The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) hosted a webinar entitled, ‘Strategic Risk Management – Factors to Consider When Investing in and out of Qatar,’ to give global investors expert advice on mitigating risks when investing in Qatar and other international markets.
The event also explored the critical considerations before investing in Qatar and markets worldwide, the associated risks that can come with these investments, and how to mitigate them.
In his opening remarks, Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, chief executive officer, QFC, highlighted the conduciveness of Qatar’s business ecosystem and the range of facilities available for international investors to join the country’s burgeoning market with minimal risks.
Delivered in four distinct focus areas, the panel of experts presented the contributions of the private sector to Qatar’s economic growth and the investment opportunities in Qatari listed companies.
They also provided an overview legal perspective of what investors want and discussed the geopolitical and currency risks for Qatari investors.
The webinar, which was moderated by Thaddeus Charles Malesa, senior adviser, Economics and Research, featured investment experts from Qatar’s business sector, including Milaha’s CEO, Abdulrahman al-Mannai; director, Mena Legal Affairs of beIN Media Group, Dr Mohamed ElSaid; managing partner of Bracket Capital, Yalda Aoukar; and Commercial Bank’s executive general manager and chief risk officer, Paul Gossiaux.
On Qatar’s resilient business ecosystem, al-Jaida said, “Qatar’s robust economy, positive global economic ratings and competitive investment benefits have made the country a destination of choice for global investors. Our ecosystem offers extraordinary support to international investors to venture into the local market and launch from here.
“Combined with the ongoing legal and investment reforms, our business infrastructure and the array of competitive benefits are ideal for business growth and help investors easily and perfectly navigate the local market.”
As part of her closing remarks, Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad al-Thani, managing director (Business) QFC, shed light on the sustainability of Qatar’s economy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and how investors can best use the QFC’s range of resources to thrive within the ecosystem and minimise any unforeseen risks.
ElSaid said, “We are delighted to have taken part in this webinar. As a leading international sports, entertainment and media group, we have a wealth of experience in this area, both from an investment opportunity point of view and also knowing how to protect your interests under international law. As the world’s spotlight turns towards celebrating sport in Qatar and the region at the FIFA World Cup 2022, there is no more important time to take heed of the QFC’s guidance around safeguarding your investments at home and aboard.”
Aoukar said, “Ten years ago, there were fewer than 20 known unicorns in the United States. Today, that figure has risen to more than 200. Back in 2010, global venture capital was estimated by some at around $50bn. Today industry experts put that figure at over $295bn.
“With much of the growth and wealth creation being observed whilst technology companies are still private, Venture Capital offers a key conduit to capturing that value creation and has become a significant element in any diversified asset allocation for both private and institutional investors.”
Aoukar added, “Qatar is also witnessing a strategic development of its Venture Capital ecosystem with many hubs offering the necessary infrastructure for startups to thrive. These include hubs like the Qatar Financial Centre, the Qatar Science and Technology Park, the Qatar Free Zones and many more, seeking to attract and seed ideas that could disrupt many industries.”
Gossiaux said, “When investing outside of Qatar, Qatari investors are faced with geopolitical and currency-related risks. This is where the need of a solid mitigation strategy becomes vital. While foreign markets and stocks give investors diversity and potential growth, changes in currency and political instability may impact the investment.”
The QFC is an onshore jurisdiction that allows registered companies to enjoy competitive benefits, such as up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits, and an extensive double taxation treaty network with over 80 countries, a legal environment based on English Common Law and the right to trade in any currency.