Established by the Government of Qatar in 2005, the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) was created as a financial and business centre designed to attract international banking, insurance and other financial services. With the aim of developing and expanding the financial services sector in Qatar, the QFC’s main objective was to foster the growth of both local and international firms within the banking, asset management and insurance sphere, while providing a legal and regulatory structure that met international best practice.
Over the years, the QFC itself has grown and developed alongside the businesses within its hub. Not only has it continued to refine its corporate strategy, it has also widened its platform, and its permitted activities and regulations. As one of the world’s leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, the QFC has attracted more than 500 firms from around the world across a variety of financial and non-financial sectors. This has created a community of more than 3,500 people, with combined total assets under management of over US$20 billion.
What does the Qatar Financial Centre have to offer?
Why have so many businesses chosen the QFC? Offering a unique platform to businesses looking to establish a presence in Qatar, the QFC provides a wide range of incentives and benefits within an attractive tax and business environment. With its own legal, regulatory, tax and business infrastructure, the QFC offers businesses up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, and 10% corporate tax on locally-sourced proﬁts. Within this compelling tax setting, businesses can also benefit from Qatar’s extensive DTA network with more than 60 countries.
Operating within the QFC structure also allows businesses access to a streamlined and transparent company registration and licensing process, with the ability to trade in any currency once licensed and registered. In terms of regulation, the QFC is governed by a world-class regulator within a legal structure based on English common law. The QFC also features a unique Administrative Employment Dispute Resolution Centre accredited by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
What does the future hold for the Qatar Financial Centre?
In 2019, the Qatar Financial Centre will relocate to Doha’s brand new Financial District, Msheireb. Designed to blend traditional Qatari heritage and aesthetics with the latest in sustainable technologies, the sites on offer within Msheireb will provide businesses with a modern, integrated working lifestyle, to eventually create the world’s highest concentration of buildings with gold and platinum efficiency ratings.
Expanding its activities, the QFC will be open to all businesses, local and international. Local infrastructure will also see some changes, with plans to create a state-of-the-art network that offers underground roads and a new Metro system. Above ground, the site will offer plenty of pedestrian-friendly spaces and leisure facilities, to create a vibrant urban neighbourhood that businesses thrive in.
Is the QFC the right option for your business? At Fusion, we can provide guidance on the best path for your business as you establish or expand in Qatar, whether that means setting up within the QFC or elsewhere. Want to find out more about your options? Contact us today to set up a no-obligation consultation, and take your next step towards success in Qatar.