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Introduction

The year of 2020 brimmed with enormous challenges ushered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which did not only cause a global health crisis but also an economic slowdown worldwide. Despite the global economic disruption, QFC saw significant growth in 2020 and demonstrated resilience to navigate extreme economic times, turning these unprecedented conditions into another successful year.

QFC concluded 2020 on a high note, achieving 78.4% increase in the number of registered firms compared to 2019, as it welcomed 364 new firms to its platform. Boosting business continuity in light of the restrictions on physical activities, QFC adopted a comprehensive digital engagement strategy by transitioning its events onto virtual platforms, launching several programmes in the process including the QFC Tech Talks and #AccessQatar Webcast Series. 2020 also witnessed the launch of QFC’s inaugural QFC Ambassador Roundtable.

QFC continued to collaborate with leading organisations in Germany, US, Poland, Austria, Malaysia, and other countries through hosting and supporting high-level outreach events. A series of engaging virtual events were held in partnership with many leading local and global organisations including the US-Qatar Business Council, Advantage Austria, Investment Promotion Agency of Qatar, Bloomberg, World Alliance of International Financial Centers, and Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation. QFC continued to embark on new partnerships with industry leaders such as Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) and Hamad Bin Khalifa University by signing strategic Memoranda of Understanding to pave the way for long-term collaboration in advancing Qatar’s business landscape.

Last year saw the introduction of QFC’s new regulations for international law firms and representative offices to set up on the platform and join Qatar’s flourishing market. QFC also announced its readiness to offer aircraft leasing and financing and welcomed Maggi Aviation Capital to establish its regional office on the platform and make significant contributions to the development of this specialist global sector in Doha and the long-term goal of a local centre of excellence and opportunities.

Evidenced by many global indicators, Qatar prepares to witness modest economic growth in the coming years. Both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund foresee positive economic growth for Qatar in 2021 and beyond. This has largely been driven by Qatar’s robust economic stimulus measures as well as the plethora of business opportunities arising out of the pandemic, making the country a destination of choice for international businesses. 

 

Foreword

Chairman Foreword

Amid the global economic slowdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) demonstrated incredible resilience and commitment to promote Qatar as an ideal investment destination, effectively utilising its strategic location being at the crossroads between East and West. QFC’s unrelenting efforts are reflected in its continuous growth with increased number of firms from around the world choosing the platform to launch in Qatar, particularly in its focus clusters.

QFC has remarkably withstood the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and continued to promote business opportunities in Qatar’s flourishing market to international firms. It also maintained its support to the country’s private sector by facilitating engagement with local and international experts to share insights on navigating the current economic climate and exchanging expertise and knowledge on post-pandemic economic recovery.

While our fight against COVID-19 continues, we had a good starting point with Qatar’s prompt response to the global crisis, placing the country’s economy in a position to recover quickly from the profound impact of the pandemic. In fact, both the International Monetary Fund and World Bank gave Qatar a positive expected growth in 2021.

I congratulate everyone at QFC on their achievements in 2020 under the leadership of Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC. After getting through one of the most challenging global economic periods in the recent history, I am confident that QFC will see significant success in 2021 and beyond. 

Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida

Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Financial Centre

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The Ministry of Public Health has administered over four million vaccines since its vaccination programme started. More than 80 per cent of the country’s total population has received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

More information about the Qatar COVID-19 Vaccination Program >

Make sure that you are not misled by fake news or information circulated by non-credible sources or unofficial platforms by following Qatar’s official communications channels below:

  • Government Communications Office (@GCOQatar)
  • Ministry of Public Health (@MOPHQatar)
  • Ministry of Interior (@MOIQatar)
  • Ministry of Industry and Commerce (@MOCIQatar)
  • Ministry of Defence (@MOD_Qatar)
  • Qatar Media Corporation English website (www.covid19qatar.info)

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Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU)

Qatar's overall business environment score improved from 6.56 for the period 2016-2020 to 7.35 for the forecast period 2021-2025. “This has helped Qatar's global ranking to improve by eight places from 36th to 28th, although its regional ranking remains steady at third.”

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FocusEconomics

Qatar’s GDP per capita will increase steadily and scale up to US$71,087 in 2025. This year, the country’s GDP per capita will amount to US$61,223, US$64,331 next year, US$66,101 in 2023 and US$68,600 in 2024. Qatar’s GDP will exceed US$200 billion by 2025.

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Alpen Capital

Qatar recorded the highest increase in domestic food production in the GCC between 2014 and 2019. The production of major food categories increased at a compound annual growth rate of 15.2 per cent between 2014 and 2019 to reach 376,896 tonnes.

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ValuStrat

The online food delivery market in Qatar has been projected to grow 14.4 per cent this year, driven by COVID-19 restrictions. The food-delivery market in Qatar was valued at US$185 million in 2020.

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Mordor Intelligence

The growth momentum of Qatar’s construction sector is likely to continue in the medium term and is expected to reach a value of US$76.98 billion by 2026.

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Colliers

Qatar is expected to be the leading contributor in the hospitality sector with a pipeline of 15,800 hotel keys by 2023. The performance among the hotels of all categories has seen a rise in occupancy rates and revenue per available room in July.

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Welcome to the QFC Community

We are proud to welcome 13 new firms to the QFC platform in August 2021
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QFC continues to cover the latest trends and developments across a number of industries and topics including Qatar’s economy, financial services, fintech, foreign direct investment, digital, and sports.

Previous Events

Behind The Business

Behind Dibsy - Online Payments Start-Up in Qatar

Don’t miss out on our first episode of Behind the Business season 2, featuring Dibsy, a start-up established out of the dream to change Qatar's way of making payments. Watch now to learn all about Dibsy's journey of establishing a QFC registered start-up in Doha.

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Business News Highlights

Qatar is Australia’s second largest trading partner in MENA

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Qatar-Italy bilateral trade reaches US$2.16 billion in 2020 

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Qatar's private sector exports up 56 per cent in H1

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Qatar’s ports reflect buoyant trade sentiments in August

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Qatar ready to move towards ‘cashless society’

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Local SMEs ‘capable’ to supply needs for Qatar’s future projects

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QFZA, MME in deal to achieve food security and sustainability in Qatar

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Anoud Tech first Qatari company to export internally developed IT solutions

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Cabinet okays National Climate Change Plan

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IOM Director General attends launch event of Qatar Charity Annual Report

Mr. Antonio Vitorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), participated in the virtual launch event of the Qatar Charity (QC) 2020 Annual Impact Report on 13 July 2021. The event was also attended by H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Nasser Al-Thani, Chairman, Qatar Charity; Mr. Duran Farah, Minister of Transportation and Civil Aviation, Federal Republic of Somalia; and Mr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, CEO, Qatar Charity. During the launch, the overview of the most important achievements of QC in 2020, its partnerships throughout the globe, and key challenges faced in the implementation of humanitarian efforts were presented. In his speech, IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino underlined the significance of invaluable contributions made by QC to IOM’s response and recovery operations in countries like Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Malawi, Bangladesh, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to assist the most vulnerable in need. "The pandemic has taught us that humanitarian access is more critical, and yet more fragile, than ever. Moving forward, we must create stronger partnerships between different actors and empower communities to become more resilient," he said.

 

IOM and National Human Rights Committee of Qatar Join Efforts on migrant rights and combatting human trafficking. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s mission in Qatar and the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar (NHRC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 28 June 2021 to boost coordination in promoting human rights, migrant rights, and combatting human trafficking. The MoU will strengthen joint efforts by ushering a new area of close collaboration between the two organisations on issues of mutual interest, particularly related to enhancing capacities to combat trafficking in persons. “Such cooperation with NHRC marks an important new phase of formalising the excellent partnership between our two organisations,” said Iman Ereiqat, IOM Qatar Chief of Mission. “The partnership with the Qatari NHRC is a valuable one, especially given the pivotal role that the committee has played in advocating on behalf of various vulnerable groups. IOM looks forward to a fruitful partnership for the benefit of migrants and the state of Qatar.”

 

Expert Group Meeting (EGM) for the 2021 Edition of the Situation Report on International Migration (SRIM) in the Arab Region.

On 29 June 2021, the IOM RO MENA, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), and UNHCR held an Expert Group Meeting bringing the drafting and coordinating teams together with focal points from the members of the Issue-based Coalition on Migration in the Arab Region (IBC), academics and experts in the field of migration and displacement, to review the first draft of the biannual publication.

 

Following three successful editions of the report (2015, 2017, and 2019), the 2021 edition of SRIM will focus on the resilience of migrants, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and other major crises affecting the Arab region.

 

Improving migration management in Libya  

During the third week of June in Tripoli, IOM designed and organised a four-day training course on improving the management of labour migration in Libya for 20 participants from local Libyan organisations, the Human Rights Commission, and the private sector. With the European Union Delegation to Libya (EU Delegation) in attendance, participants discussed good practices for labour market information, bilateral labour agreements, skills transferability, diaspora, and remittances. In addition to this, under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, IOM held the third meeting of the Migration Health Sub Working Group in Tripoli on 23 June, with over 30 national officials, UN agencies, and international partners working in migration health in attendance. Participants discussed critical topics, such as the preparation of COVID-19 vaccination for migrants, the expansion of health information systems, and the improvement of health service delivery in disembarkation points and detention centres.

 

Session held with academics to discuss progress on implementation of Global Compact for Migration in North Africa

On 24 June 2021, the IOM Regional Office (RO) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the North Africa Mixed Migration Task Force (NAMMTF), in coordination with the UN Network on Migration Secretariat (UNNM), held a virtual consultation session with academics from North Africa in preparation for the GCM Continental Review for Africa. The consultation brought together speakers from academic institutions, migration studies experts, and researchers in North African countries to discuss emerging research priorities and the most updated migration trends and data regarding the progress on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) implementation in North Africa in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Recommendations were made to enhance the contributions of research and academia in the formulation of evidence-based migration policies. The outcomes of the consultation session will contribute to the discussions at the African Continental Review and will feed into the International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) to be held in 2022.

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