Why should Chinese investors form companies in Qatar?
Qatar is one of the world most dynamic and fast-growing economies in a fast-growing region, underpinned by an estimated US$16.7 trillion of magnetisable oil and gas reserves. Moreover, Qatar is also ranked the 13th most business-friendly country in the world and highest in the Middle East (World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014). At the heart of the investment case is the stellar performance of Qatar economy. Between 2007 and 2012, nominal GDP grew at a compound average annual rate of 17%.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts that the GCC economy will grow at an average 3.5% a year between 2012 and 2017, while Qatar economy is forecast to grow at an average 5.2% a year over the same period.
Asian investors generally are showing interest in sectors such as infrastructure, real estate, science, technology, education and health. This growing relationship is reflected in, among other things, the Memorandum of Understanding between the QFC Authority and the Pudong New Area Financial Services Bureau (PSFB).
What makes your jurisdiction different from other competitors for Chinese investors?
Established by the Government of Qatar in 2005, the Qatar Financial Centre ( FC is an on-shore centre which has become an integral part of Qatar economy and rapid growth story, providing a platform for domestic, regional and international growth. QFC firms can operate from anywhere in Qatar.
QFC-licensed firms benefit from an environment which operates to international standards, with a legal system based on English Common Law, regulation which is risk and principles-based and a competitive tax regime. Business can be carried out in or from the QFC, in local or foreign currency. Uniquely, this allows businesses to operate both locally and cross-border. Furthermore, the QFC allows up to 100% ownership by foreign companies and all profits can be remitted outside of Qatar.
What is the general taxation rate for incorporating companies in your jurisdiction?
At a time when many international jurisdictions are examining ways of increasing business taxation, the QFC tax regime is amongst the most favourable in the world, with a tax rate of just 10% on profits that are sourced locally. QFC-licensed firms can repatriate all their profits. There are no personal, social or capital taxes.
What new products has your jurisdiction introduced recently and how do you expect this product mix to change in the upcoming years?
The QFC has recently undertaken several legal and structural enhancements, together with process improvements, to encourage a broader range of non-regulated firms and structures to be licensed, facilitated by a more streamlined process. This is in addition to continuing to attract regulated activities. These amendments included Special Purpose Companies, Holding Companies, Single Family Offices and the insolvency regimes in the QFC.
Source: Qatar IFC