Foreigners may invest up to 100 percent of project capital in Qatari business sectors under a new law approved on Wednesday.
Qatar’s state news agency QNA announced that the cabinet had approved draft legislation governing investment of non-Qatari capital in the economy.
The legislation will replace Law No 13 from 2000 to further open up the country to foreign investment, it said.
Under the changes, Non-Qataris may invest up to 100 percent of project capital in all sectors of the economy provided they have a Qatari agent.
Foreign investors may own up to 49 percent of the capital of companies listed on Qatar Exchange, subject to government approval, and they may own more than 49 percent if the proposal is backed by ministers.
GCC citizens are treated as Qatari citizens when it comes to ownership of Qatar stock exchange-listed companies, QNA added.
The legislation applies to any cash transferred to the state through banks and licensed financial companies; assets imported for investment purposes; profits, revenues and reserves accumulated from the investment of non-Qatari capital in any Qatari project; and, ‘moral rights’, such as licences, patents and trademarks registered in Qatar.
There are several exemptions from the law, QNA reported. They include companies that have a prior franchise or other special agreement with the Qatar government to explore, use or manage natural resources such as oil, and companies in which the Qatar government already invests equity in partnership with non-Qatari investors.
The law does not affect tax breaks or other incentives offered to companies, it was reported.