreign investment, in turn spurring economic development. Following decades of military rule that maintained a socialist and centrally planned economic model, cutting off access to the world’s financial markets and main trading routes, Myanmar’s ongoing transition towards a market economy and electoral democracy has caught the attention of investors worldwide. The gradual removal of economic sanctions, by both European governments and the US, contributed to putting Myanmar on the map, gaining a reputation as an increasingly attractive investment destination in the early 2010s. Investors have been drawn by the size of its market, abundant natural resources, fertile land and strategic geographic location between the world’s most populous countries, China and India. This chapter contains viewpoints from State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu and President U Win Myint.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Located in the south-eastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is the only member of the GCC situated outside of the Gulf. Leveraging its strategic location, Oman has invested in infrastructure with the goal of becoming a global logistics centre. Diversification efforts are a driving force behind economic growth while infrastructure and transport works are boosting connectivity. The sultanate’s long-term development strategy, Oman Vision 2020, emphasises diversification, privatisation and Omanisation. As the final leg of Oman Vision 2020, the sultanate’s ninth five-year plan continues to drive the country towards social development, the economic diversification of many production sectors and the optimal utilisation of available natural resources. This chapter contains viewpoints from Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Since achieving independence in 1962, Algeria has pursued an activist foreign policy, pushing interests of developing countries through the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as in groups like the G-77. Algeria holds close trading links with its Mediterranean neighbours to the north, and is an important source of EU natural gas imports, particularly to France, Spain and Italy. The country has greatly increased its diplomatic and economic relations with China, which has become an important source of official development finance and discounted lending. Moreover, the state continues to play a dominant role in the Algerian economy, depending on oil and gas exports for some 60% of public revenue and 96% of exports. The sharp decline in global oil prices since 2014 resulted in several challenging years for the Algerian economy. This chapter contains interviews with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika; Ferid Belhaj, Vice-President for MENA, World Bank; and a viewpoint with Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The most populous country in Africa with abundant natural resources, Nigeria is the continent’s largest economy by GDP. Combining oil and gas wealth with the entrepreneurial efforts of its predominantly young population, Nigeria has developed a business-friendly environment over two decades of civilian rule and in the nearly 60 years since independence. These achievements are all the more impressive given the stresses and strains imposed on this vast country by regional, religious and political tensions. Yet the challenges of economic inclusivity and ensuring wider equality remain, as around half of Nigerians continue to live below the income poverty line. The incoming administration will face some major security and corruption challenges for a republic that is multi-faceted and complex, but also multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multicultural. This chapter contains a viewpoint with President Muhammadu Buhari; and interviews with Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General, Commonwealth; and Ray Washburne, President and CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

As a member of both the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the GCC, Kuwait has numerous strategic ties. Additionally, the country is arguably the most politically dynamic in the Gulf, which has afforded it strong foundations to help tackle recent issues regarding parliamentary elections and accountability. By continuing with economic diversification efforts and reducing dependence on oil revenue, Kuwait is also adding momentum to several large infrastructure projects. The tabled projects are set to further integrate Kuwait into the global economy. 

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

An important entryway to the Horn of Africa, Djibouti’s strategic location at the confluence of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, combined with its historic links to Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Asia, make it a unique crossroads for international culture and trade. Having long enjoyed relative security and stability – avoiding many of the conflicts that have beset its neighbours – the country has gained a valuable reputation as a safe haven. Today, it stands as a key focus for world and regional powers alike, making it a natural investment destination and a growing centre of global trade. This chapter contains interviews with President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh; Justin Yifu Lin, Director, Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University; and Ali Guelleh Aboubaker, Minister of Investment; and viewpoints with Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State; and with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

As a market-based economy with a supportive domestic policy environment, Kenya has been dubbed the commercial “gateway” to East Africa. With Mombasa acting as a trade platform with one of the busiest ports in the region, and the capital Nairobi the country’s political and financial centre, the country has quickly recovered in the aftermath of the 2007 financial crisis and has been able to sustain strong annual growth levels of over 5%. Following the electoral victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017, the Big Four agenda, a list of priority initiatives and projects for his second term of government running until 2022, was announced. Those programmes are organised around four pillars: food and nutritional security; affordable housing; manufacturing; and universal health care. This chapter contains interviews with President Uhuru Kenyatta; Monica Juma, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; Libérat Mfumukeko, Secretary-General, EAC; and Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Trinidad and Tobago possesses robust institutions, with a stable democratic system and strong regional and international ties. Nevertheless, the country has faced a series of corruption cases, and a number of initiatives have been launched to combat this issue. T&T faces further challenges related to unemployment, particularly among the young, along with law and order, though figures remain below that of neighbouring states. Furthermore, recent economic and political instability in Venezuela has led to a rise in the number of refugees in the country. This chapter contains an interview with President Paula-Mae Weekes; and a viewpoint by Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Although external forces contributed to challenging economic conditions in recent times, PNG should benefit from the stability brought about by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s 2017 election victory, which solidifies the public agenda and provides more investor certainty. Hosting international events such as APEC 2018 should positively influence international perceptions and highlight opportunities available in the country, while planned investments in the extractive industries are positioned to boost the wider economy. This chapter contains an interview with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Today, despite being one of the largest economies in Latin America, Argentina has suffered serious economic crises over the past two decades, which have stymied its growth, constricted foreign direct investment into its productive sectors and limited the country’s ability to harness its vast natural resources. The country’s economy is driven by the oil and gas industry, boasting significant onshore, offshore and shale oil and gas reserves, alongside its agricultural and livestock industries. On the regional and global stage Argentina has a high profile, where it currently chairs the G20 and is an observer member of the Pacific Alliance, while aspiring towards OECD membership. However, with the government having been granted a $50bn bailout from the IMF in June 2018, the spectre of economic crisis and indebtedness looks to have reappeared, just at a time when investors appeared to be showing renewed interest in the country following the election victory of pro-business President Mauricio Macri in October 2015. This chapter contains interviews with President Mauricio Macri; Jorge Faurie, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship; Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia; and a viewpoint with Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Bank of Development.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

With an average growth rate of 5.9% over the past decade, Peru’s economy has consistently outperformed most regional neighbours. Politically, the country has recently emerged from a period of instability and security concerns to rank among the top investment destinations in the developing world. That said, corruption continues to be a concern, particularly in the wake of several recent scandals that shook the country’s traditional political establishment. Aggravating this problem, a divided Congress has failed to reach any bipartisan agreement to push through much-needed anti-corruption reforms. However, the emergence of Martín Vizcarra, who assumed the presidency after Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s resignation in March 2018, offers new hope to investors and Peruvians alike. Although it is still too early to assess his leadership, President Vizcarra has already shown promising signs that his administration will make concerted efforts to combat corruption, rebuild business confidence, encourage investment and increase economic growth. This chapter contains interviews with President Martín Vizcarra Cornejo; Sebastián Piñera Echenique, President of Chile; Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade; and Juan Manuel Santos, Former President of Colombia; and Former President Pro Tempore, Pacific Alliance.

 

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October 2016, a major chapter in the history of the kingdom closed and another opened, with His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun now on the throne. Meanwhile, the government of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, continues to rule following its removal of the civilian government in May 2014. The year ahead is shaping up to be one of transition, with the Thai electorate and international partners eager for the delayed elections to take place. The NCPO has promised stability and economic progress, something many citizens hope for as they await the opportunity to vote. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha; and interviews with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; and Shamshad Akhtar, Former Under-Secretary-General, UN; and Executive Secretary, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The Mexico-US bilateral relationship has been strained as a result of President Donald Trump’s administration and aggressive discourse, including the demand that Mexico pay for a border wall, an insistence on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and the deployment of US troops to the border. Nevertheless, the recent volatility of its ongoing relationship with the US has sounded a warning bell for Mexico, encouraging it to diversify its trade links and seek out new markets, and to that end, the recent Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership could serve it well. This chapter contains interviews with Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Sebastián Piñera Echenique, President of Chile; and Liam Fox, UK Secretary of State for International Trade.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Elections in June 2016 saw President Rodrigo Duterte assume his six-year term as the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines. President Duterte won the May 2016 elections by a wide margin to become the first president from Mindanao, the country’s southernmost and second-largest island, ushering in a period of widespread change through the executive and legislative branches of government for the 106.5m-strong country. The administration of former President Benigno Aquino III had implemented changes that saw the Philippines become the fastest-growing economy in Asia as of the end of 2016, eclipsing even China. Sovereign credit rating upgrades, a continuous campaign to promote transparency and robust economic performance elevated the Philippines to a diplomatic, political and economic stature it had not enjoyed for decades. This chapter contains interviews with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte; and Jin Liqun, President, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Located on the east coast of Africa and south of the equator, Tanzania was home to some of the world’s first human settlements, with fossils dating back as far as 3.6m years. Today, the country comprises mainland Tanganyika and the archipelago of Zanzibar. Dodoma is its official capital, although Dar es Salaam, the largest city and port, has long been the nation’s commercial and administrative centre. Overall, Tanzania’s experience as an independent African nation has been a positive one on the world stage. In its shift from a socialist experiment under Julius Nyerere to a market economy under his successors, the country has fared relatively well in maintaining political stability and economic growth. However, there is work and further collaboration needed to support the continued development of the country’s democratic credentials and foster broad-based socio-economic development. This chapter contains a viewpoint with President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli; and interviews with Libérat Mfumekeko, Secretary-General, EAC; and Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Executive Secretary, South African Development Community.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Accounting for just over 3% of the territory of the UAE, Sharjah is the third-largest emirate, and has long played an important cultural and economic role in the region. Home to a number of principal commercial, educational and cultural institutions, Sharjah is also unique as an emirate in that it is adjacent to both the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, on which it owns three exclaves: Kalba, Dibba Al Hisn and Khorfakkan. The latter is surrounded by the emirate of Fujairah and possesses a major east coast port in the form of the Khorfakkan Container Terminal – the only natural deepwater port in the region and one of the UAE’s major container ports. This chapter contains an interview with Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the UAE’s Supreme Council; and interviews with Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, India; and Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Sri Lanka’s economy looks promising for the coming years, as major changes in the business environment are taking place in the short to medium term, such as free trade agreements with Singapore and China, the regaining of the EU Generalised System of Preferences Plus, development of human capital and further liberalisation of the economy. These, together with the involvement of the government, are supporting the objective of transitioning to a middle-income, knowledge-based economy. The country is continuing to use exports as a driver of economic growth, with a call for a focus on business process outsourcing and ICT-related services given their performance in 2017. This chapter contains an interview with President Maithripala Sirisena and a viewpoint from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Tunisia has a small, principally homogeneous population, emerging from a diverse background of civilisations, which makes the modern population a mix of Arab, Ottoman and Berber, to name but a handful. In 1956, the country gained independence from France and established a constitution modelled on the French system. In 2011, during the Jasmine Revolution, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled from 1987, was ousted. Following the Tunisian revolution, the country has been transitioning into a democracy and adopted a new constitution in January 2014. This chapter contains a viewpoint with President Beji Caid Essebsi; and an interview with Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is widely seen as a pillar of stability in a region that has been disrupted by conflict in recent years. Despite challenging surroundings, Jordan has managed to maintain efficient political workings and positive economic growth. As a country with scarce natural resources but a highly educated population, the kingdom aims to become a regional leader in sectors with significant growth potential, such as renewable energy, ICT, manufacturing and tourism. Jordan 2025, an economic and social framework plan, and the Jordan Economic Growth Plan 2018-22 focus on these key drivers for commercial growth and social development, as the country works to revitalise the national economy and emerge as a powerhouse in the MENA region. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Crown Prince Hussein; and interviews with Prime Minister Hani Al Mulki; and Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Considered to be the last frontier market in South-east Asia, Myanmar remains focused on creating the right set of conditions to attract and facilitate foreign investment to spur economic development. Following decades of military rule that maintained a socialist and centrally planned economic model, cutting off access to the world’s financial markets and main trading routes, the country’s ongoing transition towards market economics and electoral democracy has caught the attention of investors worldwide. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar; an interview with Serge Pun, Chairman, Serge Pun & Associates; and a viewpoint from Xi Jinping, President of China.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

For much of its history Bahrain was the name for the eastern coast of Arabia. Bahrain means “two seas” in Arabic, and although it is unclear which two seas the name refers to, it has recently come to identify the 33 natural islands of the Awal archipelago. The first notable inhabitants of the region were the Dilmun civilisation, approximately 6000 years ago, but throughout history its geographically strategic location has attracted the attention of numerous empires, including the Persians, Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Arabs, Portuguese and British. In 1932 Bahrain pioneered oil production in the Middle East, and in so doing established the region’s initial framework for the petroleum industry. The new resource enabled Bahrain to modernise its economy by moving beyond traditional industries such as pearl diving and fishing. At an early stage the kingdom sought to diversify its economy, and established itself as a leading regional financial centre in the 1970s and 1980s.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Côte d’Ivoire has long been regarded as one of West Africa’s richest and most diverse countries due to its linguistic, ethnic and religious diversity. While agriculture remains a key driver of economic progress, there is an abundance of other natural resources, including crude oil – with proven reserves of around 100m barrels – natural gas and diamonds. As a member of UEMOA, the African Union and ECOWAS, Côte d’Ivoire is an active player in regional politics, having also developed particularly strong ties with Morocco in recent years.

This chapter contains viewpoints from President Alasanne Ouattara and Kofi Annan, Chairman, African Progress Panel; and an interview with Marcel de Souza, President, ECOWAS Commission.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

With a population of nearly 100m, Egypt is the third most populous country in Africa and has long been a key influencer in the Arab world, particularly in terms of its cultural output and political thought. In comparison to the years before 2011, Egypt’s post-revolutionary period has been defined by political upheaval and dynamism. The country has adopted a new constitution, moved to a unicameral legislature, and has had two presidents, with Abdel Fattah El Sisi serving in the role since 2014. In early January 2018 the national election commission announced that the next presidential election would be held from March 26 to March 28. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held from April 24 to April 26.

This chapter contains interviews with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi; and Akinwuni Adesina, President, African Development Bank.

 

 

Explore chapter

Country Profile

One of the most developed countries in Africa, Morocco is a melting pot of indigenous Berber, African, Arab and European influences. Due to its strategic location and proximity to Europe, the kingdom has been able to accommodate its cultural diversity in a stable and politically inclusive system. The kingdom possesses North Africa’s only constitutional monarchy and has fortified its position as an international trade centre by increasingly liberalising its economy and attracting foreign investment. If the country can sustain its balancing act of working to provide domestic freedoms and opportunity while maintaining security, it is likely to remain a leading regional power. Morocco has not only deepened its economic and security ties with the EU, but also with the Gulf states and China. Most recently, the kingdom re-joined the African Union after a 30-year hiatus.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from His Majesty King Mohammed VI; and interviews with Saad Eddine El Othmani, Head of Government; and Marcel de Souza, President, ECOWAS Commission.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Located in the south-eastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is the only member of the GCC situated outside of the Gulf. Leveraging its strategic location, Oman has invested in infrastructure with the goal of becoming a global logistics centre. While the country is less hydrocarbons-rich than its GCC neighbours, diversification efforts are nonetheless a driving force. The sultanate’s long-term development strategy, Oman Vision 2020, emphasises diversification, privatisation and Omanisation. Logistics, tourism, mining, manufacturing and fisheries have all been identified as potential future economic drivers, and will be the focus of development under the next plan, Vision 2040. This chapter contains viewpoints from Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said; and Xi Jinping, President, People’s Republic of China.

Explore chapter

Profile

Despite persistently low international commodities prices, Dubai saw steady GDP growth of 3.2% in 2017 and is expected to reach 3.5% in 2018, with an increased drive towards consolidating its position as a knowledge-based economy. The issuance of the Dubai Open Data Law and the creation of Smart Dubai are among the flagship initiatives driving this transformation, alongside the portfolio of diversification-oriented projects at the federal level. Not only did 2017 witness the launch of new initiatives, it also saw the advancement of ongoing projects. Dubai recently achieved its first goal on the path towards becoming the global capital of Islamic finance, overtaking the world’s leading financial centres in the listing of sukuk (Islamic bonds) on its exchanges, with sukuk listings in the emirate totalling $52.5bn as of September 2017. The emirate’s aviation sector also continued to expand in 2017, with Dubai International Airport consolidating its position as the world’s third-busiest airport for international passenger traffic.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai; an interview with Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, Secretary-General, Executive Council of Dubai; and a viewpoint from Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Long one of the continent’s success stories, Ghana is the birthplace of pan-Africanism and was one of the biggest advocates for independence during the colonial period. It has since developed one of the region’s largest and most advanced markets, and has become a diplomatic and economic force in West Africa. The country benefits from a wealth of natural resources, including cocoa, gold and – more recently – oil and gas. While economic growth has slowed in the last several years on the back of external pressures and low commodity prices, Ghana’s upstream resources give it a strong foundation from which to bounce back as conditions improve. It has a population of just over 28m and is the 33rd-largest country in Africa. Life expectancy, school enrolment and GDP growth are all above the sub-Saharan average.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Nana Akufo-Addo; and interviews with Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, Chairman, Economic Management Team; and Marcel de Souza, President, ECOWAS Commission.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Home to an estimated 15.7% of the world’s proven oil reserves and the single largest economy in MENA, Saudi Arabia is a key player not only in the region, but also globally. Since its establishment in September 1932, the Kingdom has poured its considerable resources into a series of large-scale economic development, diversification and modernisation initiatives. In the last few years, Saudi Arabia has also attracted global attention for the momentum of its socio-economic transformation taking place under the auspices of the Vision 2030 development blueprint.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; and interviews with Prince Saud bin Nayef Al Saud, Governor, Eastern Province.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Algeria is a major producer of hydrocarbons, which are crucial contributors to the economy. It has the third-largest proven oil reserves on the continent, though it is facing substantial fiscal challenges due to the sharp fall in the international price of oil in 2014 and 2015. In contrast to many other countries in the region, Algeria has maintained its political stability, while its international profile is in the midst of gradual shift as it seeks to reduce industrial imports from traditional trading partners.

This chapter contains interviews with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika; Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia; Angelino Alfano, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy; and Lord Richard Risby of Haverhill, Special Envoy of the UK Prime Minister in Algeria.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Since gaining independence in 1971 Qatar has quickly risen to prominence both regionally and internationally to become an economic, political and cultural powerhouse in the Middle East. With a relatively small local population and substantial revenues generated from having the third-largest proven natural gas reserves globally, Qatar has one of the world’s highest GDPs per capita: at current prices it stood at $64,400 in 2017. Prior to 2010 the country was mostly known internationally for its vast gas reserves and for being the home of the media network Al Jazeera. However, this changed when Qatar won the contest to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in December of that year. Now, it has become well known in the international arena for many reasons, from its extensive international investments and ample spending on substantial infrastructure projects, to the diplomatic rift with the GCC, which began in June 2017.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar; and an interview with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

In a fast-changing political landscape, 2018 will be a key year for President Joko Widodo to take advantage of his high popularity ratings, majority in Parliament and consolidated Cabinet to accelerate the implementation of his administration’s strategic goals, which include infrastructure development, reducing bureaucracy and increasing transparency. In terms of greater regional involvement, the country remains ASEAN’s largest member and an increasingly influential one. In recent years Indonesia has continued strengthening its diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries, while also boosting long-term cooperation with Japan, China and South Korea.

This chapter contains an interview with President Joko Widodo; and viewpoints from Xi Jinping, President of China; and Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Nigeria is the 14th-largest country in Africa, and with a population of 189m people and home to more than 250 ethnic groups, the country is rightly famed for its cultural diversity. A successful presidential election in 1999 ushered in a period of relative stability, with nearly 18 years of democratic polls. This greatly improved political situation has brought economic dividends, particularly between 2003 and 2014, when GDP growth averaged more than 8%. Still, the steady growth and increasingly robust democracy have not resolved all of the country’s problems: the recent fall in oil prices has led to a recession, while a terrorist insurgency by Boko Haram has destabilised some of the northern states. However, Nigeria is known for its resiliency and shows little sign of letting these troubles slow its ascendancy.

This chapter contains interviews with President Muhammadu Buhari; and Brigitte Zypries, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

With an election in 2017, the year has proven be a challenging one in Papua New Guinea. The economic downturn following the completion of the PNG liquefied natural gas project has resulted in criticism of the current government, amid accusations of mismanagement. Despite this, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill secured a fourth term, winning 78% of the votes cast in his district. Boosting social and economic infrastructure, improving inclusiveness across the country and combating corruption – both real and perceived – are key challenges for political decision-makers. Yet, despite these difficulties, PNG possesses enormous natural resources, which future leaders must manage in order to boost growth and spur development.

This chapter contains an interview with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Kuwait is a member of both the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the GCC. Additionally, it is considered by many to be the most politically dynamic country in the Gulf, which has afforded it strong foundations to help tackle recent issues concerning parliamentary elections and accountability; it has also played a key mediating role in the 2017 diplomatic crisis between Qatar on one side and Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain on the other. By continuing with economic diversification efforts and reducing dependence on oil revenues, Kuwait is also adding momentum to several large infrastructure projects. The tabled projects are set to further integrate the country into the global economy.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah and an interview with Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah.

Explore chapter

Heritage

Buy digital copy of this chapter - £18

On October 13, 2016 His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away at the age of 88. He was the world’s longest-serving head of state and the longest-serving monarch in Thailand’s history. His passing was mourned by many. His Majesty had been monarch since 1946, and had presided over his country during a period of enormous change. In late 2016 King Maha Vajiralongkorn said, “No matter what problems we may face in our country, we believe that if we work together, we can overcome and alleviate any situation.” He now sits on the throne at this time of great change, with the need for reform and reconciliation at the forefront.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Despite a challenging environment, Trinidad and Tobago will be looking forward to a number of positive developments in 2017. These include the passage of key procurement legislation, a new revenue authority, improvements to education and health care delivery systems and strengthened ties with key partners, all of which will contribute to lifting the country’s political and economic profile. Over the medium term, prudent financial management, a well-educated workforce and stable democratic political system bode well for economic recovery, but to establish the foundation for long-term sustainable growth, the country must pursue diversification in earnest, while current efforts to diversify the economy should set the foundation for long-term sustainable growth.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Prime Minister Keith Rowley; and an interview with David Granger, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

While 2016 marked an important turning point for Colombia, the pace at which the economy accelerates and living standards improve over the coming years will be dictated to a large extent by the government’s success in implementing the peace agreement, swiftly establishing the rule of law across the entire territory and executing its ambitious infrastructure programme. When he leaves office in August 2018, President Juan Manuel Santos is likely to leave to his successor a positive legacy, having secured the FARC peace agreement and significantly reduced poverty on his watch. This chapter contains interviews with President Juan Manuel Santos; Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina; and María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs; as well as a viewpoint with Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Once known as a country scarred by economic and social upheaval, Peru has now experienced nearly two decades of economic growth alongside the continued establishment of democratic principles – increasingly so since the turn of the millennium. Buoyed by high commodity prices, the mineral-rich country grew at an average annual rate of 6.2% in the decade to 2014, cementing its status as one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. Rapid growth also enabled Peru to make significant strides in improving social indicators, particularly in reducing poverty rates. However, the end of the commodity cycle saw GDP growth slow to a decade-low of 2.4% in 2014, as global commodity prices fell and Chinese demand for Peruvian minerals eased, sending Peru into uncertain uncharted waters.

This chapter contains interviews with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard; Ricardo Luna Mendoza, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Steven Ciobo, MP and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia; Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina; and Walker San Miguel, Secretary-General, Andean Community.

Explore chapter

Profile

With substantial financial buffers and hydrocarbons reserves that are among the world’s largest, Abu Dhabi has increased its political and economic influence in recent years, both regionally and globally. From renewable energy to health care and aviation, a rapidly diversifying economy means that the emirate is well placed to weather the prolonged period of reduced oil prices that continues to impact growth. Plans for future development are mapped out in Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. A comprehensive economic policy document, Vision 2030 aims to reduce dependence on oil and gas, thereby securing a more sustainable, knowledge-based economy for the emirate. Successive five-year plans within the framework of Vision 2030 aim to ensure the achievement of the plan’s goals.

This chapter contains viewpoints from Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; and Theresa May, Prime Minister of the UK; and an interview with Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Sri Lanka has emerged from its long internal conflict, but with the post-war euphoria behind it, a number of structural challenges remain that will determine the country’s trajectory as it pushes forward. The state’s involvement in large parts of the economy could present stumbling blocks to a number of liberalising economic reforms that Sri Lanka is likely to need if it is to increase its competitiveness in international markets. While there has been a wait-and-see approach within Sri Lanka’s private sector, the long-term impact is expected to be positive. The reinstatement of GSP+ benefits should also see state-owned enterprises release more power to the private sector to reap all potential benefits, expand revenue streams and repay creditors more quickly.

This chapter contains interviews with President Maithripala Sirisena; and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The Philippines began witnessing sustained economic growth and increased efforts to curb corruption during the six-year term of former President Benigno Aquino III, who ended his presidency in mid-2016. Long-time Davao City mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, won the 2016 election, which was characterised by a historic 82% turnout rate, and took office on June 30, 2016. His government aims to push forward major infrastructure investments to improve internal and external connectivity. Macroeconomic fundamentals have continued to improve, as has transparency, and the country’s biodiversity, natural resources and young demographics have been increasingly recognised as assets.

This chapter contains interviews with President Rodrigo Duterte; and Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General, ASEAN.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Home of the ancient city of Carthage, present-day Tunisia has a long and distinguished history. Its location at the centre of North Africa, close to vital shipping routes in the Mediterranean, ensured it became a hub for control over the region for successive ruling elites, including the Berbers, Phoenicians, Romans, and Arab and Ottoman dynasties. In the late 19th century Tunisia became a French protectorate, a status it maintained until colonial rule ended in 1956, and the country achieved full independence. The post-independence republican period was dominated first by Habib Bourgiba, who ruled as president for three decades (1956-87), advancing secular ideals, in particular the emancipation of women. Bourgiba’s successor, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, assumed power in 1987, and established an authoritarian rule that would stay in place until a wave of anti-government protests forced him into exile in January 2011. The start of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution had a widespread impact, igniting the region-wide movement now known as the Arab Spring. Though at times rocky, Tunisia’s road to democracy has been generally deemed a success, and the country is often hailed as a beacon of hope in a turbulent region.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Béji Caïd Essebsi; and an interview with Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

With approximately 44.2m inhabitants and an annual growth rate of 2.6%, Kenya is the seventh-most populated country in Africa. Demographically, it is also very young, with the average age around 18 years and more than 50% of the population under 25. The country’s politics have changed markedly since the introduction of a new constitution in 2010, devolving a significant amount of power to counties, strengthening political accountability and improving the delivery of public services at the local level. There are challenges, however, and while Kenya’s fast-growing population is seen as a boon by many, the economy has struggled to create enough well-paying jobs to keep up with this growth. Poverty and inequality remain persistent, and recent security concerns have lowered tourism numbers, putting a considerable dent in foreign currency reserves. Yet while these issues are serious, the country has managed to avoid much of the turmoil that has hit other major African economies over the past two years, such as recessions, rising debt and slowdowns in growth. While uncertainty over the outcome of the general elections scheduled for August 2017 may temporarily dampen business confidence, the country has made significant progress and the outlook appears relatively positive.

This chapter contains interviews with President Uhuru Kenyatta; Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; and Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany.

Explore chapter

Sample article from The Report: Argentina 2018

But in only two decades, Argentina has returned as a new focus of investors and companies around the world. The newly elected government of President Mauricio Macri is working to recover the interest of American and European companies, which have announced levels of investment that were unthinkable a few years ago. Domestically, the country is drafting a series of reforms that will help improve macroeconomic fundamentals and ensure healthy levels of consumption, setting the stage for Argentina to again become a southern superpower.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Stretching across the heart of South-east Asia, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has risen to become one of the region’s greatest success stories, after witnessing a remarkable post-war economic recovery. The nation’s vast coastline, rolling highlands, dense jungle and abundance of natural resources have helped to bolster its rapid industrial development, while ongoing economic liberalisation and government initiatives to privatise or restructure a number of state-owned enterprises have had a major impact on foreign direct investment.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; an interview with Pham Binh Minh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; and a viewpoint from Former US President Barack Obama.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

At a time when a number of major Latin American economies, including Brazil and Venezuela, are heading toward recession, Mexico’s economy stands out in the region for its resilience. Projections for 2017 are couched in more uncertainty than is usual, however, in light of the lack of clarity over and the potential impact of policy changes in the US during the first year in office for US President Donald Trump. In forecasts released after the November 2016 US election, the World Bank projected Mexican GDP growth easing to 1.8% in 2017, while the IMF has forecast 1.7%.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Egypt is the third-most-populous country in Africa and the 15th worldwide, according to World Bank figures. As of 2017 the number of residents was estimated to have reached 92m. Arabic is the official language and the only one widely understood across the entire country. Over the last 15 years, Egypt has been undergoing a transformation into a market-oriented economy. The country currently maintains a lower-middle-income status. While there is substantial potential to push the country towards middle-income status, GDP growth rates were stalled – first by the global economic crisis and then by political instability. Nevertheless, the economy grew at a rate of nearly 4% in FY 2014/15 and FY 2015/16. Egypt is a presidential republic. The current president is Abdel Fattah El Sisi, who was elected to his first four-year term in May 2014, following the removal of the previous administration of Mohamed Morsi.

This chapter contains interviews with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi; and Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank.

Explore chapter

Profile

With just over 3% of the territory of the UAE, Sharjah is one of the federation’s smaller emirates, yet it continues to punch above its weight in the realms of commerce and culture. Having long played an important cultural and economic role in the region, it is now home to three free zones, 16 museums and a number of annual festivals that draw visitors from around the world. The discovery of oil in Sharjah’s offshore Mubarak field in 1972 resulted in an economic boom, but even at that early stage the emirate’s leadership understood the importance of establishing a non-oil economy. The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, created that year to broaden the range of economic activity taking place in the emirate, over subsequent decades oversaw development of a range of industries, including petrochemicals, textiles and leather, basic non-metals, foodstuffs and wood products.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sheikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah and member of the UAE’s Supreme Council; and interviews with Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority; and Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Ethnically, linguistically and religiously diverse, Côte d’Ivoire is a West African nation with a rich culture. Once one of the continent’s leading economic powerhouses, the country was afflicted by civil war for much of the past 10 years. However, peace has largely prevailed since April 2011, and the nation is now looking to reclaim its former glory. The country benefits from a wide range of commodities that have helped underwrite its growth. Agriculture is a key economic sector, with cocoa being the most important crop and Côte d’Ivoire the largest producer globally. The country is also a minor net exporter of crude oil with proven reserves of around 100m barrels, the 64th-largest in the world. This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Alassane Dramane Ouattara and interviews with Marcel de Souza, President, Commission of ECOWAS; Pankaj Patel, President, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry; Carlos Lopes, Professor, University of Cape Town, and Visiting Fellow, Oxford Martin School.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The kingdom of Bahrain has been ruled as a constitutional monarchy since 2002 under the leadership of Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The country pioneered the Middle East’s oil production in 1932, thus establishing the region’s initial framework for the petroleum industry. The energy sector remains a pillar of the kingdom’s economy, accounting for the bulk of government revenues but a shrinking proportion of GDP thanks to early efforts to diversify its economy at an early stage. Consequently, the country established itself as a leading regional financial centre in the 1970s and 1980s, with its highly regarded regulatory system encouraging various regional banks looking to move their capital out of Lebanon during that country’s civil war to set up base in Bahrain.

This chapter contains an interview with Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC; and a viewpoint from Theresa May, Prime Minster of the UK.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Located in the south-eastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is the only member of the GCC situated outside of the Gulf itself. Leveraging its strategic location, it has invested in infrastructure with the goal of becoming a global logistics centre. While less hydrocarbons-rich than its GCC neighbours, the sultanate’s diversification efforts are a driving force behind its economic growth. Its long-term development strategy, Oman Vision 2020, emphasises industrialisation, privatisation and Omanisation. Logistics, tourism, mining, fisheries and industrial manufacturing have all been identified as potential future economic drivers, and will be the focus of development under Vision 2040. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said; and an interview with Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General of the GCC.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Undergoing profound and rapid change, Myanmar is today emerging as one of Asia’s most sought-after investment destinations. Its opening to the global economy has come after decades of military rule, during which a long period of isolation and internal conflict was followed by an era of gradual disengagement from politics by the army. This retreat took a decisive step forward in November 2015, when the country held the first openly contested elections in its modern history. The new administration now faces the daunting task of meeting the expectations of a diverse and dynamic people, conscious of their long and distinguished histories as well as their current opportunities.

This chapter contains viewpoints from Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor; President U Htin Kyaw; and Former US President Barak Obama, as well as interviews with Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry; and Mark Garnier, Parliamentary Undersecretary, UK Department for International Trade.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Algeria is Africa’s largest country. Its population – which is currently just under 40m – is rising at an annual rate of 1.9%. Like many other countries in North Africa, the population is young, with two-thirds under the age of 30. Hydrocarbons have long been the economy’s primary driver. The country is the world’s sixth-largest gas exporter, and has the 10th-largest natural gas reserves. However, as a result of the recent drop in hydrocarbons prices, GDP growth softened to 3.9% in 2015, while the fiscal deficit doubled in the same year. The government made moves to trim spending in 2016, but ring-fenced a number of capital projects to ensure productive investments continue. Algeria has maintained an impressive degree of stability, with the government focusing on helping to stave off further unrest in the region and working to strengthen the country’s baseline economic indicators. This chapter contains interviews with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika; Greg Hands, UK Minister of State for International Trade; and Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Boasting one of the region’s largest and most advanced markets, Ghana has long been a diplomatic and economic heavyweight in West Africa. The post-colonial era saw consolidation of the country’s economy and remarkable increases in the standard of living for many Ghanaians. While an abundance of natural resources has, for the most part, underwritten these improvements, recent efforts to spur development in other sectors have met with some success. Diversification has come into sharper focus recently, as reduced global commodity prices have put a dent in export revenues. In 2015 the government negotiated a three-year extended credit facility with the IMF and is now in the process of implementing the reforms required under the deal, laying the groundwork for future sustained growth.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Nana Akufo-Addo; and interviews with Adam Afriyie, UK Trade Envoy to Ghana; Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank; and Marcel de Souza, President, ECOWAS Commission.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is located in the heart of the Middle East, in a region that is often termed the Levant. Its neighbouring countries include Iraq to the east, Saudi Arabia to the south, Israel and Palestine to the west and Syria to the north. In all, Jordan covers 89,342 sq km of land and shares 1635 km of land border with Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Syria. In the south, Jordan has access to the Red Sea via the Gulf of Aqaba.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from King Abdullah II; and interviews with Prime Minister Hani Al Mulki; and Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Gabon covers an area of 267,667 sq km, with 10,000 sq km of narrow coastline stretching across 885 km of the Gulf of Guinea. Gabon’s vast forested areas are home to more than 3000 species of vegetation and at least 190 species of mammals. The population comprises 40 separate ethnic groups, the majority of which speak Bantu languages, which are classified into 10 linguistic groups. According to the latest available official data, as of 2013 Gabon’s population totalled just 1.8m, compared to 22.3m in Cameroon and 4.6m in the Republic of the Congo. Like many oil-dependent nations, Gabon’s economy has felt the impact of depressed global oil prices in recent years, with the World Bank reporting that real GDP fell from $18.18bn in 2014 to $14.34bn in 2015. As a result, the government, which in 2009 launched its guiding economic strategy, Emerging Gabon Strategic Plan, has hastened its efforts to expand the scope of economic activity, with several major new agricultural projects due to come on-stream in the near future.

This chapter includes interviews with President Ali Bongo Ondimba; Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank; Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry; and Pierre Moussa, President, CEMAC Commission.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Home to an estimated 15.7% of the world’s proven oil reserves and the single largest economy in the MENA region, Saudi Arabia is a key player not only in the region but also globally. Since the establishment of Saudi Arabia in September 1932, the Kingdom has poured its considerable resources into a series of large-scale economic development, diversification and modernisation initiatives. 2016 witnessed the unveiling of Vision 2030 which calls for major overhaul of the national economy and designed to pave the way for the reorientation of the Kingdom’s economy away from hydrocarbons powered, state-spurred growth, to a more diversified, private-sector led economic model.

This chapter contains viewpoints from Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs; and Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China; and interviews with Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud, Governor, Makkah Region; and Prince Faisal bin Bandar, Governor, Riyadh Region and Chairman of the High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

With China and India seeing unprecedented growth over the past decade, global trade has increasingly pivoted towards Asia, putting ASEAN in a favourable position to capitalise on new regional opportunities. Official integration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is set to have a dramatic impact on future trade growth, both within ASEAN and beyond. Indonesia’s population and economy are the largest in the AEC, creating opportunities as regional integration unfolds. Investment is expected to rise as foreign companies seek to access the domestic consumer base, while export revenues could benefit from easier access to new markets.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from President Joko Widodo; and interviews with Vice-President Yusuf Kalla; and John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

At the north-west corner of Africa, just 15 km from Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar, Morocco has a strategically important location and for centuries has been a blend of cultures. It is North Africa’s only monarchy and has one of the region’s most stable and most inclusive political systems. The country’s long tradition as an international trading centre continues, with a relatively open economy that has drawn in foreign investment and become one of Europe’s major trading partners in Africa. Diplomatically, Morocco’s pragmatic approach has won it a range of allies and partnerships, from its strong commercial and security ties with the EU to a burgeoning relationship with China and the Gulf countries.

Explore chapter

Profile

While in 2015 the world’s emerging countries and fastest-growing economies suffered due to low commodity prices and currency depreciations, Dubai still enjoyed steady GDP growth at around 4% and an increased drive towards consolidating its position as a knowledge-based economy. With a well-diversified model and a set of transformation-oriented projects worth some Dh300bn ($81.7m) in the pipeline, 2015 was worth its designation as the “year of innovation”. The issuing of the Dubai Open Data Law and the creation of Dubai Smart City were among the flagship initiatives driving this transformation.

This chapter contains interviews with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council; Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President, Dubai Women Establishment; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Dubai Airports; President, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; and Chairman and CEO, Emirates Group; Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation; and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai; and viewpoints from Xi Jinping, President of China and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

A member of both the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and the GCC, Kuwait is arguably the most politically dynamic in the Gulf, which has afforded it strong foundations to help tackle recent issues concerning parliamentary elections and accountability. By continuing with economic diversification efforts and reducing dependence on oil revenues, it is also adding increased momentum to several large infrastructure projects, which will help further integrate Kuwait into the global economy. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, on the importance of addressing regional security within the GCC; and interviews with Marzouq Ali Al Ghanim, Speaker, Kuwait National Assembly; Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General, GCC; and Tobias Ellwood, MP and Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Nigeria is the third-biggest country in West Africa by area and 32nd largest in the world. With 853 km of coastline adjoining the Gulf of Guinea, it is well connected to international trade routes and acts as an important conduit of goods for its landlocked neighbours to the north. Nigeria is also blessed with an abundance of resources. In the last 18 months, significant political progress has been made in Nigeria. The ballot box has taken centre stage as the country carried out a peaceful handover of power at both the executive and legislative level. The incoming government has a number of pressing issues to tackle ranging from an Islamist insurgency in the north to a bruised oil industry in the south, alongside a slowing economy and depreciating currency.

This chapter contains viewpoints from President Muhammadu Buhari; and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF; as well as an interview with Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Culturally one of the world’s most diverse countries, Papua New Guinea is widely considered to be one the last frontiers for tourism and business opportunities – the island of New Guinea hosts 6-8% of the world’s species, one-sixth of known languages and rivals Borneo, the Amazon and the Congo in terms of biodiversity. The country is an important exporter of natural resources (gold, copper, oil and natural gas) as well as agricultural products, with its cash crops including coffee, oil palm, cocoa, coconut and to a lesser extent tea and rubber. PNG also became a major exporter of natural gas in 2014, significantly increasing the size and strength of its economy, and the $19bn PNG Liquefied Natural Gas project was completed ahead of schedule and within budget.

This chapter contains an interview with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Explore chapter

Click here to view a sample article from The Report: Sharjah 2016

Sharjah is the UAE’s third-largest emirate with a population of almost 800,000 and a GDP of roughly $24bn. Government focus on education programmes and the development of a diversified economic base has helped support Sharjah’s robust growth in recent years while its relatively small oil and gas reserves mean the emirate has been less affected than many by the oil price-induced turbulence witnessed over the past two years.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Since gaining independence in 1971, Qatar has quickly risen to prominence both regionally and internationally to become an economic, political and cultural powerhouse in the Middle East. With a relatively small local population and substantial revenues generated from natural gas, Qatar has the world’s highest GDP per capita, averaging approximately $100,000. Prior to 2010, the country was mostly known internationally as the home of the media network Al Jazeera, yet this changed when Qatar won the contest to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in December 2010. As the first and only Arab nation ever to host the event, Qatar has witnessed considerable press coverage since. Whether focusing on its extensive international investments, ample spending at home on substantial infrastructure projects, labour migration issues or the state’s involvement in foreign and regional affairs, Qatar has made a name for itself in the international arena.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar; and interviews with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO, Qatar Foundation; and Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, President, Qatar Olympic Committee.

OBG Bloomberg Terminal Research Homepage: OBGR

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Trinidad and Tobago stands out in the Caribbean and the Americas as a comparatively wealthy, hydrocarbons-based economy with rich and diverse cultural traditions and a robust democratic system. The twin-island country has a population of 1.35m people and a per capita GDP that places the country among the wealthiest in the Americas, behind the US and Canada, and ahead of most Caribbean and Latin American countries. T&T’s abundant oil and gas reserves have driven this prosperity, and have underpinned its strong economic growth rate. While excessive reliance on the oil and gas sector is problematic at times of low international hydrocarbons prices, the country has managed to achieve a degree of diversification into other sectors such as financial services, tourism and manufacturing.

This chapter contains interviews with Prime Minister Keith Rowley and Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Republic of Ghana.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

While both 2015 and 2016 have held numerous important changes for Brunei Darussalam, the nation has long maintained its unique balance of tradition and modernity. Classified as a unitary Islamic monarchy, the Sultanate has maintained a stable form of government since its independence in 1984. Historically, the oil and gas industry has dominated the Bruneian economy and has allowed the Sultanate to accumulate its considerable wealth. However, the nation is making earnest efforts to diversify its economy in order to ensure future economic stability and sustainability. This chapter contains an interview with Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General, ASEAN.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Having undergone rapid development over the last half-century, Malaysia’s economy has progressed from relying on agricultural and primary commodities to being more broad-based and export-driven. Benefitting from long-term political stability, sound economic management and pragmatic leadership, the country possesses sound infrastructure, established health care and education systems, and an increasingly advanced and diversified economy. Its diversity may be one of its greatest assets: with a population that is both multi-ethnic and multilingual, it is well placed to succeed in an increasingly integrated global economy. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Prime Minister Najib Razak, and an interview with Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Explore chapter

Country Profile

Sri Lanka, the “Wonder of Asia”, formerly known as Ceylon, has long served as an important strategic destination in the Indian Ocean, catering to merchants and travellers from South-east Asia, India, the Middle East and East Africa. While much of the country’s recent history has been tainted by a decades-long civil war, post-conflict euphoria has brought a sense of renewal and optimism to the island nation. A new administration, elected in 2015, has pledged its commitment to inclusive governance and economic reform, as well as rebalancing its foreign policy and reconciling with the country’s ethnic minorities.

This chapter contains an interview with President Maithripala Sirisena, a viewpoint from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and interviews with Hugo Swire, Minister of State, British Foreign and Commonweath Office; and Arjun Bahadur Thapa, Secretary General, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Explore chapter

Pro