The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA), the legal and tax arm of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), and Enterprise Singapore (ES) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote investment opportunities between the two economies.
The MoU, which is the QFC’s first agreement with a Singaporean organisation, seeks to enhance its close collaboration with the Southeast Asian country. The agreement will focus on enhancing business activities in digital, fintech, medtech, education and smart cities.
The agreement was signed by Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad al-Thani, deputy chief executive officer and chief business officer, QFC, and Tan Soon Kim, assistant chief executive officer, Enterprise Singapore, during the QFC’s official visit to Singapore.
ES is a government agency that champions enterprise and industry development, working with Singaporean companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. It builds trust in Singapore’s products and services and promotes international trade and start-up development.
As per the MoU, both parties will jointly develop and execute outreach initiatives and business matching activities, as well as organise an investment event to connect investors from Qatar to start-ups from Singapore and, conversely, investors from Singapore to start-ups from Qatar.
Furthermore, the QFCA will endeavour to provide technical and business advice to eligible Singaporean companies referred by ES, effectively providing them with incentives and licensing assistance.
Highlighting the growing partnership between the two countries, Jai Sohan Singh, ambassador of Singapore to Qatar, said, “Qatar-Singapore relations are excellent. This MoU marks a further step forward in bringing the wide-ranging co-operation between the two countries to a higher level. I look forward to many more such agreements.”
Sheikha Alanoud said this agreement with Enterprise Singapore is built on the strong bilateral ties between Singapore and Qatar and forms a new basis of co-operation that is set to open opportunities for expansion of business and economic partnerships.
"Singapore is a top trade partner of Qatar with well-established and active ecosystems in sectors that cover QFC’s primary focus areas. As our first MoU with a Singaporean organisation, this unlocks gateways for QFC to access a rich and progressive market,” she said.
Kim said Qatar and Singapore are both globally-oriented economies with a common objective to drive growth through mutual collaboration and bilateral investment.
Singaporean companies possess the capabilities to partner with Qatar across multiple sectors, including the digital and urban solutions sectors, according to him.
"This MoU will enable Singaporean companies to access the market in Qatar and the wider Middle East region through QFC’s network. It will enable our companies to grow alongside one of the fastest growing economies in the Gulf Co-operation Council and further aid in our companies’ global diversification efforts to build resilience," he said.
The visit to Singapore came as part of the QFC’s commitment to promoting Qatar as a major financial destination and highlighting the growing investment opportunities in the country and the Middle East.
Sheikha Alanoud, on behalf of the QFC, held a series of meetings, including with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI); Saoud bin Jassim al-Jufairi, ambassador of Qatar to Singapore; and with Singaporean businesswomen.
The QFC presented Qatar’s strengths in the digital sector, which is valued at $4.4bn in 2021 and set for rapid growth with an expected $9bn worth of ICT (information, communication and technology) spending by 2024, as well as the Qatari sports sector, currently worth $20bn, to channel partners, business leaders and other stakeholders within Singapore’s sports and ICT sectors.
Singapore and Qatar have exhibited strong bilateral relations. In 2021, the volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached over $5.87bn, a significant rise from the more than $3.75bn in 2020.
Singapore stood as Qatar’s sixth largest trading partner. QFC’s current outreach initiative, driven by its mission to further diversify Qatar’s economy by attracting investment, builds on this strong tie between the two countries.
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