The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a leading onshore financial and business centre in the region, saw as many as 136 firms start their operations, representing a steady 32% year-on-year growth during the first half (H1) of 2021 despite the ongoing Covid-19 disruption.
The firms – mainly originating from the UK, Canada, India, Lebanon, and Qatar – represent key sectors including digital, financial services, and sports, which continue to bolster Qatar’s increasingly flourishing economic landscape.
Mirroring the accelerated digitalisation in Qatar, 26% of the newly registered firms offer digital business solutions, 10% fintech innovations, and 6% offer disruptive solutions to the country’s growing sports sector.
"The QFC’s steady growth mirrors the resilience and economic strength Qatar has shown in H1 of the year, particularly as the global economy seeks a sustainable and inclusive recovery. The QFC has leveraged its position as a key institution in Qatar’s financial landscape to help bolster the local business scene, taking important steps towards realising its 2022 strategic growth plan," said Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, board member and chief executive, QFC Authority.
The QFC had signed 10 memoranda of understanding with leading organisations in Qatar and other markets, in an effort to pave the way for the development of a more vibrant and sustainable business ecosystem to allow global investors to tap into Qatar’s market.
These include agreements with Labuan International Business and Financial Centre, Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Moscow Innovation Cluster Fund, Internet Initiatives Development Fund, QR Sports, Business Russia, Qatar Russia Investment and Trade Advisory, Roscongress Foundation, Qatar Central Securities Depository, and Qatar Museums.
With a far-reaching commitment to highlight the increasingly diverse business opportunities in Qatar, the QFC actively engaged leading local and international organisations by holding 23 interactive events.
These events provided insights on international firms on how to navigate the Qatar market, areas of disruptive innovation in Qatar’s economy, and the opportunities surfacing in the country as it continues to witness strong recovery and growth signals.
With Qatar expecting to experience substantial economic growth this year, the QFC continues to receive increasing interest from global businesses expanding to Qatar and the wider region.
More than 1,100 firms have so far been registered on the platform, surpassing the QFC’s target of registering 1,000 active firms by 2022, a major step in diversifying key economic sectors, including digital, financial services, sports, and media.
The QFC is an onshore jurisdiction that allows registered companies to enjoy competitive benefits, such as working within a legal environment based on English common law, the right to trade in any currency, up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits, and an extensive double taxation avoidance agreement network with more than 80 countries.