The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA), one of the world's leading and fastest growing business and financial centers has announced record growth in 2017, recording a 66% increase in new firms being licensed year on year (1st January to 31 December 2017). This follows news earlier this year when the QFC reported a 41% increase in new firm registrations for H1 of 2017 (1st January to 30th June 2017) compared to H1 in 2016.
The total number of firms on the QFC platform has reached 461 (as at 31 December 2017), compared to 348 firms at end of December 2016, marking a 32.5% increase year on year.
Yousuf Mohammed Al-Jaida, QFC Authority Chief Executive Officer commented on the rapid increases stating: "While 2017 has seen unprecedented events take place, at the QFC we have in fact proven challenges can turn into successes and we have had our most successful year yet."
He continued: "Following our outward missions to various markets including London, Manchester, Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany, we are seeing a vast increase in interest from these regions and from a variety of sectors such as sports, healthcare, education, advisory firms, financial institutions, reinsurance and advisory firms."
Al-Jaida concluded: "Our success this year is further evidence of the attractiveness of the QFC platform and the openness of Qatar as a market. Our model is unique in the region, and an increasing number of institutions from Qatar and around the world are clearly seeing the benefits of coming to Qatar and joining the QFC platform. We look forward to 2018 and improving even further upon this big milestone."
Since its inception in 2005, QFC has continued to play a key role alongside the Ministry of Economy and Commerce to attract foreign direct investment by providing a competitive platform for firms to expand to Qatar. The QFC recently amended its tax rules and regulations as part of the ongoing enhancement and development of its platform to better attract investments.
Once a company submits its application, a dedicated QFC relationship manager is appointed to provide guidance on the registration process, obtaining a licence and setting up operations. QFC firms enjoy competitive benefits, such as operating within a legal environment based on English common law, the right to trade in any currency, 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits, and an extensive double tax treaty agreement network with 60+ countries