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Chapter | ICT1 from The Report: Thailand 2017

Thailand is quickly going from being a secondary player in the world of technology to a regional, if not global, leader. The relevant sectors are rapidly beginning to take off with the introduction of 4G and the build-out of fixed-line assets. Greater bandwidth, higher speeds, lower latency and increased consumer demand have led to a burst of activity. The country is now arguably the centre of ICT in ASEAN, with a significant percentage of regional traffic and the most active smartphone users. Meanwhile, the government is supporting technology with official policies and programmes. Its goal is to transform not only specific sectors, but also the economy and the country as a whole. This chapter contains an interview with Sanpachai Huvanandana, President, CAT Telecom.

Chapter | Transport1 from The Report: Thailand 2017

Thailand’s rise to the forefront of economic development in South-east Asia over the past three decades was first fuelled by its agricultural prowess, which was then followed by its transition into a regional manufacturing powerhouse, before the more recent push to evolve into a knowledge- and service-based economy. Although numerous factors have aided the country’s achievements across disparate sectors, a common thread that runs through each of these industries has greatly improved their odds of success both internally and internationally: an increasingly modern, capable transportation network. This chapter contains interviews with Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transport; Sombat Kitjalaksana, Managing Director, Bangkok Expressway and Metro; and Usanee Sangsingkeo, Acting President, Thai Airways International.

Chapter | Industry & Retail1 from The Report: Thailand 2017

Economic stability, comparatively well-developed infrastructure and competitive investment incentives have attracted a steady flow of financing to Thailand’s manufacturing sector from both foreign and domestic sources, resulting in one of the strongest manufacturing bases in the ASEAN region and the second-largest economy within the trade block. These investments – made initially in basic industrial areas such as auto manufacturing, simple electronics and food products – have laid the groundwork for future steps up the value chain, while also providing an export-driven stream of revenue for the government to provide further improvements to infrastructure and financial incentives. This chapter contains interviews with Kanit Sangsubhan, Secretary-General, Eastern Economic Corridor Office; Roongrote Rangsiyopash, President and CEO, SCG; and Markus Lorenzini, President and CEO Thailand, Siemens.

Chapter | Education from The Report: Kuwait 2017

Driven by the need to accommodate rising enrolment and government efforts to address long-standing issues in public education, the education sector in Kuwait is undergoing significant reform in 2017. Government-directed reforms and investments include those initiated in the general education segment under Kuwait’s Integrated Education Reform Programme and School Education Quality Improvement Project. These are aimed at helping to improve and enhance the country’s basic education offering. Since 2014 the government has also been more actively seeking to engage the private sector on development, primarily by offering investor-friendly policies and public-private partnerships. This chapter contains an interview with Adnan Shihab-Eldin, Director-General, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences.

Chapter | Economy1 from The Report: Kuwait 2017

With billions of dinars worth of short-term spending plans and a new vision for economic transformation over the next two decades, Kuwait offers opportunities for investment across a range of sectors. While the country adopted a save and prosper approach during the oil boom years of 2010-14, the prolonged reduction in oil prices experienced since then has coincided with a renewed appetite for investment and reform that bodes well for private sector players. Funding mechanisms such as public-private partnership agreements, as well as capital projects funded by state-owned enterprises, are set to provide opportunities for international firms with the government actively seeking to attract foreign direct investment and highlighting the ICT, renewable energy and finance as sectors it would like to see developed by using international expertise over the following two decades. This chapter contains interviews with Khaled Mahdi, Secretary-General, Supreme Council for Planning and Development and Sheikh Meshaal Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah, Director General, Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority.

Chapter | Legal Framework from The Report: Kuwait 2017

This chapter contains an overview of the legal framework under which local and foreign investors operate in Kuwait, including a look at the amendments made to the Companies Law and an examination of the New Agency Law which is taking effect after 50 years. This chapter contains a viewpoint from Philip Kotsis, Partner, Al Tamimi & Co.