Qatar is blessed with a solid base of attractive investment package. It is a politically and socially stable country and production conditions favors the engagement in the vast power consuming industries in light of the fact that the country has the largest single concentration of non associated gas in the world, which has gained it a remarkable edge on economic advancement. The country is located in the hub on the gulf region, and being a peninsula gives it longer shorelines and so more maritime access routes to the world, which makes it more competitive as a center for international investment. In addition, the Qatari economy is market oriented; and the State continually enacts and updates legislation to bolster the trend of economic openness towards all countries of the world.
Customs charges and bureaucratic or procedural restrictions are minimal or non-existent in regard to all transactions including repatriation of foreign capitals; and legislation is in place to provide incentives and facilities that could help raise the profit margins of investments.
The State places the infrastructure including roads, utilities, ports and communications high in its list of priorities to bring about economic diversification, attract foreign investments and help increase the sources of national income.
Qatar facilitates the recruitment of the foreign workforce required for the development projects of the country.
Foreign investors are allowed according to the Qatari investment laws to invest in all national economy sectors provided that they have a Qatari partner who has a share of at least 51% of the capital of the joint venture and that the company is duly established in accordance with the provisions of the law of commercial companies.
According to an approval from the Minister, the shareholding of foreign investors in joint ventures can surpass the limit of 49% and reach up to 100% of the capital in selected sectors such as agriculture, industry, health, education, tourism, development of natural resources or energy and mining, on condition that the projects in question are in line with the country's development objectives; give priority to optimizing the utilization of and add value to local raw materials and local products; are export oriented; introduce new products; use new technologies; seek to introduce industries with international fame or develop the national human resources.
Based on an Emiri decree, The Qatari law allows full shareholding of foreign investments in sectors such as industry, agriculture, mining, energy, tourism or contracting provided that the investment is geared to develop the industry in question or provide a public utility or service that serves the best interests of the community. The law also allows non-Qatari investors to import the required materials that are not available locally for their projects.
Qatar is committed not to impose any additional restrictions on foreign investments in Qatar in order to avoid undermining the requirements of fair competition between foreign and Qatari capitals. However, foreign invertors are not allowed to invest in the fields of banking, insurance, commercial representation and real estate purchase.
Investments in oil and gas fields reached in recent years about QR26 billion, of which US $1 billion are of foreign origin.
It is worth mentioning that Qatar is a member of the World Trade Organization; and in 2001 it hosted in Doha the organization's fourth ministerial conference.
General Privileges For Foreign Investors:
- Freedom to import and repatriate funds.
- Freedom to transfer profits and assets.
- Freedom to exchange money at stable rates.
- The benefits of a free market economy.
Some of The General Incentives for Investments:
1- The right to import the materials and equipment required for the establishment, operation or expansion of projects.
2- 10-year exemption from income tax effective from the date of commerciall commissioning of projects.
3- Duty-free imports of equipment and machinery required for projects.
4- Duty-free imports of raw and half manufactured materials needed for industrial projects and not available locally.
Some of the Proposed Incentives:
1- Preparing investment opportunities and initial studies for industrial projects.
2- Preparing feasibility studies on the technical and economic aspects for projects and providing technical advice for the prospective private investor.
3- Providing suitable land sites in industrial estates for industrial projects at reasonable lease rates and long lease terms.
4- Assisting the licensed industrial projects to get loans from Qatar Industrial development Bank and other finance establishments.
5- Providing advice and assistance for investors regarding the available information, data and studies on their chosen investment projects.
6- Providing the project with power, fuel, water and natural gas at competitive prices.
1- Fully equipped industrial estate.
2- Long term loans with competitive interest rates for small and medium scale industrial projects from Qatar Industrial Development Bank.
3- Flexible regulations and procedures to import workforce for industrial and other investments.
4- Flexible and sound labor laws that safeguard the rights of all investment parties and workforce.
5- Suitably priced health care.
6- Flexible legislation and procedures for registering commercial and industrial establishments.
7- Easy access to government officials to resolve investment difficulties.
8- Settling investment disputes through commercial arbitration, courts of justice or Shari'a courts in the country, whichever individual cases fall within the jurisdiction thereof.
9- Independent judicial system.