Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world’s leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, co-hosted a webinar with Invest Qatar entitled “Crisis as a Catalyst: Emerging Opportunities in Qatar’s Digital Sector” to discuss the strength of the Qatari market for foreign investors as well as the role of digital transformation as a driving force for new opportunities in Qatar’s digital sector.
In line with its newly-launched webcast series entitled ‘#AccessQatar: QFC Webcast Series’, the webinar took shape as an engaging discussion featuring
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO, QFC;
Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani, CEO, Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar;
Noor Al-Kuwari, Senior Project Lead, TASMU Digital Valley;
Heba Almasri, Managing Director, Qatar SportsTech;
and Kristian Feldborg, CEO and Founder, Vesuvio Labs.
The webinar offered a platform for QFC and Invest Qatar to deep-dive into how their platforms are faring in light of COVID-19 and Qatar’s continued openness to foreign direct investment, complemented by expert views on growth prospects for Qatar’s digital sector from leading local and international digital organisations. The webinar saw over 200 attendees tune in globally from markets such as the UK, Middle East, Asia and Europe.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority, said: “QFC has long recognised the digital sector as one of the most promising growth catalysts for Qatar’s economy in parallel to the government’s targeted investments in Qatar’s digital infrastructure.
As COVID-19 continues to highlight the necessity of digital transformation, Qatar will undoubtedly witness an acceleration of opportunities in its digital eco-system for local and international firms to tap into, and the QFC will continue to be a core enabler for those firms to access our lucrative market.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, CEO, QFC
While the pandemic has confronted countries and institutions with several key challenges, the crisis is equally creating a multitude of investment opportunities as both countries and businesses continue to transform for the new economy.
Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani, CEO, Invest Qatar
"In addition to its strong and resilient economy, Qatar had set into motion several national initiatives aimed at achieving economic diversification as part of the Qatar Nation Vision 2030. Looking ahead, we expect the digital sector to continue playing a vital role in economic development, and that translates into more room for growth and new investment opportunities across various areas, including fintech, AI, education, healthcare, and industry.”
QFC provides a stepping stone for numerous startups to establish their business in Qatar and contribute to the development of the sports ecosystem.
Heba Almasri, Managing Director, Qatar SportsTech
"With QFC's transparent regulatory system, we are able to attract quality startups from around the world to expand their business and make Doha their new base. At QST, we are proud to partner with QFC and create opportunities for international companies and further Qatar's vision of transforming itself into an advanced society, capable of achieving sustainable development.”
One of the key objectives of TDV is to foster a collaborative environment between local as well as foreign digital ICT companies and other key stakeholders of the digital ecosystem to drive digital transformation in Qatar.
Noor Al-Kuwari, Senior Project Lead, TASMU Digital Valley
"The impact of COVID-19 pandemic has been both immediate and far-reaching and has also resulted in the creation of significant digital opportunities across all sectors of the economy. These opportunities are targeted towards both local and foreign companies, where TDV aims to support them navigate, operate and invest in Qatar.”
We have found that our way on thinking about ecosystems is very much in line with Qatar’s approach.
Kristian Feldborg, CEO and Founder, Vesuvio Labs
"I think we will see some really interesting public, private partnerships that can take things even further by developing progressive platforms that can give companies a head start, if they choose to incubate their ideas in Qatar. All the ingredients are there and, if we work together, we can all be very successful.”
The QFC is an onshore jurisdiction that allows registered companies to 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 81 countries.