Opportunities for International Firms
The QFC Authority is working hard to ensure that Qatar is the leading regional location of choice for international firms both through the creation of a global business hub for three core sectors – Asset Management, (Re)insurance and Captive Insurance – and through the broader development of the financial services industry in Qatar. Through the QFC, Qatar offers international firms an onshore trading environment with a robust legal structure based on English common law, a strong principles-based regulatory structure and a low tax environment. In addition, the QFC allows 100% foreign ownership by foreign companies and the remittance of all profits outside of Qatar. There are also no restrictions for QFC institutions on dealing in any currency. Qatar has developed one of the friendliest tax regimes in the world. The regime has been designed to create an attractive and internationally competitive fiscal environment for the conduct of business activities. QFC-registered companies are subject to a 10% corporation tax to be charged on all locally-sourced profits. This low rate of tax is an attractive proposition for multinational firms thinking of establishing a presence in Qatar. Additionally QFC-registered firms benefit from the treaty benefits of Qatar’s growing network of double taxation agreements with over 37 other countries whilst unilateral tax relief applies to several countries including the US and Japan. In addition, Qatar offers international firms’ employees a range of attractive lifestyle options including quality housing, affordable healthcare and a good choice of international schools while Education City, on the outskirts of Doha, offers a world class campus environment. All of this has already proved to be an attractive proposition with over 170 licences already issued since 2005 to both international and domestic firms, including many of the world’s leading financial services firms such as AIG/Alico, Allianz, AXA, Barclays Capital, Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, ICBC, JP Morgan, Kane, KPMG, Marsh, Mitsui Sumitomo, Morgan Stanley, PricewaterhouseCoopers, UBS and Zurich FS. We are confident that as international businesses increase their exposure to the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian sub-continent, they will increasingly elect to base their regional operations in Qatar.