Qatar’s private sector has witnessed a series of milestones under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who has steered the country to greater heights since his ascension to the throne 10 years ago.
His Highness the Amir implemented several government reforms immediately after taking the helm of the state, ensuring that his administration will continue to diversify the country’s economy away from the hydrocarbon industry, which he announced in his June 26, 2013, inaugural speech.
Fast forward to 2023, Qatar continues to remain in the limelight after delivering “the best FIFA World Cup ever” in 2022. In the run-up to the tournament, the state has announced and implemented a sequence of legal and economic reforms. It also delivered multi-billion infrastructure projects and facilities related to the World Cup ahead of schedule.
Under the Wise Leadership, Qatar was able to diversify its economic portfolio to further accelerate the inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI) and spur growth in the private sector; creating economic diversity has been one of the key drivers and primary objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
In the last several years, there has been a significant uptick in new legislation designed to serve the objectives of the National Vision. In 2019, Qatar revamped its regulations on FDI to permit foreign investors to own up to 100% of their company’s capital. In early 2021, new regulations permitting foreign ownership of up to 100% in listed companies on the Qatar Stock Exchange were announced.
The government also passed the new public-private partnership (PPP) law in 2020, which also permits, within certain parameters, ownership of the PPP project by the foreign investor.
Some of Qatar’s onshore and offshore business platforms are also well-positioned to attract and grow much of the country’s FDI, such as the Qatar Financial Centre, which has been seeing impressive growth in the number of new registrants.
Similarly, Qatar’s free zones are rapidly expanding in terms of attracting a number of major international companies in sectors that are within the strategic focus of the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZ). The Qatar Media City and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) are additional important drivers that attract FDI into Qatar.
To accelerate FDI inflow, Qatar stepped up by offering a legal framework that's conducive to doing business. This includes feasible projects like oil and gas expansion and projects focusing on technology and infrastructure.
To address this successfully, Qatar created a reliable and advanced infrastructure and reduced ‘red tape’ and bureaucracy to offer a seamless business environment. The government also prioritised the development of digital platforms to make doing business in Qatar easier, allowing investors to accomplish administrative work, file applications, and transact business remotely.
The country’s new flexible legal framework had not only helped increase Qatar’s ability to attract FDI, but it had also encouraged growth in the country’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector.
Under His Highness the Amir's directives to transform Qatar into a regional business hub, many multinational companies have chosen Doha as an investment capital in the Middle East, reflecting confidence in the Qatari economy and in Qatar’s future growth prospects.
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