Qatar Financial Centre Unveils its Strategic Vision for 2022
The strategy reaffirms the QFC's position as a global business and financial hub and its commitment to economic diversification with a focus on new industries and markets.
Targeted service industries include; digital, media, sports, and financial services
New emerging markets with a combined value of over USD $2.1 trillion
An incentives programme to attract multinational companies
With over 600 registered firms, the QFC has exceeded the halfway mark of its target to register 1,000 firms by 2022
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The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world's leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, has announced its new strategy for achieving its ambitious targets for 2022.
The number of firms registered on the QFC platform increased by 31% in 2018 to reach over 600, well past the halfway mark of reaching 1,000 firms by 2022. The QFC's new strategy includes a focus on specific service industries, as well as new emerging markets with a combined value of over USD $2.1 trillion.
New Industries and Markets
The QFC's strategy includes a focus on specific service industries including digital, media, sports, and financial services. The financial services offering will complement FinTech, Asset Management, Capital Markets and Islamic Finance. Building on Qatar's well-established.
international expertise in Islamic Finance, the QFC has also announced earlier a vision to cover the entire globe's Islamic Finance transactions, estimated at USD $2 trillion, between three financial centres in Qatar, Turkey and Malaysia. Under this ambitious plan, Turkey would cover Islamic Finance needs in Europe, Qatar would serve the greater Middle East and Malaysia would cater to Asia.
In addition, the QFC will focus on further developing partnerships as part of a New Emerging Belt Initiative (NEBI), an economic corridor that focuses on strategic alliances with markets such as Kuwait, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan and India. These new emerging markets have been identified because they possess a large potential for future growth, especially considering that their combined GDP is estimated to be approximately US $2.1 trillion, with total global FDI from these markets exceeding US $150 billion.
The QFC has also put in place an attractive incentives programme to attract multinational companies to Qatar by offering free offices, highly-competitive tax incentives, as well as seed capital to cover five years of operating expenses in return for a 10-year commitment.
Thanks to its central geographic location and robust economy, Qatar is already an attractive international business hub, with 20 business councils registered on the QFC's platform from countries around the world such as Canada, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, India and many others.
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Leveraging Key Partnerships
The new strategy was announced by the QFC's CEO Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, and was discussed at length during a high-level panel with key national stakeholders with whom the QFC is closely collaborating to achieve its ambitious goals and realise its strategy.
Panellists included Ali Al-Mutawaa, Chief of Enterprise and Development Officer, Aspire Zone Foundation; Ibrahim Mohammed Hassan, Executive Director of Investment, Qatar Development Bank; and Faisal Ibrahim AlMalki, Director of Projects Management, Msheireb Properties.
In addition, one of the QFC's partnership goals is to establish a new financial city in Msheireb Downtown Doha, one of the world's smartest and most sustainable cities. Msheireb Downtown Doha is a mixed-use development spanning 310,000 square meters with the entire project targeting LEED Gold and Platinum ratings. The QFC's planned move to the world-class development will further cement Qatar's position as a leading international financial and business hub.
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The QFC's focus on the digital, media sports and financial service industries is aligned with Qatar's existing positioning in those fields. In the sports industry alone, Qatar has already established world-class infrastructure thanks to robust investments, and has leveraged this by hosting international sporting events, which are set to bring even more economic impetus, with the sports industry estimated to be valued at US $20 billion by 2023.
The QFC has already made progress towards developing this fast-growing sector and in 2018 signed an MoU with Aspire Zone Foundation to establish the Qatar Sports Business District, Qatar's sports accelerator, which is considered the first in the region and expected to attract multinational corporations by offering world-class services and incentives.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority said: "By building on existing developed industries with impressive growth potential, the new strategy will promote Qatar as a natural hub for innovative digital, media, sports, and financial services thus providing a solid basis for foreign direct investments in those growing fields. In addition, the QFC's strategy includes an emphasis on new emerging markets that are collectively worth over USD $2.1 trillion, with Qatar and the QFC well positioned to serve as a gateway to these lucrative and fast-growing economies."
Al-Jaida added: "We are confident that the QFC's unique platform is well-equipped to provide the necessary framework to attract foreign investors to Qatar, and in the process continue to support the growth and diversification of the economy."
Faisal Ibrahim AlMalki, Director of Projects Management, Msheireb Properties, said: "Today's event demonstrates the commitment of QFC in engaging with all the stakeholders; one thing which will be even easier and achievable when they are all running their operations from within Msheireb Downtown Doha soon. Our project is the new civic hub in the country and the destination for business, living, and leisure. The move of QFC and its operations back to the center of Doha reflects the confidence they have in our infrastructure and is foretelling of the enhanced quality and integrated services to be offered to the public."
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 70+ countries.