Afghanistan is making progress through gains in education, security, health, and infrastructure
Reposted from The Wall Street Journal
By Saad Mohseni
The conventional wisdom about Afghanistan runs something like this: The country is a lost cause. Almost nothing has changed. The people remain backward and thankless, and there is little benefit for the international community to stay engaged in the country’s future.
This is far from the truth. Despite many years of conflict, Afghanistan has exhibited dramatic signs of economic, social and cultural revival. The country has undergone such extraordinary change since 9/11 that a return to the dark period of the Taliban is unfathomable. More…
Ethiopia is courting investment from the BRICS countries to build its rail networks
Reposted from Bloomberg
By William Davison
Ethiopia is negotiating with Brazil, Russia and India to finance and build rail links after agreeing terms last year with Chinese and Turkish companies for other routes, the head of the state rail company said.
Russia’s government may fund a 587-kilometer (365-mile) southern line that will eventually connect with a proposed port at Lamu on Kenya’s northeastern coast, Ethiopian Railways Corp. General Manager Getachew Betru said in an April 26 interview. Brazilian companies could build a 439-kilometer section of a route to oil-rich South Sudan and India is considering export financing for a line to a port in Djibouti, he said. More…
Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence will overhaul Fiji’s two largest ports
Reposted from News360.lk
Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence PLC has been chosen by the Fijian government to overhaul the operation of the country’s two biggest ports, namely Suva and Lautoka, a media report said.
Accordingly, the Aitken Spence has formed a Private Public Partnership agreement with Fiji Ports Corporation, where both parties will operate under the newly established joint venture Fiji Ports Terminal Limited. Aitken Spence will own 51 percent of the shares of Ports Terminal at a price of $10.53 million. More…
Ethiopia and China have signed a $1 billion deal to further hydroelectric energy in the East African nation
Reposted from CapitalFM
Ethiopia signed a contract Friday worth nearly $1 billion with a Chinese energy company to build two transmission lines linking the country’s largest dam to the country’s central power grid.
The Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo.) signed the deal with China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company (CET) in the Ethiopian capital. More…
Iraq is attracting FDI in oil & gas, power, infrastructure, and financial services
Reposted from Arabian Business
By Ed Attwood
Wadie Habboush has one of the more impressive corner offices that this reporter has seen, and he’s seen a few. The firm of which he is CEO, the Habboush Group, has just moved into a cavernous corporate office in DIFC, from where it is planning nothing less than the redevelopment of Iraq’s battered infrastructure.
The Iraqi national certainly has some pretty big aims. Via a ‘one-stop-shop’ strategy, the company aims to link foreign investors who are keen to access Iraq’s potential returns with the country’s need for infrastructure. What that means is that the firm will not only secure the financing for any particular project, it will also design, build and operate the project even after completion. More…
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa will outpace the world economy over the next three years
Reposted from BBC News
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa should significantly outpace the global average over the next three years, according to the World Bank. Higher commodities, increasing investment and a general pick-up in the world economy should all boost the continent’s growth to more than 5%. But the World Bank added that African governments had to do more to ensure that this growth reduced poverty. More…
The Fiji National Provident Fund and the Papua New Guinea Government have invested in Bemobile
Reposted from FijiVillage.com
The Fiji National Provident Fund along with the Papua New Guinea Government through it’s commercial arm Independent Public Business Corporation today announced their joint investment in Bemobile PNG Limited.
Bemobile will be managed by Vodafone Fiji Limited. More…
Cambodia’s economic outlook is bright due to its steady GDP growth, low-cost labor, and upcoming integration into ASEAN’s single market
By John Enos
As the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) prepares for its single-market Economic Community in 2015, Cambodia is poised to benefit tremendously from this unification. With President Barack Obama in attendance, Cambodia played host to the 2012 ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in November. The most salient topic was the upcoming regional economic integration and how it will stimulate new foreign investment by removing tariffs, creating Free Trade Areas (FTAs), and forging pivotal transportation links both within ASEAN and in hegemonic China.
Cambodia, as an emerging low-cost manufacturing hub with tourism appeal, a stable government, and a crescent consumer class, will prosper from this ASEAN unification. The Kingdom’s strategic location and recurrent economic durability – 7% GDP growth is expected for 2013, in line with previous years – has propelled foreign direct investment (FDI), which increased by 44% last year to reach US $1.3 billion. Hun Sen, the country’s Prime Minister, believes that Cambodia will transition from a low-income country to a lower-middle-income country by the end of this year as classified by the World Bank.
This article is an excerpt from Leopard Asia Frontier Fund’s March 2013 newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here. More…
Reposted from South China Morning Post
Buildings go up in Yangon, where infrastructure is unable to keep up with breakneck development.
By Charlotte So
Deficiencies in infrastructure are holding back progress in realising the country’s huge potential, but they’re also golden opportunities
Myanmar’s backward infrastructure threatens to create a bottleneck, holding back the country’s rapid development. But for Hong Kong companies fresh from helping transform mainland China over the past 30 years, it adds up to opportunity.
The 320-kilometre bus ride from the commercial centre of Yangon to Naypyidaw, the new capital carved out of the jungle by the junta in the past decade, takes 6-1/2 hours. But traffic jams are not to blame for the slow pace. On the contrary, traffic is only seen occasionally on the main route between the old and new capitals. Rather, substandard construction techniques are to blame for the slow, sometimes bumpy ride. More…
Yangon International Airport
Reposted from Bloomberg
By Cathy Chan
Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation that exited 50 years of military rule in 2011, offers investors the best growth opportunity in the region, said Hari Achuthan, whose firm is betting $700 million on the country.
ACO Investment Group, co-founded by Achuthan and former United Airlines president Ronojoy Dutta, this year aims to invest $200 million in Yangon International Airport and plans to make a $500 million bid for two telecommunications licenses as part of a new global infrastructure fund, Achuthan said.
“What we’re looking for is a frontier market that has a tremendous amount of growth ahead of it,” the former Credit Suisse Group AG banker said in a phone interview on March 15. “In the Asian markets, if you’re looking for growth, we would rather look at Myanmar versus the saturated markets of Thailand or Indonesia.” More…