Amir H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has issued Law No. 1 of 2019, regulating the investment of foreign capital in Qatar. The law is effective and shall be published in the official gazette. It aims to facilitate economic development, encourage foreign investment in the country, and promote economic diversification in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
The chief provisions of the law were recently highlighted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), easing the degree of and access to capital investment by Non-Qataris in the country.
Capital Investment Regulations
- The clause recognizes a ‘non-Qatari investor’ as any individual who invests one’s capital in a project authorized for direct investment in accordance with the provisions of this law. ‘Non-Qatari capital’ is defined as money, in-kind investments, or rights, held by foreign investors.
- Now, non-Qatari capital is allowed in all sectors of the economy. Such an investment may be carried out by submitting an application to the concerned department. It may take up to 15 days for the same to be processed.
- Non-Qatari investors may own a portion, not exceeding 49%, of the share capital of listed companies, provided that the MoCI approves the proposed percentage. An exception to the 49%-norm for foreign investors lies in case the Council of Ministers approves a percentage above it, upon the proposal of the Minister.
- Foreign investors are not allowed to invest in the BFSI sector or commercial agencies, except for companies excluded by the Council of Ministers.
Incentives for Foreign Investors
The law provides ample incentives for foreign investors in Qatar, like:
- Non-Qatari investment projects may be exempted from income tax, subject to the regulations of the Income Tax Law
- Non-Qatari investment projects would be exempt from customs duties on import of machinery and equipment necessary for their formation
- A non-Qatari may be allocated land, on rent or usufruct, for their investment project
- The Council of Ministers may, on the proposal of the Minister, accord incentives and benefits apart from those granted in this law
The provisions granted under Law No. 1 of 2019 do not apply to:
- Companies established by the government or in which the government and other public institutions are contributing at least 51% of the capital, in partnership with non-Qatari investors
- Companies dealing in the extraction, exploitation or management of natural resources
- Companies licensed by Qatar Petroleum to conduct petroleum operations or to invest in the oil & gas/petrochemical sector
Qatar is an emerging economy growing by leaps and bounds. With the advent of this law easing capital investment for foreigners, the nation is one of the most promising locations for investors and entrepreneurs alike. With measures to diversify the economy in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, sectors like infrastructure, renewable energy and manufacturing are bound to boom in the near future.
Contact us for any other information about the capital investment norms in Qatar, and as to how you can utilize them optimally for your business setup or support services in Qatar.