IPA will help augment Qatar’s FDI inflow

Doha: Qatar, which is already on the spotlight of global investors, has formed a high-level committee to attract more investments from different parts of the world.

As per the official statement, the Advisory Board of the newly-launched Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) will be chaired by H E Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry and will include H E Ahmad bin Mohammed Al Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of the Qatar Free Zones Authority; H E Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al Thani, representative of H E Prime Minister’s Office;  Saleh Majid Al Khulaifi, Acting Undersecretary for Trade Affairs; Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, Qatar Financial Centre; and Yosouf Abdulrahman Al Salehi, Executive Director, Qatar Science and Technology Park.

Sheikh Ali Alwaleed Al Thani has also been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Investment Promotion Agency.

The announcement of the high-level panel comes at a time when companies from around the globe, including those from Qatar’s traditional trading partners like China, are showing great interest and working aggressively to tap the growing investment opportunities in the country, especially the one arising from the upcoming free zone areas.

Enquiries with industry experts suggest that Qatar has a lot of competitive advantage over others in terms of attracting businesses and investors, such as cheap energy and feedstock, business-friendly legislations and economic reforms, state-of-the art infrastructure like roads, airports and seaports, and strategic geographical location among others, which have enabled Qatar as one of the most suitable places to expand operations and establish new businesses.

“There is a very strong trend among companies from Qatar’s traditional markets such as China, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and other Southeast Asian economies, who are very keen to invest in Qatar’s logistics sector and downstream industries such as chemicals, petrochemicals and other sectors,” Wilson Chan, a Doha-based prominent trade and investment consultant told The Peninsula, yesterday.

Chan, who extensively travels around the world and has a huge wealth of experience in the industry, added: “In addition to Southeast Asian markets, companies from Germany, the UK and other European markets are also showing strong and consistent interests to invest in some of the promising sectors of the fast-growing Qatari economy.”

He also noted that apart from logistics and downstream industries, there are other companies and investors who are exploring opportunities in emerging sectors, which he dubbed as ‘new industries’ such as Internet of Things (IoT), Fintech, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other IT and digital industries.

The Investment Promotion Agency will work to further attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in line with objectives set out in the Qatar National Vision 2030.

As part of its mandate to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) into Qatar, the Agency will aim to be a single and complete source for investment solutions in Qatar by attracting FDI in all of the country’s priority sectors. The entity will also pursue targeted, sector-specific investment promotion agendas and coordinate investment promotion and marketing activities with key stakeholders, as well as develop policy advisory.

The Advisory Board held their first meeting recently where they discussed the Agency’s strategy, roadmap and budget, as well as the key target sectors and incentives plan.

According to latest reports, foreign investments, including foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio investment, in Qatar amounted to QR722.6bn by the end of the first quarter of this year, recording a month-on-month increase of 1.1 percent, or QR7.9bn, compared to QR714.7bn reported for previous quarter (Q4 2018).

When compared on yearly basis, the level of investments in Qatar increased by QR44.9bn, or 6.6 percent, in Q1 2019 compared to QR677.7bn reported for the corresponding quarter last year (Q1 2018).

Source from: The Peninsula