Foreign Investment Law Aims to Boost the Economy in Qatar

Published January 9th, 2019 - 11:41 GMT
The law allows non-Qatari investors to own a percentage not exceeding 49 percent of the share capital of listed companies. (Shutterstock)
The law allows non-Qatari investors to own a percentage not exceeding 49 percent of the share capital of listed companies. (Shutterstock)
The law regulating investment of non-Qatari capital aims to promote economic development, attract foreign investment in all economic and commercial activities and lure 100 percent foreign capital inflows, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) has said.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ministry said the law also aims at accomplishing economic diversification in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, facilitating foreign investors’ access to the market and bolstering the country’s confidence and investment security index.
The first article of the law identifies a non-Qatari investor as a person who invests his money in any of the projects authorised for direct investment in accordance with the provisions of this law. Non-Qatari capital, on the other hand, is defined as money, in-kind investments or rights held by non-Qatari investors.
The law outlines regulations governing the investment of non-Qatari capital, which is permitted in all sectors of the economy. Investments may be undertaken after submitting a request to the competent department, which processes the application within 15 days.
A non-Qatari investor whose application is rejected may appeal to the Minister within 15 days and the appeal shall be considered within 30 days. A non-Qatari investor is prohibited from investing in the banking industry and insurance companies except for companies excluded based on a decision of the Council of Ministers.

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The law stipulates that non-Qatari companies tasked with the implementation of business contracts in Qatar must comply with the following regulations: The execution of the contract shall be undertaken through the company’s branch in the country and the contract shall be ratified with a state or government agency, public institution or companies in which the state is a shareholder. A non-Qatari company shall also have a commercial record and shall obtain a commercial license for its branch, after procurement and before the signing of the contract. Non-Qatari companies shall also fulfil all the requirements set by government agencies, renew the contract and licence throughout the duration of the contract’s implementation and obtain the licence to undertake permitted activities in line with the provisions of applicable laws in the state.
The law allows non-Qatari investors to own a percentage not exceeding 49 percent of the share capital of listed companies, provided that the ministry approves the proposed percentage. A non-Qatari investor may also hold a higher percentage after the approval of the Council of Ministers upon the proposal of the Minister.
Article 25 of the law states that the provisions of this law do not apply to companies and individuals that the state tasks with the extraction, exploitation or management of natural resources through a concession or special agreement, except to the extent where it is not contrary to the provisions of the concession or special agreement. page 13

 


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