QFC Hosts the World Alliance of International Financial Centers' 2020 Annual General Meeting

19 Oct 2020
QFC Hosts WAIFC AGM 2020. A picture of QFC CEO and WAIFC Managing Director

The AGM

Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a leading onshore financial and business centre in the region, virtually hosted the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) for the first time.

 

The high-level, virtual global event brought together all of the 17 international financial centres, which make up the WAIFC’s members, to discuss the latest economic developments and trends, explore means of cooperation and exchange expertise and knowledge.

The discussions were mainly focused on joining forces and making collaborative efforts to introduce best practices and solutions to reignite economic growth in the post Coronavirus (COVID-19) environment.

By establishing an open flow of information, WAIFC has become a perfect platform for all of us to work collectively on important projects and get through this difficult time.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida - CEO and Board Member, QFC Authority

Fireside Chat

Speaking in a ‘Fireside Chat’ event organised as part of the AGM, Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, QFC Authority, said:

“We are honoured to be hosting this AGM virtually for the first time after gaining our WAIFC membership last year. As we are transitioning into a changed world coming out of the pandemic, the role of WAIFC is becoming ever more vital, and as enablers of economic development, we all are actively pursuing ways to help reignite economic growth within our territories and beyond.

By establishing an open flow of information, WAIFC has become a perfect platform for all of us to work collectively on important projects and get through this difficult time.”
Al-Jaida continued:


“Our mutual relationships as members of WAIFC have evolved and strengthened as we have started to work together more closely than before, which is a very positive development that we are taking on towards the future.

 Following this AGM, which holds special significance considering that the world is going through a very tough time due to the pandemic, we are committed to work with our relevant stakeholders in Qatar and beyond to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place for entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs, that form the source of innovation and the backbone of our economies, to be further nurtured and protected.”



Work in Groups

WAIFC members issued a joint declaration in May 2020, exhibiting their collective commitment to seeking ways to mitigate the outcomes of the pandemic and formed joint international working groups to study the impact of the pandemic. 


The four working groups comprising of experts from WAIFC member international financial centres shared preliminary insights during the AGM on how to re-engineer key areas of national economies, including Sustainable Finance, SME Finance, Regulation and FinTech and Innovation, to ignite a lasting and resilient global economic recovery.

 
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It was essential for our members to meet in the current crisis and confirm that financial centres are part of the solution for economic recovery.
Arnaud de Bresson - Chairman of WAIFC
Commenting on the progress of the work carried out by the international working groups, Arnaud de Bresson, Chairman of WAIFC and Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Paris Europlace, said: 

“The World Alliance of International Financial Centers held its Annual General Meeting today, this time virtually and hosted by the Qatar Financial Centre. It was essential for our members to meet in the current crisis and confirm that financial centres are part of the solution for economic recovery. We have important contributions to accelerate growth, with a strong focus on accelerating sustainable finance and financial innovation. Last but not least, we welcome Rwanda Finance as a new member of the World Alliance, as the third financial centre from Africa.”

We are very grateful that the Qatar Financial Centre hosted this meeting, even though we could only meet virtually this time.
Dr Jochen Biedermann, Managing Director, WAIFC
Dr. Jochen Biedermann - Managing Director, WAIFC
Dr. Jochen Biedermann, Managing Director, WAIFC, said:

“Our members, leading financial centres globally, met today for our Annual General Meeting. We are very grateful that the Qatar Financial Centre hosted this meeting, even though we could only meet virtually this time.

I am delighted to welcome Rwanda Finance as a new member, our third member from Africa, and Dr. King Au from the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council as a new director of the WAIFC. In our meeting, we talked very intensively about the economic recovery after the current pandemic and what we can do to support it. We will publish concrete recommendations in the coming weeks.”



Senior representatives of the international financial centres and leading financial figures from Qatar and beyond also received insights about the remarkable scope, inclusivity and growth potential of Qatar’s burgeoning business ecosystem with a focus on the country’s rising FinTech sector.
 
Georges Fouad Salem, Business Intelligence Manager, Qatar Development Bank, shared an in-depth view of the progress Qatar has made in empowering its FinTech landscape with a focus on the Qatar FinTech Hub and its vision in advancing the country’s national FinTech strategy.

Mohammed Aldelaimi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of SkipCash, a budding FinTech firm in Qatar, licensed by the QFC, also shed light on the support it has received from the ecosystem throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

Henk J. Hoogendoorn, Managing Director, Financial Sector Office at QFC, a key partner of the Qatar FinTech Hub, shared the many ways the QFC supports Qatar’s FinTech ecosystem, as Qatar’s primary platform enabling and facilitating businesses, including FinTechs, to set up and register in Qatar.


 

Representatives of the international financial centres who attended this year’s AGM included:


Arnaud de Bresson, Paris Europlace;
Frederic de Laminne, Belgian Finance Center;
Zahra Abdel Rassoul, Stuttgart Financial;
Abdullah Al Salmi, Capital Markets Authority (CMA) Oman;
Keiichi Aritomo, FinCity.Tokyo;
Miles Celic, TheCityUK;
Christopher Hui, Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council;
Said Ibrahimi, Casablanca Finance City;
Kairat Kelimbetov, Astana International Financial Centre;
Nicolas Mackel, Luxembourg for Finance;
Young Ho Park, Busan Economic Promotion Agency;
Ken Poonoosamy, Economic Development Board, Mauritius;
Jennifer Reynolds, Toronto Finance International;
Philippe Richard, Abu Dhabi Global Market;
Hubertus Väth, Frankfurt Main Finance;
Alexander Voloshin, Moscow International Financial Centre;
Dr. Jochen Biedermann, Managing Director,
WAIFC; Anatoly Valetov, Director,
Moscow Innovation Cluster Fund and Senior Advisor, WAIFC
and further representatives from WAIFC.


 

QFC & WAIFC

The QFC, which joined WAIFC in August 2019 in an effort to work with international financial centres to further promote sustainable business growth globally and facilitate greater cooperation and exchange of best practices with WAIFC members, 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.

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