Best investment options in qatar
This is the basic text view. In recent years, Qatar has had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, though lower energy prices have produced a relative decline in growth. The government remains the dominant actor in Qatar's economy, though it encourages private investment in many sectors and continues to take steps to encourage more foreign investment. Inthe government streamlined its procurement processes and created an online portal for all government tenders in an effort to improve transparency.
The government also created a regulatory regime to curb corruption and anti-competitive practices. It is also in the process of introducing reforms to its foreign investment laws to allow percent foreign ownership of businesses in more economic sectors. These measures promise an attractive environment for foreign investors. By value of inward foreign direct investment FDI stock, oil and gas downstream manufacturing, transportation and marketing remain the primary sectors that attract most foreign investment to Qatar.
Qatar provides various incentives to local and foreign investors. The corporate tax rate is 10 percent and there is no personal income tax. A value-added tax VAT will be introduced for the first time inas part of a GCC-wide initiative, and taxes on luxury items and products harmful to human health and the environment — such as tobacco, alcohol, soft drinks, and energy drinks — will be applied starting best investment options in qatar mid These economic activities and policies have created, and will continue to create, significant business opportunities for foreign investors.
Qatar imposed a moratorium on increasing natural gas production from the North Field in The moratorium on further development remains in effect. Significant investment in the downstream sector is likely to continue. Nonetheless, diversification of economic revenue sources is a priority and a focus in the Qatar National Vision. The government is actively looking for ways to incentivize foreign and private sector investments and encourage small and medium enterprise participation in the economy.
Qatar's investment liberalization policies are proceeding on a gradual basis, partly based on a desire to protect local companies from competition. The procurement portal can be accessed via the link: When competing for government contracts, preferential treatment is given to suppliers that use local content in their bids. Tenders with a higher value do not require any local commercial registration to participate, but in practice certain exceptions exist.
Qatar maintains ongoing dialogue with the United States in both official and private sector tracks, e. Qatari officials have stated a desire to increase both American investments in Qatar and Qatari investments in the United States. Certain exceptions can be made, pending approval from the Cabinet, in the following sectors: Non-Qatari investors are, for the most part, prohibited from investing in the financial services and real estate sectors.
The government is currently in the process of approving reforms to the current foreign capital investment legal framework. These new reforms promise to allow percent foreign capital investment in all sectors provided that the foreign investor hires a Qatari service provider, in order to increase foreign direct investments FDI.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce is also drafting a Public Private Partnership law, to ease best investment options in qatar foreign investment in national procurement for infrastructure development.
Moreover, the Cabinet approved a draft law to establish free economic zones, titled Manateq, which will also allow percent foreign ownership in multiple industrial sectors, in an effort to diversify economic revenue see below. The review can be viewed on the WTO website: For detailed information on business registration procedures, as evaluated by the World Bank, visit http: Qatar Development Bank provides services to local small and medium-sized enterprises SMEincluding incubation and financing of startups.
SMEs need to be locally established i. Qatar does not restrict domestic investors from investing abroad. The industries that accounted for most Qatar outward FDI were finance and insurance, transportation, storage, information best investment options in qatar communication, and wholesale and retail industries. The most recent bilateral investment agreement, signed in Novemberwas with Argentina. A full list of the 53 current bilateral agreements Qatar can be found at: In addition to formal treaties, Qatar has entered into technical investment and trade agreements with over 39 countries.
Qatar additionally launched an Economic and Investment Dialogue with the United States in Octoberwhich calls for annual high-level talks on matters related to economic cooperation. Qatar does not have a double taxation treaty with the United States. Moreover, Qatar and other GCC countries will enforce, in mid, a selective tax on products considered harmful to human health and the environment, including tobacco, soft drinks and energy drinks, in addition to luxury goods produced domestically or imported.
Qatar is an advocate of the free market economy and has taken measures to protect competition and ensure a free and efficient economy. This law, however, exempts state institutions and government-owned companies. There are also regulatory authorities for most sectors in best investment options in qatar economy that are mandated to monitor economic activity and ensure fair practices.
Draft bills are not made public and an official public consultation process does not exist in Qatar. Following Cabinet meetings, plans of potential draft legislation are made public, but few details are provided.
Nonetheless, the Shura Council which statutorily is comprised of two-thirds elected officials and one-third appointees from the Emir, but in practice best investment options in qatar all appointees of the Emir consults and best investment options in qatar legislation.
The Cabinet passes draft laws to the Shura Council for consultation, comments, and recommendations. The Shura Council votes and members must best investment options in qatar a consensus to pass a draft legislation, which is then returned to the Cabinet for further review and approval.
Final approval is granted by the Emir. Laws and best investment options in qatar are developed and drafted by concerned ministries and entities. The text of all legislation is published online and in local newspapers upon approval by the Emir. Qatar-based legal firms provide translations of Qatari legislation to their clients. Each approved law explicitly mandates one or more government entities with the responsibility to carry out and enforce legislation.
These entities are clearly defined in the text of law. In some cases, the law also sets up regulatory and oversight committees made of representatives of concerned government entities to safeguard enforcement.
The main commercial regulator is the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. This law aims to promote financial stability and enhance regulation coordination through the Financial Stability and Risk Committee, which is headed by the Central Bank Governor. A common GCC regulation, such as the upcoming shared excise taxes of on products harmful to health, is handled separately by each government, as each has sovereign leverage in how to implement common regulations domestically.
Laws based on GCC regulation have to go best investment options in qatar the legislative process and are reviewed by the Cabinet and the Shura Council. The constitution best investment options in qatar precedence over all laws, followed by legislation and decrees, and finally ministerial resolutions.
The Supreme Judicial Council oversees Qatari courts. Qatari courts determine civil and commercial disputes in accordance with legislation. International agreements have the same status as Qatari laws; the Constitution ensures that best investment options in qatar pacts, treaties and agreements, to which Qatar is party, are respected and taken into account.
Qatar does not currently have a specialized commercial court; domestic commercial disputes are generally settled at the Civil Court and the civil division within the Court of Appeal. The QFC legal regime is separate from Qatari legal system — with the exception of criminal law — and it is only applicable to companies licensed by the Best investment options in qatar.
However, the law allows, upon obtaining special government approval, up to percent ownership by foreign investors in certain sectors, including: Qatar amended the law in to allow foreign investment in the banking and insurance sectors upon obtaining approval of the Cabinet. Moreover, foreign financial services firms are allowed percent ownership if they register at the Qatar Financial Center QFC.
In an effort to attract more foreign direct investment, the government is currently reviewing a draft law that introduces amendments to the existing foreign capital investment law and allows percent foreign capital investment in all sectors provided that the foreign investor hires a Qatari service provider. The law lowers requirements for setting up a business and reduces wait times for commercial registration and other related processes.
It abolishes the Central Tendering Committee and establishes a Procurement Department best investment options in qatar the Ministry of Finance which will have oversight responsibility over the majority of government tenders. The new department has also created an online portal which consolidates all government tenders and provides relevant information to interested bidders, including facilitating the process for foreign investors https: Certain sectors are not open for domestic or foreign competition, including public transportation, electricity and water, steel, cement, and fuel distribution and marketing.
In these sectors, a single semi-public company has complete or predominant control. Qatar has begun to liberalize its telecommunications sector to permit outside private investment, starting with the issuance in December of a second mobile license to a consortium including Vodafone and the Qatar Foundation.
The same consortium was awarded the country's second fixed-line license in September There is a minimum requirement of QRin initial capital for any telecommunication business, which creates a barrier to entry for small entrepreneurs. International law firms best investment options in qatar 15 best investment options in qatar of continuous experience in their countries of origin are allowed to best investment options in qatar up operations in Qatar, but the license will be granted only if authorities in Qatar deem that the field best investment options in qatar which best investment options in qatar applying firm specializes is of use to Qatar.
In Aprilthe QFC stopped issuing new licenses to foreign law firms in response to complaints leveled by local Qatari firms, alleging unfair competition. Expropriation has been undertaken more best investment options in qatar in recent best investment options in qatar due to the increased number of major infrastructure projects undertaken in preparation for the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in Sincethe Official Gazette of the State of Qatar has reported decisions to expropriate private property and distribute it for public use.
However, such expropriation is unlikely to occur in any of the investment zones where non-Qataris may purchase or obtain a right of property, although the law does not restrict the power to expropriate in these areas.
Qatar enforces foreign arbitral decisions concluded in states that are party to the New York Convention. If investment disputes occur, Qatar accepts binding international arbitration. However, Qatari courts will not enforce judgments or awards from other courts in disputes emanating from investment agreements made under the jurisdiction of other nations. The Qatar Financial Centre QFC civil and commercial courts, and the regulatory tribunal, make up its Judiciary and the best investment options in qatar infrastructure.
The purpose of this new law is to simulate and strengthen the investment and business environment in Qatar. There is no set duration for dispute resolution and the time to obtain a resolution depends on the case.
In best investment options in qatar to protect their interests, U. In Qatar, there are two concurrent bankruptcy regimes. However, the bankruptcy law is largely untested. There are currently two firms in the U. In best investment options in qatar effort to incentivize increased foreign capital investment, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce drafted a law to allow percent foreign owned investment in all sectors, with the condition that the investor has a Qatari service provider.
Currently, full foreign ownership is permitted in certain priority sectors, including information technology, sports and leisure services, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, education, and tourism — following the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. Additionally, the government offers a variety of incentives to foreign investors, which may include tax exemptions, property grants, energy subsidies, and low-cost financing.
The following is a list of potential incentives offered to foreign investors, which are similar to the incentives offered to Qatari investors. The Ministry of Energy and Industry determines the amount of foreign equity and the extent of incentives for industrial projects. Industrial projects can be established only in designated industrial zones.