QFC, one of the world's leading and fastest-growing onshore business and financial centres, had a remarkable year in 2018 that included:
31% growth in the number of registered firms, reaching over 605 firms
The signing of 5 landmark MoUs with local and international entities
ISDA netting recognition
Numerous high-level busine ss and diplomatic delegations from the US, Europe, Asia and Africa
The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world's leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, achieved a remarkable 31% growth in 2018, with the number of firms registered on its platform to reach 605 in December 2018, compared to 461 firms at the beginning of the year.
This is well past the 50% mark of the QFC's goal of registering 1,000 firms by 2022 and includes businesses in a variety of industries that range from investment management, insurance, consultancy and investment advisory, as well as holding companies, special purpose companies and professional services firms. The new firms originate from a diverse number of countries including Qatar, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Jordan, India as well as Pakistan and others.
The QFC's growth is also reflected in the number of milestone MoUs, events and international engagements that took place in 2018. The QFC signed five landmark MoUs in 2018 with key local and international stakeholders to develop various sectors of the economy. Most notably, with the Aspire Zone Foundation to establish 'Qatar's Sports Business District' (QSBD), a new national project which aims to create a premier sports business cluster in Qatar and the Middle East. The QFC also signed an MoU with B-Hive, a European collaborative innovation FinTech platform to develop the FinTech industry in Qatar. In line with its mandate to support Qatar's economic diversification efforts, the QFC signed a key MoU with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to develop the digital industry.
As part of the QFC's proactive approach to fulfilling its core mandate of attracting FDI to Qatar, the QFC organised a number of international roadshows and events in key markets including Spain, France, Indonesia and China. The QFC also participated in a number of globally recognised events, and welcomed numerous high-profile delegations from around the world including Georgia, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Ghana, South Africa, Malaysia, Pakistan, China, Mexico, as well as the United States of America.
2018 also saw the QFC being recognised as an effective netting regime by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), which will allow financial institutions in the QFC and in the State of Qatar, through the QFC, to confidently manage their risk exposure.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority said:
"2018 has proven to be yet another period of extraordinary growth for the Qatar Financial Centre. We are proud to welcome over 605 firms to our platform, which include major international corporations as well as exceptional local businesses. This is evidence of the versatility and attractiveness of the QFC's unique offerings."Al-Jaida added:
"Thanks to our proactive approach to engaging with key international markets around the world and facilitating partnerships with important local and global stakeholders, we are continuing to see increased interest from these regions across a variety of sectors. I am confident that the QFC's growth will continue in 2019 and beyond. We are currently gearing up for our next phase of growth, which will see the QFC supporting some of Qatar's leading industries to further diversify its economy and attract foreign direct investment."
The QFC is an onshore jurisdiction, which endeavours to promote Qatar as an attractive business destination. Companies that wish to establish a business at the QFC are guided throughout by a dedicated QFC relationship manager who assists in the process of obtaining a licence and offers support in matters related to operating a business in Qatar. Firms registered at the QFC enjoy competitive benefits, such as working within a legal environment based on English common law, the right to trade in any currency, up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits, and an extensive double taxation avoidance agreement network with 70+ countries.