The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world’s leading and fastest growing business and financial centres, has recorded 66% growth year-on-year in new firms licensed during 2017.
This follows a 41% jump in new firms registrations in the first half (H1) of 2017 compared to H1 in the previous year.
The total number of firms on the QFC platform has reached 461 (as on December 31, 2017) against 348 at end of December 2016, showing a 32.5% increase year-on-year.
"While 2017 has seen unprecedented events take place, at the QFC we have in fact proven challenges can turn into successes and we have had our most successful year yet," QFC Authority chief executive Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida said.
Following the outward missions to various markets including London, Manchester, Hong Kong, Singapore and Germany, the QFC has been witnessing a vast increase in interest from these regions and from a variety of sectors such as sports, healthcare, education, advisory firms, financial institutions, reinsurance and advisory firms.
Highlighting that its model is unique in the region and an increasing number of institutions from Qatar and around the world are clearly seeing the benefits of coming to Qatar and joining the QFC platform, al-Jaida said, "We look forward to 2018 and improving even further upon this big milestone.”
Since its inception in 2005, the QFC has played a key role alongside the Ministry of Economy and Commerce to attract foreign direct investment by providing a competitive platform for firms to expand to Qatar.
The QFC has already embarked on a five-year strategy through which the centre is planning to triple foreign direct investments flows from its registered firms to more than QR200bn and account for at least 5% of the market capitalisation of the Qatar Stock Exchange through the listing of its entities on the local bourse.
The QFC is eyeing several European firms, especially from Germany and the UK, as part of widening and expanding its international appeal.
Al-Jaida had earlier said there are credible evidences to show that the QFC is an ideal platform, not only for international companies who want to expand their business activities to Qatar, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia; but also for local businesses looking to expand regionally and internationally.
The QFC recently amended its tax rules and regulations as part of the ongoing enhancement and development of its platform to better attract investments.
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-registered 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 more than 60 countries.
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