Doha is set to become a hub for the Fintech (financial technology) industry with the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) entering into a pact with Europe’s leading Fintech platform B-Hive.
This partnership will facilitate co-operation on several aspects based on the promotion of business opportunities and knowledge sharing. The two entities will work closely to discuss the latest trends in these disruptive technologies, legislation and other data to further promote the industry in Qatar and Europe.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive, QFC Authority; and Wim De Waele, chief executive and managing director, B-Hive.
The ceremony was also attended by Dr Bart De Groof, Belgium Ambassador to Qatar. The MoU highlights the QFC’s commitment to the national FinTech agenda set by the Qatar Development bank, which aims to attract international FinTech ecosystems to the country.
B-Hive is a European collaborative innovation FinTech platform based in Belgium that brings together major banks, insurers and market infrastructure players to leverage the opportunities offered by digital transformation for the financial services industry.
The agreement will also see the QFC and B-Hive contribute to the growth of FinTech-related communities by engaging with the start-up support institutions as well as financial institutions and regulators.
Furthermore, potential joint projects focusing on developing disruptive financial technologies will be explored, besides the development of training and talent management programmes.
Highlighting a KPMG report that global FinTech funding topped $31bn for 2017, which brings the total global investment in the FinTech sector over the past three years to $122bn; al-Jaida said these figures certainly demonstrate the growing importance of FinTech as well as the diversity of investment opportunities in the industry.
“Our MoU with B-Hive is a reflection of our commitment to financial innovation in the financial sector and will undoubtedly contribute to developing the growing FinTech industry in Qatar, while leveraging the sizable investment opportunities available in this sector,” he said.
The global rise of the FinTech industry is also undeniable, which saw $41.7bn raised in the first half of 2018, surpassing last year’s record total. The regional industry is booming as well, with the number of FinTech startups in the Middle East more than doubling from 46 to 105, between 2013 and 2015, according to the State of FinTech 2017 report.
The number of startups in the industry is also expected to increase to 250 by 2020, demonstrating not only the growth potential of FinTech in the Middle East but also the growing opportunities towards increasing financial inclusion.
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