Why Is Qatar an Attractive Country for Investors?

Updated on Thursday 14th May 2020

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Even though it might not be on everyone’s minds as an investment center, Qatar recently proved that it can be an attractive country for investors, with important advantages such as a long-term investment plan and a resilience level to exterior economic downturns and commodity cost changes. In this article, our company formation advisors in Qatar make a brief overview of the reasons why Qatar is an attractive country for investors.
 

Economic prospects of Qatar


According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Finance in 2017, the minister declared that the new measures which were adopted by the local government aimed to sustain the continued investment and create an advantageous environment for private businesses and global investors who want to develop their activities in the region. The minister went on adding that the budget deficit of Qatar was expected to decrease in the following years and that the economic prospects maintained on a positive outlook. He also declared that Qatar is a highly competitive country in the energy industry due to its rich natural gas and oil reserves, pointing out that the country is also the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas and helium, and the fourth-largest producer of urea internationally.

If you wish to open a company in Qatar, our company registration consultants in Qatar can help you with the entire registration procedure, as well as in choosing the right business structure for your company. You can also ask for information about the tax structure in Qatar.
 

Qatar, an emerging market hub for investors


The economy of Qatar is registering positive results from the long-term economic plan implemented by the local government to diversify, with more than 60% of its GDP being resulted at the moment from non-hydrocarbon sectors. Actually, these sectors are developing more rapidly than hydrocarbons. This is the reason for which, even though the oil prices plunged, the economic growth in Qatar is still stable, at between 6% and 7%. Our Qatar company formation representatives can offer more details related to this matter. The infrastructure development focus still is maintained, based on the principle that a solid economic development is attracted by a robust infrastructure.

The Foreign Investment Law comprises provisions referring to the legal ways in which the business is done in Qatar and the updated version officially entered into force in January 2019 with several new provisions. This set of rules, the Law No.1 of 2019 was issued by the Emir of Qatar and comprises business solutions and regulations for international investors. It has major importance as it opens varied investment opportunities to foreigners who can now place their businesses in most of Qatar’s economic sectors. If you are interested in opening a company in Qatar and have a complete idea about the applicable legislation, we recommend you talk to one of our company formation agents in Qatar.
 

What does the Investment Law in Qatar comprise?

 
First of all, the obligation of having a local business partner owning 51% of the company shares has been abolished, as stated by the new Investment Law in Qatar which entered into force in January 2019. The previous legislation, Qatar Foreign Investment Law no. 13 of 2000 mentioned that international investors had to find a local business partner and create a joint venture for establishing different business activities. The only exception was referring to the approved infrastructure projects where international companies were allowed to establish branches under a limited license for their activities, a regulation which remains unchanged. Below you can find useful information about the provisions of the new Foreign Investment Law in Qatar:
 
  1. Foreign investors can set up businesses in sectors like banking, insurance, energy, security, and defence in Qatar;
  2. International investors can directly purchase or rent lands in Qatar.
  3. The government in Qatar promised a series of incentives to encourage foreign investments in the country, among which, the income tax exemption.
  4. The new set of law is not applicable to companies activating in the natural resources sector under concession contracts.
     
It is important to know that companies licensed by Qatar Petroleum and activating in the petrochemical sector will not be affected by the new set of laws referring to foreign investments in Qatar. Those wanting to start a company in Qatar should ask for the support and guidance offered by our company formation specialists in Qatar.
 

Are there any changes for branches of foreign companies in Qatar?
 

No, the new legislation related to foreign investments in Qatar comprises the same provisions for establishing branches of foreign companies that have governmental contracts or signed projects with the state. However, the new set of laws mentions the issuance of a commercial registration which is needed for branches having the above-mentioned activities.
 

Changes for business disputes in Qatar

 
According to the new Foreign Investment Law In Qatar, commercial disputes can be solved with the help of arbitration, mediation or any alternative disagreement resolution procedures, if agreed by the authorities. Arbitration is recognized at an international level and it is in most cases the proper solution for commercial disputes of any kind. You can get in touch with one of our consultants and find out more about the arbitration procedure and the ways in which mediation can represent the ideal choice for your business in Qatar.
 

Why make investments in Qatar

 
The oil and gas sector is the country’s main source of revenue, so many investments are directed in this field, in the complete supervision of the government in Qatar. The huge amount of investments absorbed in the past decades by Qatar made the country develop at a fast pace. The financial market of Qatar is seen as a powerful sector, aligned with international financial hubs like Luxembourg, Switzerland or the US. Additionally, the infrastructure in Qatar is excellently developed, allowing foreign investors to benefit from a modern transportation network by air, sea or land. Below you can find information, statistics, and data about the economy of Qatar, investment and business direction:
 
  • approximately USD 32,7 billion represented the FDI stock registered in Qatar in 2018;
  • according to “2019 Doing Business Report”, Qatar ranked 83rd out of 190 worldwide economies;
  • the total FDI stock registered in 2018 in Qatar represented a 17% rate of the country’s GDP;
  • Japan, the USA, Singapore, and South Korea are Qatar’s biggest FDI inflow contributors.


If you need to know more about Qatar as a haven for emerging markets investors or for assistance in setting up a business here, please get in touch with our company registration executives in Qatar.