The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world’s leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, has announced its new strategy for achieving its ambitious targets for 2022.
The number of firms registered on the QFC platform increased by 31% in 2018 to reach over 600, well past the halfway mark of reaching 1,000 firms by 2022.
The QFC’s strategy includes a focus on specific service industries including digital, media, sports, and financial services. The financial services offering will complement FinTech, Asset Management, Capital Markets and Islamic Finance.
In addition, the QFC will focus on developing partnerships as part of a New Emerging Belt Initiative (NEBI); an economic corridor that focuses on strategic alliances with markets such as Kuwait, Oman, Turkey, Pakistan and India. These new emerging markets have been identified because they possess a large potential for future growth, especially considering that their combined GDP is estimated to be approximately USD2.1 tn.
The QFC has also put attractive incentives programme in place to attract multinational companies to Qatar by offering: free offices, highly-competitive tax incentives, as well as seed capital to cover five years of operating expenses in return for a ten-year commitment.
The new strategy was announced by the QFC’s CEO Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, and was discussed during a high-level panel with key national stakeholders.
Panellists included Ali Al-Mutawaa, Chief of Enterprise and Development Officer from Aspire Zone Foundation; Ibrahim Mohammed Hassan, Executive Director of Investment at Qatar Development Bank; and Faisal Ibrahim AlMalki, Director of Projects Management at Msheireb Properties.
In addition, one of the QFC’s goals is to establish a new financial city in Msheireb Downtown Doha as one of the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities.
The QFC’s focus on the digital, media, sports and financial service industries is aligned with Qatar’s existing positioning in those fields. In the sports industry alone, Qatar has already established world-class infrastructure and has leveraged this by hosting international sporting events, which are set to bring even more economic impetus, with the sports industry estimated to be valued at USD20 bn by 2023. The QFC has already made progress towards developing this fast-growing sector and in 2018 signed an MoU with Aspire Zone Foundation to establish the Qatar Sports Business District.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer at the QFC Authority, said:
By building on existing developed industries with impressive growth potential, the new strategy will promote Qatar as a natural hub for innovative digital, media, sports, and financial services thus providing a solid basis for foreign direct investments in those growing fields. We are confident that the QFC’s unique platform is well-equipped to provide the necessary framework to attract foreign investors to Qatar, and in the process continue to support the growth and diversification of the economy.’