The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Paris EUROPLACE and Finance Innovation, to support the growth of Qatar’s booming digital industry.
Paris EUROPLACE is responsible for promoting and developing the Paris financial marketplace. Finance Innovation was launched by the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance in 2007 to stimulate the Paris financial center, and encompasses 480 member organisations and companies.
The agreements aim to support the development of the digital industry in Qatar, the exchange of expertise in innovation trends, cross-promoting start-ups in France and Qatar, as well as developing appropriate incentive packages to attract international and local companies operating in the digital and technology industry to establish a long-term presence in Qatar.
The signing ceremonies were attended by Qatar’s Ambassador to France, Sheikh Ali bin Jassim Al Thani; CEO of QFC Authority Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida; Managing Director, Business Development, QFC Authority, Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al Thani, as well as other QFC officials and high-level executives of Paris EUROPLACE and Finance Innovation.
Ambassador Sheikh Ali made a special reference to the ‘Strategic Dialogue’ declaration of intent which has been signed earlier this month in Doha between Qatar and France. He stressed that signing the MoUs, between QFC and Paris EUROPLACE and Finance Innovation, is in line with the letter and spirit of the said Agreement, and considered that signing the MoU is a testimony to the strategic relations between Qatar and France.
Al Jaida (of QFC), said: “The digitalization of the economy is a key component of Qatar’s ambitious national initiatives and the Qatar Financial Centre’s mandate, both of which aim to enable further economic diversification. We are confident that by partnering with Paris EUROPLACE and Finance Innovation we can jointly contribute towards the continued success of the digital industry in Qatar.” He added: “We have also recently announced our new strategy which emphasizes key sectors including the digital industry, and these new partnerships follow agreements with key local stakeholders including the Ministry of Transport and Communication as well as the Communication Regulatory Authority.”
For her part Sheikha Alanoud said: “Our agreements with Paris EUROPLACE and Finance Innovation are yet another indication of the Qatar Financial Centre’s commitment to the important European and French markets. By leveraging the expertise of these institutions, particularly in the FinTech industry, we are confident that we can contribute significantly to the growth of the sector in Qatar.”
The CEO of Paris EUROPLACE Arnaud de Bresson said: “The Paris financial center and its stakeholders have developed close relations with Qatar financial market players since more than 10 years. The signature of the MoU is an important step to accelerate our cooperation in different sectors such as investment banking, infrastructure financing, asset management but also, in financial innovation, based on a strong support to the Fintechs, particularly in the most innovative fields, Blockchain, AI, new payment solutions.”
The CEO, Finance Innovation Joelle Durieux, said: “We are excited about our partnership with QFC and the ample opportunities it will provide to our local startups. Doha is one of the fastest growing FinTech markets and Qatar Financial Centre Authority has paved the way for SMEs to develop and test their products within an internationally-recognized regulatory framework and a robust financial ecosystem. This will ultimately allow French startups to expand their presence into the MENA region and explore further prospects for growth.”
For his part, the CEO of Qatar Foundation International Omran Al Kuwari ,said: “WISE is a response to the necessity of revitalizing education and providing a global platform for the development of new ideas and solutions. It has evolved into a thriving global, multi-sectoral community, which continues to generate fruitful dialogue and productive partnerships.”
The CEO of WISE Stavros Yiannouka said: “We believe that our ideas about the future matter in education. Through these ideas we can proactively address the challenges and opportunities posed by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation in the workplace. And we need to seize this moment to rethink what it means to be human.” Additionally, QFC officials addressed the audience of the WISEParis Summit, which is a Qatar Foundation Initiative. The event gathered 800 French, European and international stakeholders, among them political decision makers, social entrepreneurs, innovators, NGOs and students, to discuss and collaborate on actionable and innovative solutions in education, and was sponsored by the QFC.
The QFCs attending delegation was led by Al Jaida, CEO of QFC Authority who provided a keynote speech at the WISE Summit reception, and included Sheikha Alanoud who provided the keynote speech to a UNESCO panel titled “A Future of Work For All”, which was held in Station F – the world’s largest business incubator.
Qatars digital infrastructure has already achieved significant international rankings including the first globally in Internet Penetration in 2017, as well as ninth globally in ICT adoption according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2018, as well as many others.
Qatar also recently pledged $50m to Kuwait’s investment fund in technology and digital economy across the region, reiterating its continued commitment to developing the digital industry.