Country Highlights

INDONESIA

The world’s fourth most populous country and largest archipelago, Indonesia, straddles the Strait of Malacca – the shortest sea route for global container shipping between China and India, with Singapore and Malaysia on the opposite side. 

The Government of Indonesia realizes the importance of private participation in accelerating infrastructure development in Indonesia, especially considering the government’s limitation to provide funding for infrastructure needs. Under the current 2020-2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN), the government’s main target is to reach the average GDP growth of 6% and allocate IDR 6,445 trillion or about 6,2% of GDP for infrastructure spending. In contrast, the funding capacity of the government is IDR 2,385 trillion or about 37% of the total required investment. 

 

Public Private Partnership
Infrastructure Projects Plan 2023

This funding gap forces the government to maximize innovative financing schemes by encouraging the participation of the private sector in infrastructure provision investment through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme. The Indonesia PPP Joint Office was established to serve as the point of coordination for PPP stakeholders; functioning as the front office for the government to business entities in obtaining information and knowledge related to PPP schemes and project implementation, recommend integration of PPP policies, monitor the government’s planning and budgeting process in accommodating PPP projects, and provide government support and facilities for projects sustainably.   

Java Integrated Industrial and Ports Estate (JIIPE) is a 2,167-hectare special economic zone organised by five industry segments:  

1. Metal Industry Concentration 
2. Cluster of Electronic Industry 
3. Chemical Industry Concentration 
4. Energy Industry Concentration 
5. Industry Cluster for Support and Logistics

Approximately 400 ha of the 2,167 ha of Gresik SEZ (JIIPE) is a deep seaport strategically located in the Madura Strait and part of the Surabaya West Water Current (APBS). With a total ultimate pier length of 6,500 meters and a water depth of -16 meters LWS, KEK Gresik Port (JIIPE) can accommodate vessels of up to 100,000 deadweight tons. 

JAPAN

Being the world’s third largest economy and a leading industrial powerhouse for creating various high value-added products in a technology intensive economy with cutting-edge R&D capabilities, Japan has maintained its competitiveness even as a developed economy. 

To achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (ETI) established a 2-trillion-yen fund to provide continuous support for R&D projects, demonstrations, and social implementation projects for 10 years to companies that commit to its Green Growth Strategy. Tax incentives for foreign direct investment in Japan are granted when criteria are met for digital transformation, open innovation and R&D, energy management for carbon neutrality, and productivity enhancement. Highly skilled foreign professionals from foreign countries working in startups can apply for resident status based on “Startup Visa” scheme. 

 

The Council for Science, Technology and Innovation under the Cabinet Office launched a “Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program” to accelerate technological advancement, with emphasis an open innovation ecosystem that welcomes collaboration between public and private sectors, using: 

Automated Driving for Universal Services 
Big-Data and AI-Enabled Cyberspace Technologies 
Cyber Security for IoT 
Energy Systems of IoE Society 
Innovative AI Hospital System 
Materials Intergration for Revolutionary Design System of Structural Materials 
Photonics and Quantum Technology for Society 5.0 
Technologies for Smart Bio-industry and Agriculture

SIP 2nd Phase – Materials Integration Plan

SIP Innovative AI Hospital System Policy Paper

SIP Smart Bio-industry & Agriculture R&D Plan

MEXICO

As of 2021, Mexico’s total population registered 126 mil. Evaluated best in Latin America and the Caribbean for Ease of Doing Business according to The World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, Mexico surpassed economies like India, Vietnam and South Africa. Mexico is a member of NAFTA, OECD, G20, USMCA, EU-MEXICO FTA, CPTPP 11 and the Pacific Alliance. It has 13 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 50 countries, 32 Reciprocal Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (RIPPAs) with 33 countries, and 9 Partial Scope Agreements (PSAs) within the framework of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI). 

Its extensive logistics network comprises a total of 23,389 km of railway operated lines, 77 airports, 64 of which are international, and 102 ports and 15 terminals; 58 on the Pacific coast, and 59 on the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean coast. 

 

The agri-food GDP represents almost 8% of the national GDP. Based on 2021 figures from the Bank of Mexico, Mexico’s agricultural and agro-industrial balance registered a surplus of USD 9,091 mil in 2019. Vegetables, beverages, and fruits are the main export groups, contributing more than 60% of agricultural and agro-industrial exports that generated USD 37,843 mil. 

Projected revenue in the Medical Technology market is expected to reach USD 9.64 bln in 2024 – the largest market segment within this industry is ‘Medical Devices’ with a projected market volume of USD 8.09 bln. Mexico’s medical technology market is experiencing a surge in demand for advanced imaging equipment due to the country’s growing healthcare infrastructure. The revenue in this market is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 4.26% (CAGR 2024-2028), resulting in a market volume of US$11.39bn by 2028. 

Durango Brochure

Guanajuato Brochure

Tamaulipas Brochure

U.S.A. (To be updated.)

SPAIN

Spain is a key supplier to Europe given its natural access to markets in the north of Africa and Latin America. It has 46 international ports and the longest coastline of any country in Europe, and it also offers advanced transport and logistics infrastructures.

3 in 4 top 100 companies in Forbes Global 2000 operate in Spain. The “participation exemption” scheme benefits international companies. Dividends and capital gains obtained from the transfer of shares of non- resident subsidiaries in Spain are exempt from taxation. Spain has a special tax regime for holding companies (“Spanish Holding Companies”-ETVE) that allows dividends and capital gains from the transfer of shares from subsidiaries to be exempt from taxation.

Innovation is gaining strength in the Spanish economy as a whole. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), Spain has recorded three consecutive years of investment growth in Research, Development and Innovation (RDI), at a higher rate of growth than nominal GDP.

Spain has a vibrant start-up community with support in the form of incubators, accelerators, ecosystem of private fundraising options, public financing options, grants and loans. ‘Rising Up in Spain’, launched by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) (Spanish: Instituto Español de Comercio Exterior) – an agency of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade (Ministerio de Industria, Turismo y Comercio), is a programme for foreign entrepreneurs starting up in Spain.

Spain’s exports grew 23% in 2022 to a record €389 billion, though the increase did not prevent the trade deficit from doubling to €68 billion because of a rise of prices and volumes of energy imports. Exports of goods and services represented almost 42% of Spain’s gross domestic product (GDP) and were a key driver of the economy’s 5.5% growth in 2022.


Spain is a key supplier to Europe given its natural access to markets in the north of Africa and Latin America. It has 46 international ports and the longest coastline of any country in Europe, and it also offers advanced transport and logistics infrastructures.

3 in 4 top 100 companies in Forbes Global 2000 operate in Spain. The “participation exemption” scheme benefits international companies. Dividends and capital gains obtained from the transfer of shares of non-resident subsidiaries in Spain are exempt from taxation. Spain has a special tax regime for holding companies (“Spanish Holding Companies” – ETVE) that allows dividends and capital gains from the transfer of shares from subsidiaries to be exempt from taxation.

Innovation is gaining strength in the Spanish economy as a whole. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), Spain has recorded three consecutive years of investment growth in Research, Development and Innovation (RDI), at a higher rate of growth than nominal GDP. Spain has a vibrant start-up community with support in the form of incubators, accelerators, ecosystem of private fundraising options, public financing options, grants and loans. ‘Rising Up in Spain’, launched by ICEX Spain Trade and Investments, is a programme for foreign entrepreneurs starting up in Spain. 

The chemical industry supplies products that are used in 98% of the productive processes in its economy. This is one of the industrial sectors predicted to experience the fastest growth worldwide. The increase in production that will be needed to satisfy international demand is estimated at 4.5% year-on-year until 2030.

Starting up in Spain Brochure
Guide to Business in Spain 2022

Chemical Sector 2023 Brochure

SAUDI ARABIA

Circular Carbon Economy National Program

The sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has developed a green framework for financing drawn from the concept of the Circular Carbon Economy (CCE) which was launched during the Kingdom’s Presidency of the G20 in 2020. The CCE was endorsed and adopted by G20 member countries in support of the 4Rs of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions reduction principles – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Remove. 

Subsequently, the Kingdom has launched the “Circular Carbon Economy National Program” to draw a comprehensive roadmap, which includes technological localization and advancement through the implementation of the CCE concept. The program is a result of joint efforts by different stakeholders who worked on developing and implementing mechanisms covering all technical, administrative, engineering, and normative aspects in order to achieve the strategic objectives – such as sustainable social and economic growth, promoting integrated climate‐change solutions and ensuring global leadership in the field of the CCE. 

Based on the CCE approach, green finance projects are generally classified based on the management of emissions as depicted below:

i. Emission Reduction (Avoidance): Contribute to climate action by avoiding the release of GHGs into the atmosphere. 

ii. Emission Reuse or Recycle: Abatement from a point source by capturing emissions and performing any of the below actions:
a. reusing them without changing their chemistry
b. recycling them, or products containing GHGs, into similar or different products with different chemical characteristics
c. storing them

iii. Emission Removal: Process for carbon removal from the atmosphere whether through nature‐based solutions (e.g., planting trees) or carbon removal technology (e.g., direct air capture)

Human Capability Development Program

The Human Capability Development Program is one of the Vision Realization Programs (VRPs) of Vision 2030. It aims to develop citizens’ capabilities, prepare them for the future, and support them to seize opportunities. 

The program focuses on instilling values, developing basic and future skills, and enhancing knowledge in various fields to attain these goals by the end of 2025:

•  4 out of 10 highly skilled jobs for Saudi citizens
•  early childhood education in kindergartens for 4 out of 10 children
•  for 6 Saudi universities to be ranked within the top 200 universities globally 
•  be ranked 45th or higher on the World Bank’s Human Capital Index

Developing its human capital is key for a skilled labour force in 9 target growth industries: i) chemicals, ii) information technology, iii) energy and water, iv) industrial and manufacturing, v) healthcare and life sciences, vi) mining and minerals, vii) transport and logistics, viii) tourism, culture and entertainment, and ix) real estate.

Private institutions for higher learning, vocational skills training, edtech products and solutions, education service providers, curriculum and academic content publishers are incentivised to establish in Saudi Arabia. The most popular partnership model is a management and franchise model or “manchise” in which the operator has operational and education management control while the investor provides the working capital for construction and operational costs. 

Saudi Green Initiative

The first wave of over 60 programs and projects that contribute to the overarching targets for the Saudi Green Initiative – a Vision 2030 project, represents more than SAR 700 billion of investment, for the green economy. The initiatives span a range of sectors involving global and national contributions. 

The Green Initiative Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established to support the implementation of Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative objectives.

Other Vision 2030 projects include NEOM, ROSHN, SAUDI MADE, Green Riyadh, King Salman Park, The Red Sea project, Qiddiya, and more. 

The Red Sea Project (PIF)

PIF Green Finance Framework

EGYPT

SCZone Brochure

Located along major international trade routes and nestled between Middle East and North Africa, Egypt is a gateway for businesses to gain direct access to both regions. Egypt Vision 2030 is a long-term strategic plan to achieve the principles and goals of sustainable development in all fields – consisting of eight main national goals aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Sustainable Development Strategy for Africa 2063. 

Use of advanced technology in manufacturing and agriculture will propel production output to greater capacities. Digital transformation is widely implemented in the public and private sectors. A new administrative capital 45km east of Cairo and halfway to the seaport of Suez is a smart city comprising residential and commercial districts. 

Oil has dominated Egypt’s energy industry even as natural gas, hydro-power, and solar and wind power all contribute to its energy production, but that is set to change with the construction of a nuclear power plant targeted to be operational by 2030, capable of meeting the demand for up to half of its current total power consumption, as cited by news sources. Green mobility in the transportation industry will benefit from this since the electrification of vehicles depends on how available and affordable electricity is. 

In the Arab world, Egypt ranks only after Saudi Arabia in terms of size of economy, largely attributable to its population size of over 100 mil (since 2020) and the largest in Middle East and North Africa. Credit rating agencies including Moody’s, S&P and Fitch have maintained Egypt’s rating with a stable outlook even during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Suez Canal Economic Zone

Major international trade routes and access to African and Middle Eastern markets supported with accessibility to 6 sea ports (West Port Said, East Port Said, Alarish Port, Adabyia Port, Sokhna Port and Altor Port) and 2 airports (Cairo International Airport and Port Said Airport). 
4 industrial zones with strong cost competitiveness for manufacturing: 

• East Port Said Industrial Zone, West Qantara Industrial Zone, East Ismailia Industrial Zone and Sokhna Industrial Zone. 

• Global hub for maritime transport and logistic services. 

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