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Qatar all set to launch new FDI law this year: MEC official

Qatar all set to launch new  FDI law this year: MEC official

Satyendra Pathak
Qatar is all set to introduce a new foreign direct investment (FDI) law allowing 100 percent foreign investment in all sectors by the end of this year, a senior official of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) said on Tuesday.
Participating in a roundtable discussion on 'Qatar's Business Climate and the New FDI Law', MEC Business Development and Investment Promotion Director Abdulbasit Talib al Ajji said the new FDI law will exempt invested foreign capital from income tax for up to ten years for specific investment projects as well as abolishing taxes and customs duties on imported equipment and raw materials.
"The draft law that aims to attract non-Qatari capital to the country and promote economic development is ready and is expected to be launched anytime soon," he said.
Moderated by Qatar Tribune Editor-in-Chief Dr Hassan Mohammed al Ansari, the roundtable shed light on the government's latest plans to make the country even more attractive for international investors.
Organised jointly by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and The Business Year (TBY), the roundtable discussion was also participated by QFC Authority Chief Project Officer Kamal Naji, Seib Insurance Chief Operating Officer & Deputy CEO Elias R Chedid, KPMG Country Senior Partner Ahmed Abu Sharkh and Rumailah Group Group CEO and Qatar Britain Business Forum (QBBF) Chairman Emad Turkman.
The panellists elaborated on the incentives for investors under the new FDI law, business confidence in the context of a new regional trade scheme, opportunities in the industrial production sector, the 2022 FIFA World Cup and drivers for growth in the aftermath, and the road to Qatar National Vision 2030.
The Business Year CEO Ayse Valentin, who opened the event, said,"Despite an economic blockade, Qatar is thriving and continuing to attract investment with FDI up 27 percent year-on-year in 2017. This shows trust. It shows interest. And The Business Year is here to talk to the foreign investors as well as local companies to find out just why this is such a great place to invest in."
Projecting Qatar as an ideal investment destination, QFC Authority Chief Project Officer Kamal Naji said,"The QFC continues to focus on attracting foreign direct investment in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. Thanks to QFC's unique ecosystem, we will continue to provide an attractive platform for firms to grow, while stimulating market growth. As such, we are pleased to be part of this year's edition of The Business Year roundtable as it provides a vital platform to discuss important topics related to Qatar's business climate and the new FDI law."
Highlighting the emergence of Qatar as one of the prime cosmopolitan cities in the region, Rumailah Group Group CEO and Qatar Britain Business Forum (QBBF) Chairman Emad Turkman said,"There is a world of difference between what Qatar used to be in 2000 and what it is today. A sea change has taken place in infrastructure related to health, education, recreation and tourism over the years in the country. The standard of living is very high here. All these developments are playing a vital role in attracting investors to the country."
Seib Insurance Chief Operating Officer & Deputy CEO Elias R Chedid said the increased importance to the non-oil sectors in the economy has made Qatar an ideal destination for private firms to set up shops.
"We have grown as a vital player in the country's insurance sector over the years. The insurance market is quite vibrant here. While the existing law itself is very supportive to investors, I am sure the upcoming FDI law will give further boost to insurance sector. We are now planning to list our company on the Qatar Stock Exchange," Chedid said.
The ongoing ambitious investment and infrastructure programme in the run up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup is acting as a catalyst for the diversified growth of the country, KPMG Country Senior Partner Ahmed Abu Sharkh said.
The Business Year is currently working on its fifth annual publication on Qatar. Featuring over 150 face-to-face interviews with top business and governmental leaders, The Business Year Qatar 2019 will be among the most comprehensive annual economic publications available internationally and reach a highly influential global audience through a full spectrum of interactive media platforms.
To be published in January 2019, all the content will be also available on three high-profile research platforms like Bloomberg Terminal, Thomson Reuters Eikon, and Dow Jones Factiva.
Qatar's roundtable is part of TBY's Global Roundtable Series, which serves as a dynamic platform for decision makers to share their views and thoughts on a country's economy and the latest developments.