In Europe regulation and energy policies are the key factors in determining which regions are most favoured for investment by Independent Power Producers (IPPs). But in the Americas, electricity price is the determining factor, while power purchase contract terms are of most importance in Asia. These are among the key conclusions of a survey of IPPs conducted by Datamonitor, an international firm of market analysts based in London. Datamonitor describes it as "surprising" that regulation and policy are seen as the most important variable in Europe, an area where the process of liberalisation has advanced furthest. "IPPs believe the deregulation process must progress in order for the market to develop further," states the company. The most well established markets, such as the US and the UK, are seen as having the best prospects for the next 20 years, according to the Datamonitor survey, Global IPP Power Equipment Markets 2020. Outside of Europe and the Americas, Thailand was voted as the country with the best prospects in Asia, while Egypt topped the "rest of the world" category. The survey divides the world into five regions-the Americas, Asia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Rest of World. IPPs rank the importance of eight variables when considering investment in each region: regulation and energy policies; electricity price; fuel costs/availability; planning approval process; possibility/price of power purchase agreement; existence of spot market; number of IPP licences awarded in the past and expectations for the future; and investment risk profile.