Qatar’s bold economic reforms and opening up of nearly a dozen sectors for foreign investors have evoked very good response from local as well as international businesses and investors from different parts of the world, especially from South Asian and Far East Asian countries, including India, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and others.
While a big number of new companies have set up their businesses and production units in Qatar, particularly over the last couple of years after the blockade, a lot of others have expressed their keen interests to expand operations. They want to establish factories and manufacturing units in the country to tap the huge benefits Qatar is offering such as easy access to capital, tax holidays, cheap electricity, world-class infrastructure, and many other favorable conditions for the ease of doing business.
Several Doha-based business councils and industry chambers from different countries are organizing trade delegations and holding meetings with Qatari companies and business leaders to explore and study the various investment opportunities and incentives.
Concerned government and private entities in Qatar, such as Qatar Free Zones Authority, several ministries, and Qatar Chamber have accelerated their efforts to attract more companies and investors to set up businesses and manufacturing units in Qatar, especially in the upcoming free zones and industrial parks.
“The new investment opportunities, especially in the upcoming free zones and special economic zones, are a win-win situation for Indian and Qatari companies. A lot of Indian companies have already set up their business in Qatar and several others are in the pipeline to establish their factories in Qatar,” Indian Business and Professionals Council (IBPC) President Azim Abbas told The Peninsula, yesterday.
Abbas, who is one of the prominent and leading Indian businessmen in Qatar, added: “India and Qatar are friendly countries and share historic relationships for decades. And we at IBPC are closely working with several Indian industry representative bodies such as FICCI, CII, Assocham, as well as Qatar Chamber. We are collaborating to organize B2B meetings and other events for mutual benefits.”
He further added: “Just a few days ago a Kolkata-based company was here to set up a plant in Qatar for manufacturing tire rims for the automotive industry. The main attraction for them is the tax haven, cheap power, and easy finance, and Qatar’s geographical location in the center of the world and the iconic ports are added advantage.”
He also said that several Indian companies and manufacturers visited Qatar in the recent past to explore investment opportunities and they expressed their interest to set up plants in Qatar. But it needs to be facilitated and requires more close cooperation among stakeholders to expedite the process. He noted that holding roadshows in Qatar as well as India in collaboration with concerned authorities from both sides can be a fruitful exercise.
Qatar’s adoption of an open and diversified economy has contributed to bolstering its investment environment through the launch of major projects that reflect the success of public-private partnerships and provide promising investment opportunities in the logistics, food security, education, health, tourism, and sports sectors.
Qatar is currently developing two free zones- Ras Bufontas, which is strategically located close to Hamad International Airport, and Umm Alhoul, close to the iconic Hamad Port.
The government has come out with great investment incentives. For instance, non-Qatari investors may be exempted from the income tax for a period of up to ten years;non-Qatari investors may be exempted from customs on the imports of necessary machinery and equipment.