General

The State of Qatar is a sovereign and independent state in the Middle East, occupying a peninsula in the Arabian Gulf which has emerged as one of the world’s most important producers of oil and gas. It is an Islamic State whose laws and customs follow the Islamic tradition with the Islamic Law (Sharia) as the principal source of its legislation. Since 2013, the country has been governed by His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Geography

The State of Qatar is a peninsula located on the western coast of the Arabian Gulf. The peninsular is approximately 100km across and extends 200km into the Gulf. Qatar occupies an area of 11,521 square kilometres and includes several islands. It shares a land frontier with Saudi Arabia and maritime borders with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Iran.

Demographics

As of 1 January 2017, the population of the State of Qatar was estimated to be 2,415,588. This is an increase of 4.70 % or 108,370 people compared to a population of 2,307,218 the year before. In 2016 the natural increase was positive, as the number of births exceeded the number of deaths by 24,526. The population increased by 83,844 due to external migration. The gender ratio of the total population was 3,150 (3,150 males per 1,000 females) which is higher than global ratio of approximately 1,016 (1,016 males to 1,000 females) as of 2016.
According to Country Meter’s estimation the age structure was distributed in 526,091 young people under 15 years (271,295 males & 254,796 females), 1 853 215 people between 15 and 64 years (1,312,244 males & 540,971 females) and 36,306 people above 64 years (20,822 males & 15,484 females) at the beginning of 2017.
The State of Qatar is divided into seven municipalities. The population of the three largest municipalities Doha, Al Rayyen and Al Wakrah, accounted for over 75 percent of the population of 2,404,776.

Governance

The structure of the government includes ministries, supreme councils and other government agencies. Its institutions of public administration are evolving rapidly and striving to meet the needs of citizens and customers of institutional services.
The system of government in the State of Qatar is based on the separation and collaboration of powers. The executive authority is vested in the Emir and the Heir Apparent, who are assisted by the Council of Ministers as specified by the Constitution, while the legislative authority is vested in the Advisory Council.

Economy

The State of Qatar has grown from a British protectorate known for pearling, into one of the world’s most important oil and gas producing countries. While there is increasing investment in non-energy sectors, oil and gas still account for more than half of the Gross Domestic Product. Due to its substantial reserves of oil and gas, the country has one of the highest incomes per capita in the world.
Source(s): Qatar Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, Country Meter

Qatar National Vision 2030

The vision is a guide for economic, social, human and environmental development of the country in the coming years.  It aims at transforming Qatar into an advanced country by 2030, capable of sustaining its own development and providing for a high standard of living for all of its people for generations to come.
The aims and intentions of BSUQ are in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and accompanied plans of the State of Qatar.

Investment in the State of Qatar

Foreign investment in the State of Qatar allows non-Qatari investors to invest in all sectors of the economy, subject to the requirement that 51 percent of the share capital in the venture be held by a Qatari person, legal or natural.
Foreign investment is generally not permitted in banking and insurance activities, commercial agency or real estate activities. There are, however, certain exceptions in respect to real estate which allow for the provision of land necessary for government approved investment projects.

A concession is made when the foreign component of the ownership in the new venture is made up of a GCC national or wholly-owned GCC legal entity. In this case, the GCC national or legal entity may own up to 50 percent of the share capital in the new Qatar venture with a Qatari counterpart holding the remaining share capital.

Other exceptions may be granted provided that the field of business falls within one of the following sectors of the economy: Agriculture; Industry; Health; Education; Tourism; Development and exploitation of natural resources; Businesses of technical and information consultancy; Cultural, sports and entertainment services; Distribution services; and Energy or mining, provided that such projects match the development plan of the State of Qatar.

Preference will be given to projects that may potentially achieve optimum utilization of local raw materials, industries set up for export of products, for introducing new products or employing new technologies, as well as projects aiming to localize worldwide leaders in industry or those who will train and qualify Qatari nationals.

To lawfully conduct business in the State of Qatar on a regular basis, foreign investors are required to establish a legal presence here through one of the available options.

The available establishment vehicles may be classified as follows: Incorporating a local entity under the Commercial Companies Law No. 5 of the Year 2002 (Companies Law); Establishing a foreign branch in light of Article 3 of the Foreign Investment Law (Foreign Branch); Establishing a presence under Ministerial Resolution No. 142 of the Year 2006 regulating the establishment of representative trade offices (Representative Trade Office); and Incorporation in the Financial and Technology Zones (QFC and QSTP).

Source(s): Qatar Chamber of Commerce