Sunday, 16 May 2021 12:32 GMT

Qatar- QFC signs MoU with Labuan IBFC to strengthen ties

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Deepak John | The Peninsula

The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Labuan IBFC Inc, to develop long term cooperation and boost economic and financial sector ties between the two financial centres.

Labuan IBFC offers a strategic platform to expand into the burgeoning Asian market.

This MoU reinforces our focus on growing Qatar's financial services sector, in line with our 2022 strategy, by attracting international firms to set up in Qatar and creating pathways for QFC firms to expand globally, said, Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC during the virtual MoU signing ceremony.

The MoU was signed by Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC, and Farah Jaafar-Crossby, Chief Executive Officer, Labuan IBFC Inc, on April 15, 2021 entails a commitment to collaborate on certain objectives including, but not limited to, marketing, awareness activities and identification of mutually beneficial initiatives.

Under the structure of the agreement, QFC and Labuan IBFC commit to exploring a mutually beneficial framework to allow relevant financial institutions in Qatar to operate in Labuan IBFC and allow relevant financial institutions in Labuan IBFC to operate in the QFC, subject to the approval of all competent authorities.

Both financial centres also agree to collaborate on financial sector domains, such as setting up business operations with respect to Islamic finance, digital finance, capital markets, asset and investment management, and other relevant financial institutions and financial service providers within their ecosystems.

Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, Chief Executive Officer of the Qatar Financial Centre, said 'We are delighted to partner with Labuan IBFC and embark on collaborations that will allow both financial centres to expand into strategic and lucrative markets. 'Qatar has grown in past 20 years and is soon to be the host for FIFA World Cup 2022.

Every financial centre has its pitch to its client, we like to pitch Qatar as a stable, global economy. Qatar is one of the world's leading Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exporters and continues to invest into LNG.

We also have one of the world's highest GDP per capita which is projected to rise to 3 percent in 2021. Our economy is one of the stable economies in the Mena region and we have very high credit ratings which is important for conducive business environment especially with a lot of the uncertainties globally. He said, QFC offers 100 percent foreign ownership within the financial services.

Our vision is to transform Doha into a leading global financial and commercial capital and our mission is to drive economic development and diversification by providing a world class commercial, legal, and regulatory environment. If financial centres in the Mena region and Asia can collaborate it will create a better global financial system and financial world.

The QFC is one of the platforms that contribute to strategic attracting of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country. He said, 'In terms of number of companies we have grown massively in past five years (from 2017 to 2021). As of now, QFC is home to more than 1000 companies today. There has been approximately 63 percent growth in number of QFC firms from 2017 to date.

'QFC allows a wide range of activities for businesses. The international companies have access through Qatar which is gateway to $2.1 trillion market and more, he added. Farah Jaafar-Crossby, Chief Executive Officer, Labuan IBFC Inc, said: 'This MoU heralds an exciting phase of Labuan IBFC's growth in the Mena region, and we could not ask for a better partner than the Qatar Financial Centre.

QFC's legal and operational framework, as well as their adherence to international standards of transparency and regulatory robustness, provides an ideal platform from which our intermediaries may leverage towards making inroads into the Mena region"

She said, we are looking for the opportunity to work with Qatar to build this Mena-Asia bridge. Labuan is home to second biggest GDP among all the 14 states in Malaysia led by the economic development of IBFC and the oil and gas.

The growth of Labuan has been exponential in the last 10 years as there has been a need for quality jurisdiction and a need for transparency. 'Looking at the MoU the growth that we can see by mutually benefitting in the Islamic, risk management, insurance, and digital space are the key areas we hope to work with Qatar towards growing this bridge.

Our partnership with Qatar is going to be key moving forward as we drive into the Mena region and as we assist our friends in Qatar to drive their Asian agenda, she added. 'The Digital Financial Services are a huge area of growth for us.

We are now home to 62 digital licensed intermediaries, 4 new investment banks were approved last year, and 30 licenses were approved which are Asian and European based licenses, she said.

The agreement further stipulates facilitating the recognition of banks, insurers, and other financial sector entities in their respective markets, subject to meeting the other jurisdiction's regulatory requirements, and collaborating to explore mutual recognition of regulations for relevant financial institutions via the competent authorities of each jurisdiction.


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