QFC Engages with French Businesses at Qatar-France Business and Investment Forum
The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world's leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centres, participated in the Qatar-France Business and Investment Forum.
Organised by the Qatari Businessmen Association, Business France, the national trade and investment agency of France, the French Embassy in Qatar and MEDEF International, the French Business Confederation, the event focused on explaining the mechanisms for investing in the French economy as well as highlighting selected investment projects in France.
The event's opening ceremony was attended by H.E. Yayha bin Saeed Al-Nuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary for Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry; H.E. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani, Chairman, Qatari Businessmen Association; H.E. Franck Gellet, Ambassador of France to Qatar; Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director, Business Development, QFC, who delivered a keynote speech, and Guillaume Pepy, Chairman of SNCF and Chairman of the France–Qatar Business Council at MEDEF International.
Qatar and France enjoy increasingly extensive economic and political relations with bilateral trade rising by 30% in 2017 to USD $27 million, compared to 2016. The growing business relations include Qatari investments in France worth USD $29 billion in 2016, as well as a strong presence in Qatar of approximately 120 French companies operating across various industries in both the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon sectors.
Prior to the event, the QFC hosted a delegation of French and Qatari businesses to explore potential bilateral investment opportunities and the unique advantages that the QFC platform offers to companies looking to expand to Qatar and the region.
Sheikha Alanoud Bint Hamad Al-Thani, Managing Director, Business Development, QFC said
"As part of our mandate to attract foreign direct investment to Qatar, the QFC has always looked to further strengthen relations with our French partners. I am confident that the Forum has provided an invaluable platform for fostering even more extensive partnerships."
Sheikha Alanoud added: "Our commitment to continually enhancing our relations with the French market is also evident through the roadshow we successfully hosted earlier this year in Paris, during which, we met with more than 100 French companies who expressed great interest in expanding to Qatar through the QFC's platform and we will continue to work closely to develop these connections."
H.E. Franck Gellet, Ambassador of France to Qatar said
"We are delighted to welcome a delegation of more than 50 French corporations in Doha on the occasion of the Qatar-France Business and Investment Forum – a precedent in Qatar. The relations between France and Qatar have been developing all along the past fifty years on the basis of friendship, mutual trust and shared values and interests. French investments in Qatar have been on the rise, reflecting the dynamism and the level of commitment of French companies operating in Qatar, some of them for decades. 200 French companies are working alongside public and private stakeholders such as the QFC on key projects in oil and gas, electricity and water, transport, urban development and other fields, assisting Qatar in achieving its goals, enshrined in the Qatar Vision 2030. French companies operating in Qatar are committed to excellence in business. The key success is their high-quality project performance. Their projects deliver a high expected value on time and within budget, in line with the "Qatar deserves the best" motto."
The QFC is an onshore jurisdiction, allowing companies to operate in and from Qatar within the QFC legal and tax environment. The QFC endeavours to promote Qatar as an attractive business destination. Companies that wish to establish a business in the QFC are guided throughout by a dedicated QFC relationship manager who assists in the process of obtaining a licence and offers support in matters related to operating a business in Qatar. QFC firms enjoy competitive benefits, such as working within a legal environment based on English common law, the right to trade in any currency, up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits, and an extensive double tax treaty agreement network with 60+ countries.
In addition, the independent Employment Standards Office of the QFC embodies a unique Administrative Employment Dispute Resolution Centre accredited by the International Labour Organization (ILO), providing conciliation and adjudication services free of charge to help resolve workplace conflicts. The ESO is fully aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and aspires to promote international best practices in the field of human capital.