The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world's leading and fastest-growing onshore business and financial centres, hosted a workshop on bilateral investments and investment opportunities in Qatar and Spain titled, Qatar-Spain: Growing Business Ties.
The workshop comes after the recent signing of an agreement between Qatar and Spain to avoid double taxation and prevent income tax evasion. The agreement also allows a broad tax information exchange, including bank account information, between Qatar and Spain.
More than 70 representatives of Qatari companies investing in Spain and Spanish companies in Qatar attended, where they heard the benefits of the new agreement, as well as the latest updates from QFC.
Speakers at the workshop included Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority, His Excellency Ignacio Escobar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Qatar and Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director, Business Development, QFC Authority, along with other prominent members from both business communities.
Opening the event, Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority, spoke on the growing importance of bilateral relations between the two countries stating: "Today's event comes following the recent announcement that the State of Qatar and Kingdom of Spain signed an agreement to avoid double taxation and prevent tax evasion in relation to taxes on income. This step highlights the growing importance of bilateral relations between the two countries. In 2017 bilateral trade between Qatar and Spain increased 37% to more than €1 billion compared with previous year. All of these figures signify that there is no better time for companies looking to expand to Qatar from Spain to join the QFC platform."
During his speech H.E. Ignacio Escobar, Ambassador of Kingdom of Spain to Qatar stated:
"Investing in Spain is definitely a wise decision, for several reasons: it's an attractive and open economy (14th world economy, ranking 5th in the European Union); it's an open economy with many destination markets and a particular link to Latin America; Spain boasts state-of-the-art infrastructures and logistic networks (10th in the world); it has a competitive business environment with a modern, clear and transparent regulatory and institutional framework; and an extensive and comprehensive system of aid and incentives developed by the government, with a special emphasis on research, development and technological innovation (R&D&I). At the same time, the recent changes in the Qatari foreign investment legislation and the incentives offered by the Government make this country even more attractive to establish in. The current negotiation of an agreement on promotion and reciprocal protection of investments will further develop our common potential."
Speaking at the conference, Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director, Business Development, QFC Authority said: "The recent agreement on taxation adds to the already strong economic bonds between Qatar and Spain, leading to increased investment opportunities for both countries. This workshop underscores the growing importance of the QFC structures for those looking to take advantage of those opportunities and use QFC as a hub for regional investments and business operations."
QFC, as one of the leading financial and business centres in the region, is positioning its suite of financial sector products, especially holding companies and special purpose companies, for use by both Qatari and Spanish individuals and corporations for investment in either Qatar or Spain.
To further promote QFC's offerings to investors in Spain, QFC will be hosting a roadshow event in Madrid in April. Representatives from Spanish corporations and private firms can consult with QFC's experts, enabling them to gain a better understanding of the business landscape and advantages of operating businesses in Qatar.
Once a company submits its application, a dedicated QFC relationship manager is appointed to provide guidance on the registration process, obtaining a license 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. In addition, the Employment Standards Office of the QFC is the first Administrative Employment Dispute Resolution Centre in the MENA region operating under International Labour Organization (ILO) standards.