The Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) yesterday signed the licenses to operate for seven high-value global companies which will soon start their operations from Qatar’s Free Zones.
The seven new companies join a diversified group of more than 50 registered projects and companies in Qatar Free Zones, which have in total invested more than QR1.5bn. The companies will commence their operations in the free zones in the new year.
H E Ahmad bin Mohammed Al Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA witnessed the QFZA investors’ signing ceremony which was conducted on the sidelines of the Doha Forum. Lim Me Hui, CEO of QFZA signed the agreements with representatives of Inventus Power, China Harbour Engineering Company (HEC), Volkswagen, Thales Group, UniStrong, Wasco Coatings, and Gaussin.
“Each of these companies is leaders in their space and come from diverse markets around the world. Our partnership with them is a testament to the strength of our bilateral economic and trade relations between Qatar and many countries around the world, and to the attractiveness of Qatar as an investment destination and Qatar Free Zones as a competitive regional business platform. I look forward to seeing their diverse projects come to life in the free zones and compete in various global markets,” Al Sayed said during the event.
Founded in 1960, US-based Inventus Power, which is known as a global leader in advanced battery and power systems, will develop batteries and electric wiring technologies in its Qatar office. Gaussin from France, which is also an official partner of Paris Saint-Germain, will develop an assembly of electric and autonomous vehicles for the region.
Headquartered in Malaysia, Wasco Coatings Middle East, which is one of the biggest manufacturers in the world serving the oil and gas industry, will build a line pipe coating facility serving the Mena region and European market. China’s UniStrong, another leading global provider of products and services for the geospatial market, will deploy advanced navigation and mobility solutions for the region.
German automaker and one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers, Volkswagen, will set up a research and development (R&D) center and develop automotive technologies for the Mena region. Volkswagen has also previously announced its partnership with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) to bring self-driving electric shuttles and buses to Qatar by 2022.
French multinational company Thales Group, a global technology leader that designs and builds systems and services for the aerospace, defense, transportation, and security markets, will operate its Qatar office developing digital and electronic systems.
Based in Beijing, world-renowned company HEC will develop transportation and industrial products.
Earlier during a parallel session on ‘The Impact of Free Zones on International Trade and National Development’, Al Sayed reiterated that competition is good among Free Zones.
He added: “We offer partnerships when you come to join us. And you’re teaming up with national champions with global reach. We have the investment to help you open new doors for your business. The country is ready to welcome international investments to be part of us, and together we will go regionally and globally”.
Reem Al Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary for Digital Society Development Sector at the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), added that Qatar’s Free Zones could also be a new home for startup ecosystems.
She added that the recently concluded QITCOM 2019 attracted global startups, and highlighted the Smart Qatar platform, Qatar’s national digital transformation program, which offers over 100 partnership projects and over 40 investment opportunities and technology projects on new emerging technologies for local and international companies.