Satyendra Pathak - Doha
The new draft law to allow 100-percent ownership for foreign investors in most sectors of the economy will position Qatar as a leading economic power in the region, Doha-based financial experts have said.
Talking to Qatar Tribune, Doha Bank Group CEO R Seetharaman said the reform would drive the pace of economic development and security of investment in Qatar.
"Qatar is an 'AA' rated country. It has enough enablers and further the reform for non-Qatari investors is an opportunity to attract investments from global investors. This will also strengthen inflow of investments to Qatar in comparison to other opportunities available in the region," Seetharaman said.
The regulatory reform pertaining to non-Qatari investors, he said, encourages investment from investors in the fields of bank and insurance companies, subject to appropriate approvals.
Non-Qatari investors may also invest in other areas allowed by a decision of the council of ministers, he said.
"This reform aims to invoke interest from non-Qatari investors, support Qatar's diversification, and drive the pace of economic development and security of investment in Qatar," he said.
Talal Samhouri, head of asset management at Amwal, said the new law, once enacted, will mark Qatar as one of the few countries in the region to promote full foreign ownership of investment projects. "This law will promote existing residents to reinvest in their existing projects in Qatar, instead of repatriating profits outside the country," Samhouri said.
"This draft law along with the recent law on regulating the ownership and usage of real estate by non-Qataris in the country will be very helpful for existing expats who have been operating in the country for a long time to be able to own their business and their home," he said.
These recent reforms by the government will usher a new era for Qatar and will position the country as a leading economic power in the region, Samhouri said.
These reforms will not only compete with existing laws in some of the countries of the region, but will also place Qatar as one of the most business-friendly countries in the world, he said.
With government promising support to businesses in the form of tax exemptions and low-cost leases of industrial or commercial properties, he said, Qatar is all set to attract investors from across the world.
"Soon we will see investors flocking to Qatar from neighbouring countries seeking a new domiciliation. This should be boosted by the government initiatives to open new markets for Qatari businesses in Africa and Asia to expand to," he said.