Qatar hopes to open up many more key economic sectors to foreign capital in a bid to boost the inflow of overseas investment. The only sectors that would continue to be off limits for foreign investment might include dealerships of foreign goods and services, banking and insurance and real estate except in areas designated by the law. A new foreign investment law is being framed.
But foreign investors will continue to own only up to 49 percent stake in a business with the remaining majority 51 percent equity to be shared by a Qatari national, according to the draft.
The Minister of Business and Trade will, though, have the authority to permit a foreigner to own 100 percent equity in a business provided the business is in line with the goals of national development, Al Sharq reported.
Businesses that aim at fully exploiting locally available raw materials, those which focus on job nationalization or those which bring in new technology or introduce new products will be accorded priority.
Foreigners might also be allowed to own more than 25 percent stake in listed companies provided their bye-laws permit.
And the businesses set up by foreigners or in collaboration with foreigners will enjoy tax holiday of up to 10 years and exemption from customs duty on the import of machinery and semi-finished products. There would be no restrictions on the repatriation on profits and capital. The law, the daily said, was to be enforced sooner rather than later.