Investment Free Zones law revised to boost business

 07 Nov 2017 - 9:00

Investment Free Zones law revised to boost business
A computer generated image of one of the upcoming Investment Free Zones in Qatar.

The Peninsula

  • New amendments to attract local and foreign investments by enhancing business environment. 
  • No restriction on nationality of investor, capital, choice of legal frame for the project, freedom of fixing prices of products, setting profits. 
  • More freedom in transactions. 
  • Investment Free Zones to create new job opportunities.

Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani issued yesterday Decree Law No 21 of 2017 amending some provisions of the Law No 34 of 2005 on Investment Free Zones.  

The Investment Free Zones include the economic zones and Hamad International Airport with capital and assets worth QR50bn. The Decree Law is effective starting from its date of issue and is to be published in the official gazette.

Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani said that the amendment in the law has come in the framework of directives of H H the Emir who authorised the Cabinet to take all necessary measures to enhance and push economic development and investment wheels in order to provide the nationals and foreign investors the maximum advantage.

In this regard, the Prime Minister said, the Cabinet worked during the past on developing the strategy of economic development policies for the country through effective and innovative means by taking the advantage of available opportunities, interacting with local, regional and international developments with the aim to achieve the national economic goals.

“The new amendments will also attract local and foreign investments by enhancing the business environment in the country and facing the challenges and variables in economic sector.”

The Prime Minister said that the amendment is meant to enhance the credibility of the state institutions work to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030 and also to achieve national strategies and national economic orientations which are based on free trade, economic growth and creating space for private sector to play the leading role. He mentioned that the Investment Free Zones constitute distinguished investment mechanisms and are important means to increase national GDP and the volume of local and foreign investment and internal trade. 

He added that Investment Free Zones are also a source to create new job opportunities and these zones have many other important advantages on top of that increased relations with other countries. He said that these zones enjoy special treatment in terms of customs, imports, exports, financing and many other advantages related to movement of goods inside and outside the country.  

The Investment Free Zones, the Prime Minister said, enjoy more freedom in transactions aiming to attract investors. “The zones enjoy a number of encouraging advantages according to the amended law including no restriction on nationality of investor, capital, choice of legal frame for the project, freedom of fixing prices of products, setting profits.  They also have exemptions from taxation; ownership of the project is also not restricted.”

The Prime Minister said that the amendment indicated that the establishment of new areas, removing all obstacles and restrictions hindering the flow of capital, and import or installation of new technology. He said new incentives will be introduced for existing free economic zones which will increase the local production. He said that the incentives will be reduction of prices of power and full exemption for the local investors from taxation in case they sell their products in local market.

The Prime Minister pointed out that Free Zones Authority will provide all required facilities for issuance of licences to launch projects which will save time and efforts in addition to provision of land plots with required facilities in accordance with nature of the project. He said that the authority will also facilitate issuance of visas to investors for bringing manpower from abroad.

Minister of Economy and Commerce H E Shiekh Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, said that the Law No. 21 of 2017 amending certain provisions of Law No. 34 of 2005 on Investment Free Zones issued by H H the Emir will be a fundamental pillar in enhancing the economic development attracting and encouraging domestic and foreign investments, creating an advanced investment environment and stimulating economic activities. 

The Minister added that these zones will also “contribute to the development of the private sector through its active participation in the investment projects being set up and operating within the Free Zones “.

“In addition to this law issued today, amendments on the law of non-Qatari capital investment in economic activity are under way. As well there will be new law regulating the relation between the public and private sectors, reviewing all economic legislation aiming to diversify sources of income and create sustainable economy especially under the current low oil prices, geopolitical, social, technological and environmental changes the world facing.”