Qatar Financial Centre
Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA), the legal and tax arm of the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) and Enterprise Singapore have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote investment opportunities between the two economies.
The MoU is the QFC's first agreement with a Singaporean organisation, enhancing its close collaboration with the Southeast Asian country. It was signed by HE Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani, Deputy CEO and Chief Business Officer, QFC, and Tan Soon Kim, Assistant CEO, Enterprise Singapore, during QFC's official visit to Singapore.
Enterprise Singapore is a government agency that champions enterprise and industry development, working with Singaporean companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise. It builds trust in Singapore's products and services and promotes international trade and start-up development. Under the provisions of the MoU, both parties will jointly develop and execute outreach initiatives and business matching activities, as well as organise an investment event to connect investors from Qatar to start-ups from Singapore and, conversely, investors from Singapore to start-ups from Qatar. The agreement will focus on enhancing business activities in digital, Fintech, MedTech, education and smart cities.
Furthermore, QFCA will endeavour to provide technical and business advice to eligible Singaporean companies referred by Enterprise Singapore, effectively providing them with incentives and licensing assistance.
HE Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the State of Qatar Jai Sohan Singh affirmed the growing partnership between the two countries and commented: "Qatar-Singapore relations are excellent. This MoU marks a further step forward in bringing the wide-ranging cooperation between the two countries to a higher level. I look forward to many more such agreements." Commenting on the MoU, HE Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad Al-Thani, Deputy CEO and Chief Business Officer, QFC, said: "This agreement with Enterprise Singapore builds on the strong bilateral ties between Singapore and Qatar and forms a new basis of cooperation that is set to open opportunities for expansion of business and economic partnerships. Singapore is a top trade partner of Qatar with well-established and active ecosystems in sectors that cover QFC's primary focus areas. As our first MoU with a Singaporean organisation, this unlocks gateways for QFC to access a rich and progressive market." Tan Soon Kim, Assistant CEO, Enterprise Singapore, said: "Qatar and Singapore are both globally-oriented economies with a common objective to drive growth through mutual collaboration and bilateral investment. Singaporean companies possess the capabilities to partner with Qatar across multiple sectors, including the digital and urban solutions sectors. This MoU will enable Singaporean companies to access the market in Qatar and the wider Middle East region through QFC's network. It will enable our companies to grow alongside one of the fastest growing economies in the GCC and further aid in our companies' global diversification efforts to build resilience."
The visit to Singapore came as part of the QFC's commitment to promoting Qatar as a major financial destination and highlighting the growing investment opportunities in the country and the Middle East. During the visit, QFC and Enterprise Singapore also hosted a roundtable breakfast, which saw the attendance of C-suite executives from Singapore's business community. On this occasion, Sheikha Alanoud highlighted the benefits of investing in Qatar and registering on the QFC platform.
Sheikha Alanoud, on behalf of the QFC, also held a series of meetings, including with Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI); and with Singaporean businesswomen.\
In an evening reception organised with the Qatar embassy to Singapore, the QFC presented Qatar's strengths in the digital sector, which is valued at USD4.4 billion in 2021 and set for rapid growth with an expected USD9 billion worth of ICT spending by 2024, as well as the Qatari sports sector, currently worth USD20 billion, to channel partners, business leaders and other stakeholders within Singapore's sports and ICT sectors.
Finally, a session themed "Spotlight on Qatar" was held in cooperation with the Singapore Business Federation. The event gathered key representatives of Singaporean companies, start-ups and business leaders and presented an overview of doing business in Qatar.
Singapore and Qatar have enjoyed amicable bilateral relations that have exhibited steady growth. In 2021, the volume of trade exchange between the two countries reached over USD5.87 billion, a significant rise from the more than USD3.75 billion value in 2020, during which Singapore stood as Qatar's 6th largest trading partner. QFC's current outreach initiative, driven by its mission to further diversify Qatar's economy by attracting investment, builds on this strong tie between the two countries.