Qatar PMI falls in March, reflecting disruption from global coronavirus outbreak

7 Apr 2020

PMI by IHS Markit

Doha, Qatar

Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world's leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, announced new support measures to offer relief to the 900 plus firms already registered on its platform. The measures come in line with the recent actions taken by the State of Qatar and various Qatar entities to provide support to the nation's economy and private sector in light of the business risks posed by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Affirming its ongoing commitment to supporting the nation's economic policies, QFC announced that it will provide deadline extensions for tax filings due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis without incurring any late filing penalties, in addition to reducing the rate of the charge due on the late payment of tax (late payment charge) to 0% from 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020. The updated rates will ensure that any QFC firm who extends their filing due date will not suffer any late payment charges until 31 August 2020, should their tax due also be paid after the payment due date.

 

These measures complement the recent decision announced by the General Tax Authority to postpone the payment of tax until 30 June 2020. In addition, the QFC announced the waiver of the Concessionary Rate Charge due on qualifying QFC entities that elect for the 0% Concessionary Rate under Part 15 of the Tax Regulations if the election is made during the year 2020.

 

Furthermore, the QFC announced that it will provide deadline extensions for filing audited annual financial statements by a period of two months.QFC has also strengthened its digitalization processes for firms' incorporation, ensuring that all automated processes are approved swiftly, from the point where a firm submits a business case to when a firm is licensed on the QFC platform and receiving post licensing services such as immigration, banking and relocation support.

 

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority, said:

The accelerating global coronavirus outbreak interrupted the recent upward momentum of the Qatari non-energy private sector economy in March, according to the latest PMI data. The PMI ended the first quarter with an average reading of 48.2, broadly in line with the final quarter of 2019. Without the disruption in March, the PMI trend for the first quarter would have been the strongest in over a year. With great uncertainty surrounding the long-term impact of the outbreak on the global economy, firms' expectations for activity were broadly neutral in March. More positively, employment increased further and prices charged for goods and services rose at the fastest rate since January 2018.

Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director Business Development, QFC Authority

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