The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Labuan IBFC Inc, to develop long term cooperation and boost economic and financial sector ties between the two financial centres.
The MoU, which Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC, and Farah Jaafar-Crossby, Chief Executive Officer, Labuan IBFC Inc, signed on 15 April 2021, entails a commitment to collaborate on certain objectives including, but not limited to, marketing, awareness activities and identification of mutually beneficial initiatives. Under the structure of the agreement, QFC and Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) commit to exploring a mutually beneficial framework to allow relevant financial institutions in the State of Qatar to operate in Labuan IBFC and allow relevant financial institutions in Labuan IBFC to operate in the QFC, subject to the approval of all competent authorities. Both financial centres also agree to collaborate on financial sector domains, such as setting up business operations with respect to Islamic finance, digital finance, capital markets, asset and investment management, and other relevant financial institutions and financial service providers within their ecosystems.
The agreement further stipulates facilitating the recognition of banks, insurers, and other financial sector entities in their respective markets, subject to meeting the other jurisdiction’s regulatory requirements and collaborating to explore mutual recognition of regulations for relevant financial institutions via the competent authorities of each jurisdiction.
Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, Chief Executive Officer, QFC Authority, said: “We are delighted to partner with Labuan IBFC and embark on collaborations that will allow both financial centres to expand into strategic and lucrative markets.
“Labuan IBFC offers a strategic platform to expand into the burgeoning Asian market. This MoU reinforces our focus on growing Qatar’s financial services sector, in line with our 2022 strategy, by attracting international firms to set up in Qatar and creating pathways for QFC firms to expand globally.”
Strategically located in Asia and the Middle East, Labuan IBFC and QFC respectively play a key role in facilitating regional economic growth. By working together, the two financial centres can boost economic and financial sector ties, unlock access to new markets and expand and elevate the regulatory recognition of the market players in each other’s jurisdiction.
Farah Jaafar-Crossby, Chief Executive Officer, Labuan IBFC Inc, said: “This MOU heralds an exciting phase of Labuan IBFC’s growth in the MENA region, and we could not ask for a better partner than the Qatar Financial Centre. QFC’s legal and operational framework, as well as their adherence to international standards of transparency and regulatory robustness, provides an ideal platform from which our intermediaries may leverage towards making inroads into the MENA region. I look forward to the partnership with Yousuf and his team in creating a meaningful collaboration.”
As Asia’s leading wholesale mid-shore financial centre, Labuan IBFC has welcomed more than 900 licensed intermediaries since its inception in 1990. It has grown beyond serving Malaysia-based entities to include international organisations in banking, leasing, capital markets, insurance, reinsurance, risk management and wealth management. It is also home to the world’s first sukuk and is acknowledged as an Islamic financial hub.
The QFC is an onshore jurisdiction that allows registered companies to enjoy competitive benefits, such as up to 100% foreign ownership, 100% repatriation of profits, 10% corporate tax on locally sourced profits, and an extensive double taxation treaty network with over 85 countries, a legal environment based on English common law and the right to trade in any currency.