New rules and guidance released for onshore financial centre

The number of Fintech business awarded licenses by the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is set to increase under plans to extend support for foreign financial services firms through the QFC platform.

“Under new rules and guidance, the activity of non-regulated Professional Services firms has been widened to FinTech Services Providers which includes … providing cybersecurity solutions, application programming interfaces (API), cloud computing, developing blockchain-based technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and companies which provide a platform for facilitating real-time transaction capability of internet connected devices,” a spokesperson for the QFC said.

The plans include measures to ensure that Qatar is well-positioned to become a leading international FinTech hub, and follows several agreements with organisations such as B-Hive, a European collaborative innovation Fintech platform.

The expansion of Fintech-related services on the QFC platform aligns with the Qatar National Fintech Strategy, created by Qatar Development Bank, and the 2030 Vision Plan.

Fast growing economy

As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, Qatar has built a formidable economic reputation over the last three decades  built on the fortunes of some of the biggest natural gas reserves.

Today, however the Middle Eastern country has diversified substantially and is increasingly attracting financial services business thanks to its competitive international tax environment with onshore jurisdiction.

Supported by the government’s drive to attract foreign business the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) was launched in 2005 and since then has helped over 500 companies from around the world to set up their business, capitalising on all that the MENA region has to offer.

Positioned for businesses looking to expand to the Middle East, Qatar is increasingly turning to its financial sector rather than its energy sector for growth as its rapidly diversifying economy provides easy access to the region’s major centres of commerce.

Download our report on the QFC below- providing background on the QFC and the centre’s unique business model and taxation benefits.