The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) has achieved a “remarkable 31% growth” in 2018, with the number of firms registered on its platform reaching 605 in December 2018 compared to 461 at the beginning of the year.
The QFC said this is well past the 50% mark of its goal of registering 1,000 firms by 2022 and includes businesses in a variety of industries ranging from investment management, insurance, consultancy and investment advisory, as well as holding companies, special purpose companies, and professional services firms.
The new firms originate from a diverse number of countries, including Qatar, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Jordan, India, Pakistan and others, QFC said.
Its growth is also reflected in the number of “milestone MoUs,” events, and international engagements that took place in 2018. The QFC signed five landmark memorandums of understanding in 2018 with key local and international stakeholders to develop various sectors of the economy, most notably with the Aspire Zone Foundation to establish ‘Qatar’s Sports Business District’ (QSBD), a new national project which aims to create a premier sports business cluster in Qatar and the Middle East.
The QFC also signed an MoU with B-Hive, a European collaborative innovation fintech platform to develop the fintech industry in Qatar. In line with its mandate to support Qatar’s economic diversification efforts, the QFC signed a key MoU with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to develop the digital industry.
As part of the its proactive approach to fulfilling its core mandate of attracting FDI to Qatar, the QFC organised a number of international roadshows and events in key markets including Spain, France, Indonesia and China.
The QFC also participated in a number of globally-recognised events and welcomed numerous high-profile delegations from around the world, including Georgia, France, Spain, the UK, Ghana, South Africa, Malaysia, Pakistan, China, Mexico and the US.
Last year also saw the QFC being recognised as an effective netting regime by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (Isda), which will allow financial institutions in the QFC and in Qatar, through the QFC, to confidently manage their risk exposure.
“Last year has proven to be yet another period of extraordinary growth for the Qatar Financial Centre. We are proud to welcome over 605 firms to our platform, which include major international corporations, as well as exceptional local businesses. This is evidence of the versatility and attractiveness of the QFC’s unique offerings," QFC Authority CEO Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida said.
“Thanks to our proactive approach to engaging with key international markets around the world and facilitating partnerships with important local and global stakeholders, we are continuing to see increased interest from these regions across a variety of sectors.”
He added: “I am confident that the QFC’s growth will continue in 2019 and beyond. We are currently gearing up for our next phase of growth, which will see the QFC supporting some of Qatar’s leading industries to further diversify its economy and attract foreign direct investment.”