The Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has suggested incentives to BigTech and fintech entities for facilitating their entry into the country.
In its third financial sector strategy, built upon four pillars and supported by five cross-cutting themes and launched by HE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani, the QCB recommended enhancing financial inclusion, measures to facilitate building a world-class shared market infrastructure and establishing a financial technology talent centre of excellence.
The third financial sector strategy is to make Qatar a leading ecosystem embracing emerging technologies to accelerate digital transformation supported by adaptable and consistent regulatory frameworks and trusted market infrastructure.
One of the select growth areas is to scale payments ecosystem by promoting fintech players in retail payments to stimulate ecommerce growth and development of leading market infrastructure to support innovation and collaboration.
The financial sector strategy seeks to introduce cutting-edge solutions to the Qatari financial sector like platform trading, robo advisory, blockchain, artificial intelligence, digital assets and tokenisation.
The strategy also aims at making the country a leader in digitalisation within Islamic finance and ESG (environment, social and governance).
Overall, it "will be achieved through seven initiatives and 48 action items, including 20 priority ones", said the strategy, which comes as part of efforts to enhance the sector's contribution to QR84bn in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 and transform the country into an innovation hub and global centre for cutting-edge financial services.
A key initiative would be to develop and enhance the regulatory framework for distributed ledger technology, crypto and digital assets, and decentralised finance to ensure secure and trusted legal and economic environment as anti-money laundering, property right and know your customer (KYC)/know your transaction (KYT).
The Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority and QFC Authority have jointly developed a QFC digital assets framework, which is designed to develop a legal and regulatory framework for digital assets through the establishment of a tokenisation framework in the QFC that will provide legal certainty and a trusted technology environment for digital assets.
On building a world-class shared market infrastructure; the strategy said it includes a sandbox for incubating tech startups, leveraging trusted technologies and service providers to establish Qatar as a leading digital finance ecosystem (fintechs, insurtech and regtech).
The initiatives are intended at developing data access and collection frameworks and capabilities from sector participants to enhance supervision and drive regtech and other innovation.
Regtech is an emerging technology that involves the implementation of digital tools and processes that improve the way organisations manage their increasing regulatory compliance commitments.
"We believe in the importance of digital finance ecosystem in supporting the development process. As a result, we have adopted this ecosystem as a third pillar within our strategy to lead the digital financial transformation" for the sector to be pioneer in the adoption of modern technologies, according to the QCB governor Sheikh Bandar bin Mohamed bin Saoud al-Thani.
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