Exporting to Qatar
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Qatar, as the world's leading supplier of liquefied natural gas LNGand has one of the fastest growing economies with the highest per capita income in the world. Qatar is currently undergoing massive transformation under the rubric of the National Vision, which aims to modernize infrastructure, establish an advanced, knowledge-based, and diversified economy, no longer reliant on the hydrocarbon sector.
The government is heavily involved in Qatar's economy, although it encourages Qatari private investment in many sectors. As Qatar plans to spend USD billion in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup and selling options for income qatar implementation of the National Vision, there are enormous opportunities for foreign investment in various sectors including infrastructure, health care, education, tourism and financial services, among others.
The largest planned development is the USD 29 billion metro and selling options for income qatar project which will be implemented in three phases with completion scheduled for Other focal areas include roads, industrial zones, and information and communication technology. These developments will stimulate selling options for income qatar domestic economy and create substantial export opportunities for foreign businesses.
In addition to energy and infrastructure development, significant opportunities exist for foreign investment in medical, safety and security, education, and franchising. The main economic stimuli in Qatar are oil, gas, and related industries, in particular the development of the North Field, the largest non-associated natural gas field in the world.
Qatar has imposed a moratorium on increasing natural gas production from the North Field that took effect in and will last until However, the Energy Ministry has indicated that it may increase its LNG production by 10 million tons if it can improve efficiency in its production units.
Significant investment in the downstream sector is likely to continue. Qatar first sought entry to the emerging-markets tier in The decision by the index compiler MSCI to upgrade Qatar to emerging market status from frontier market was well received by investors and bankers.
Qatar's investment liberalization policies are proceeding on a gradual basis, based on a desire selling options for income qatar protect local companies from rapid competition. Qatar gives preferential treatment to suppliers that use local content in bids for government procurement.
When competing for government contracts, goods with Qatari content are discounted by 10 percent and goods from other GCC countries receive a 5 percent discount. As a rule, participation in tenders with a value of QR 1, or less is confined to local contractors, suppliers and merchants registered by the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, and tenders with a value of more than this amount do not require any local commercial registration to participate, but in practice certain exceptions exist.
Tender and bid details are available at the Central Tender Committee website: In Junethe government concluded a trade policy review through the WTO. The link to the report may be found here: Foreign investment is generally limited to 49 percent of the capital for most business activities, with a Qatari partner s holding at least 51 percent.
However, the selling options for income qatar allows, upon obtaining special government approval, up to percent ownership by foreign investors in certain sectors, including: Qatar amended the law in to allow foreign investment in the banking and insurance sectors upon obtaining approval of the Cabinet of Ministers. On October 31,the Council of Ministers agreed on the amendments proposed by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce to allow foreign investors to hold percent ownership in certain activities, including: International law firms with 15 years of continuous experience in their countries of origin are allowed to set up operations in Qatar, but the license will be granted only if authorities in Qatar are convinced that the field in which the applying firm specializes is of use to Qatar.
In April the QFC stopped issuing new licenses to foreign law firms in response to complaints made by local Qatari firms of unfair competition. Foreign firms are required to use a local agent for matters related to sponsorship and residence of employees.
Certain sectors are not open for domestic or foreign competition, including public selling options for income qatar, electricity and water, steel, cement, and fuel distribution and marketing. In these sectors, a single semi-public company has complete or predominant control. Qatar has begun to liberalize its telecommunications sector to permit outside private investment, starting with the issuance in December of a second mobile license selling options for income qatar a consortium including Vodafone and the Qatar Foundation.
The same consortium was awarded the country's second fixed-line license in September However, there is a minimum requirement of QRin initial capital for any telecommunication business, which creates a barrier to entry for small entrepreneurs.
When approving majority foreign ownership in a project, the law states that the project should fit into the country's development plans. It adds that preference should be given to projects that use raw materials available in the local market, manufacture products for export, produce a new product or use advanced technology, facilitate the transfer of technology and know-how to the Qataris, and promotes the development of national human resources.
Non-Qataris may also have the right of land use over real estate for a term of 99 years renewable upon government approval in Cabinet-designated "investment areas. Import licenses are issued only to individuals with Qatari nationality, or companies owned or controlled by Qataris. In practice, exceptions are sometimes made for foreign companies, such as those with government contracts.
Qatar is rated the easiest country in which to pay tax globally, according to Paying Taxesan annual report issued selling options for income qatar Price Waterhouse Coopers, the World Selling options for income qatar, and the International Finance Corporation.
Qatari nationals are not subject to any kind of corporate or income tax, although nationals are obliged to pay Zakat, which usually amounts to around 2. Although there is no income tax on salaries in Qatar, foreign investors are subject to taxation on their investment income.
On January 1,a tax law went into effect imposing a 10 percent corporate flat rate on all non-Qatari companies selling options for income qatar foreign partners in Qatari companies. The only exception is in the energy sector where there is a 35 percent tax rate on all oil selling options for income qatar gas operations, unless exempted by Emiri Decree.
Companies currently benefiting from tax holidays or those with government tax exemptions will not be taxed until the contractual end of these selling options for income qatar. If these agreements were entered into by the Government ministry, agency, body, or public institution prior to enforcement of the new law and no tax rate was specified, the 35 percent tax rate will be imposed, unless exempted selling options for income qatar Emiri Decree.
The selling options for income qatar rate and all other tax requirements set forth in agreements related to oil operations will continue to be defined by Law No. The tax law applies to revenues from business activities, contracts - which are partly or wholly implemented in Qatar - properties, including sales of stakes in the shareholding companies or privately-owned companies whose assets are mainly comprised of properties.
Revenue from exploration and natural resource extraction in the state and loan interest received within the state are also taxable.
Gifts, luxury items, selling options for income qatar entertainment expenses are not deductible. Qatari-owned companies; small handicraft companies with a maximum of three workers and not exceedingQatari Riyals profit USD 27, ; individual income from sources such as bank interest, stock dividends, salaries, wages and allowances; and foreign charitable and other non-profit organizations and associations and societies are all exempted from taxation.
Other exemptions may be granted selling options for income qatar Law No. According to Article of Law No. The enforcement of this decree is currently suspended while the government reviews a written petition submitted by Qatari banks. Companies established in the Qatar Financial Centre QFC enjoyed a tax exemption status since the start of operations in through There are two types of penalties for failing to pay corporate taxes: Companies, local or foreign, that fail to file their tax return will be fined QR per day up to a maximum of QR 36, A further fine of 20 percent of the tax due will be levied on companies shown to be in violation of the tax law.
Penalties may be doubled for repeat offenders. Delayed payment may result in a financial penalty equal selling options for income qatar the amount of unpaid tax, selling options for income qatar addition to the payment of the tax due. Judicial decisions in commercial disputes are primarily based on contractual agreements, provided these agreements are not in conflict with applicable Qatari laws. There are in turn enormous opportunities for foreign investment in various sectors associated with this boom, including in the infrastructure, health care, education, tourism and financial services sectors.
On August 5,Law No. The effect of this change is to raise the limit of permissible foreign ownership levels in the listed companies to 49 percent, which previously was limited to 25 percent in most listed companies. The newly approved law stipulates that non-Qatari investors are allowed to own up to 49 percent of the shares of a Qatari shareholding company listed on the Qatar Exchange QE.
Under the amended law, these investors can also own more than the 49 percent, provided they attain cabinet approval. Gulf Cooperation Council nationals will be treated as Qatari citizens in the ownership of companies listed on Qatar Exchange.
The effects of these amendments are retroactive. Non-Qatari GCC nationals previously treated as foreigners for the purpose of trading in Qatari stock exchange, will now receive equal treatment to that of a Qatari citizens.
Their ownership of Qatari stocks is no longer viewed as foreign ownership; instead their participation is equal to that of a Qatari national. Foreign investors are generally not allowed to participate in initial public offerings IPOthough exceptions are occasionally made on a case-by-case basis primarily for other GCC nationals.
Rules of foreign ownership percentage restrictions can be waived with approval from the Cabinet. QE has 43 listed companies and its market capitalization was valued at QR The Qatari Government began trading short-term Treasury bills on December 29, The Qatar Exchange allowed government bonds issued by the Qatar Central Bank to be traded on the exchange beginning June 20, Doha is home to the Qatar Financial Centre QFC which allows major international financial institutions and corporations to set up offices with percent foreign ownership, and all profits to be remitted outside of Qatar.
The QFC is not an offshore center nor a free zone nor a property development. Companies licensed by the QFC are free to operate in both the local as well as other international currencies. Financial firms investing in Qatar enjoy an attractive tax regime; all Selling options for income qatar registered companies are subject to a 10 percent corporate tax on locally sourced profits.
The QFC legal framework allows buildings in Doha to be designated as QFC sites so licensed firms selling options for income qatar not have to be physically based selling options for income qatar QFC premises, provided there is no objection from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, and that they selling options for income qatar local market rents. There are currently licensed firms at the QFC, representing a spectrum of banks, investment companies, insurance houses, and related professional services.
QFC firms selling options for income qatar generally limited to providing services to wholesale clients. However, insurance companies can provide services to both wholesale and retail clients, and retail asset management is allowed. The Regulations provide for a more attractive legal, regulatory and business environment. They will expand the range of services the QFC firms will offer and the structures they may adopt, notably single family offices and special purpose companies.
Several companies offering services in design, engineering, medical consulting, and management services have successfully obtained a license, and have advised that the process was relatively straightforward and took about 10 weeks to finalize. The goals of the plan are to enhance regulation by developing a consistent risk-based micro prudential framework; expanding macro prudential oversight; strengthening financial market infrastructure; enhancing consumer and investor protection; promoting regulatory cooperation; and building human capital.
Its score has declined by 0. There is no ongoing official privatization program of state-owned enterprises, although the State of Qatar promotes and encourages a robust private sector, while offering IPOs for some government owned enterprises. The new law increasing the limit on foreign shareholdings on the Qatar Exchange enables increased foreign investment in this regard.
Ministry of Economy and Commerce reviews the applications for percent ownership licenses agriculture, manufacturing, health, education, and tourism where the license is permitted as long as it does not directly compete with existing Qatari companies locally. The government is making investment liberalization efforts, such as increasing the limit on foreign ownership for shares listed on the Qatar Exchange. The Ministry of Economy and Commerce also aimed to update the Commercial Companies Law by putting a "one stop shop" mechanism within the Ministry for interested investors.
This has, however, reportedly received resistance from the local Qatari private sector and remains in legislative limbo. The government is however making a concerted effort to modernize much of its financial legislation in an attempt to bring it in line with international best practices and facilitate business.
Due to minimal demand for the Qatari riyal outside Qatar and the national economy's dependence on oil selling options for income qatar gas selling options for income qatar, which are priced in dollars, the government has pegged the riyal to the U.
The official peg is QR 1. GCC states have officially discussed harmonizing their monetary policies although they have not established a timeline for the implementation of a common currency. Despite a number of recent private sector analyses suggesting Qatar may reassess its dollar peg policy, the government has maintained the exchange rate. However, foreign investors can hold up to a combined total of 25 percent of the shares of Qatari companies listed on the Qatari Exchange.