A new decree by Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has equipped foreigners with new ownership and land rights, reported the Gulf News. Due to the fact that foreign investment is important for the economic performance of the country, it was decided to establish friendlier business laws.
Although foreigners will not be permitted to own land they will have the right to lease land for up to 50 years. Most importantly, though, foreigners are now allowed to own 100 percent stake in companies and projects, a clear shift in policy from the previous maximum of a 49 percent foreign ownership. This decree is restricted to specific sectors in the economy — agriculture, industry, health, education and tourism. The removal of barriers on foreign direct investment follows similar moves by Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Furthermore, the decree allows the local Finance Ministry to grant tax-laden incentives, of up to 10 years, to promote foreign direct investment, waive customs duties on imported equipment, machinery and raw material, which is unavailable in Qatar. Foreign investors can now repatriate any profits and transfer holdings to any other party. All financial transactions and projects must be approved by the Finance Ministry. — (Albawaba-MEBG)