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Chapter | Economy from The Report: Philippines 2019

With strong economic growth, an expanding population and an increasingly sophisticated internal market, the Philippines is one of Asia Pacific’s brightest investment opportunities. Concerted efforts to reform taxes, improve the ease of doing business and shore up capital markets are under way, while inflation is back under control and a major programme of infrastructure development is accelerating. Meanwhile, structural reforms are continuing and significant shifts are being undertaken in key areas such as fuel subsidies and rice imports. Additionally, more sectors of the economy are being opened up to foreign participation as the country moves towards greater integration with its international partners. All these moves are helping the Philippines move up the value chain, diversify its economy and attract greater foreign direct investment. This chapter also contains interviews with Carlos G Dominguez, Secretary of Finance; and Kevin Tan, CEO, Alliance Global Group.

Report | The Report: Philippines 2019

The Philippines’ cooling inflation, improved ease of doing business and increased openness to foreign participation are set to encourage more foreign direct investment. A wealth of infrastructure investment under President Rodrigo Duterte’s flagship Build Build Build programme should ease congestion, reduce regional inequality and further boost the flourishing tourism industry.

Chapter | Capital Markets New from The Report: Ghana 2019

After a surge in stock prices in 2017 that saw the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) become the best performing exchange globally, the GSE experienced a significant setback, posting net declines in 2018. Nevertheless, the strong performance of the country’s main index in 2017 has renewed interest in the market as a means of raising capital and made Ghanaian equities a more attractive prospect for investors. While challenges remain, including a lack of variety in investment instruments and low levels of liquidity, the introduction of new minimum capital requirements for banks, coupled with the sustained growth of one of sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest-growing economies, appears set to boost the raising of capital and stock prices over the course of 2019. This chapter contains interviews with Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh, Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission; and Alex Asiedu, Managing Director, STANLIB.

Chapter | The Guide 2 from The Report: Kuwait 2017

The guide contains listings of some of the leading hotels and resorts in Kuwait and contacts for important government offices and services. It also contains useful tips and information for first-time or regular and business and leisure visitors alike.

Chapter | ICT_Final from The Report: Colombia 2019

The ICT sector is one of the most promising sectors in Colombia with high demand for telecommunications services, and an emphasis on innovation in commerce and industry. However, financial challenges, such as changes in interest rates, also significantly impact the growth of ICT due to the long-term nature of investments in the sector. Similarly, companies can struggle to access financing to offer new products and attract a greater share of the competitive market. This is influenced by pressures both within the country’s active start-up scene and from the development of new technologies across the world. Although it is expected that companies will be able to keep up, the key to ensuring penetration rates continue to increase will be designing products that meet consumer demands and anticipate upcoming trends. This chapter contains a roundtable with Ignacio Roman Vila, President, Avantel; Fabián Hernández, President, Telefónica Movistar Colombia; and Marcelo Cataldo, President, TigoUNE.

Chapter | Financial Services from The Report: Colombia 2019

The banking sector has already begun to show signs of improvement in line with macro economic indicators. Measures taken by the national government and the Central Bank of Colombia appear to have enabled the sector to weather the storm, and improving economic conditions should pave the way for a positive performance from the financial sector. Despite the slow evolution of equities trading, Colombia’s capital markets appear to be moving in the right direction with regard to corporate debt, and the expansion of derivatives, Venture Capital and private equity markets. Moreover, regulators continue to engage closely with their counterparts to foment the further development of the Latin American Integrated Market, meaning the regional market will likely continue to gain prominence. The insurance sector in Colombia looks set to maintain its positive trajectory over the medium term, with GDP forecast to expand, and a population increasingly willing to purchase new insurance products. Also, the growth of insurtech will likely be a decisive shift for both customers and providers, giving customers a better experience and broader choice of products, and firms the ability to tap into artificial intelligence and data analytics to boost sales. This chapter contains interviews with David Bojanini, CEO, Grupo SURA; Juan Pablo Córdoba, President, Colombian Securities Exchange; and Javier Díaz Fajardo, President, Bancóldex.