(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The first ever Bloomberg Doha Conference organized by Bloomberg LINK in partnership with the Qatar Financial Centre Authority ("QFC Authority") opens at the Ritz Carlton, Doha on Monday. More than 300 asset managers and financial industry leaders from Asia, Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East are attending the event.
Abdulrahman Ahmad Al-Shaibi, Managing Director and Board Member, Qatar Financial Centre Authority; the Chairman of QFC Authority Board Audit and Risk Committee and Director of Finance, Qatar Petroleum Group in his keynote address before the conference described how awareness and understanding of the Qatar Financial Centre are growing globally.
Abdulrahman Al Shaibi lauded the strength and durability of the Qatari economy, which is witnessing high growth rates since 2005 with a total GDP of the country 173 billion riyals last year.
Managing Director and Board Member, Qatar Financial Centre Authority meantime pointed out that the State of Qatar is working to promote economic diversification through the formulation of investment programs in various fields and promote the knowledge economy transition from a rentier economy, which is based on oil and gas as the only source of income.
Abdulrahman Al Shaibi pointed out that companies that fall under the Qatar Financial Centre supervision shall be subject to a tax rate of 10% which is low and represented an incentive for those companies to invest in the State of Qatar in the current climate, a catalyst to it.
Meanwhile Robert Bierman, head of Bloomberg LINK said in a similar address, "We re looking forward to the start of our first Middle East conference in Qatar and are confident that the Bloomberg brand and the community will benefit from this new event, particularly given that nearly 50 percent of the audience are traveling from outside of the Middle East to join us."
"These participants will have the opportunity to hear the perspectives of influential business, government and finance leaders who are converging in Doha from three continents," he told the conferees .
For his part, Shashank Srivastava, Acting CEO, the QFC Authority, said: "The Bloomberg Doha Conference takes place amid renewed global economic uncertainty. By bringing together an outstanding group of participants to gain a clear insight into the asset management industry s development, the conference aims to help them in their investment decisions. This first Bloomberg Doha Conference is testimony to Qatar s progress as a financial centre and the Gulf s growing importance, and we at the QFC Authority are honoured to support it."
Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Chairman and CEO, WL Ross & Co will discuss the continuing fall out from the global financial crisis and the investment opportunities it creates, and Nemir A. Kirdar, Founder, Executive Chairman and CEO, Investcorp, will talk on the evolution of alternative investments.
The conference will go on to examine major themes such as the global challenges affecting asset managers, the investment opportunities in a broad range of asset classes and the market conditions for investors in the Middle East.
The wide range of topics to be debated will include the changing landscape for private equity, the outlook for investment banking in the region, the opportunities for foreign direct investment, real estate opportunities in emerging markets, Qatar s National Vision 2030 and financial sustainability as the country invests heavily in infrastructure and prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and regulatory developments in Qatar s financial markets.
Panelists will also discuss how many countries in the Middle East are working to diversify away from oil-based economies, how the exchange rate dynamics in the GCC may be creating pressures for change, how the wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa will affect business in the region, where investors can find opportunities in Afghanistan and Iraq as new emerging markets, and the growing demand for Islamic Finance.
Delegates and media will have the opportunity to make organised visits to several prominent Qatari institutions and developments. They include the Msheireb Enrichment Centre - a landmark destination created by Msheireb Properties to serve as an educational portal to showcase Qatar s glorious past and soaring ambitions for the future - and Qatari Diar for the presentation of the Qatar Rail project, which highlights the country s economic and social goals.
It is worthy to mention that Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas. The company s strength-delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology, quickly and accurately- -is at the core of the Bloomberg Professional service, which provides real time financial information to more than 310,000 subscribers globally. Bloomberg s enterprise solutions build on the company s core strength, leveraging technology to allow customers to access, integrate, distribute and manage data and information across organizations more efficiently and effectively
Whereas the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) is a financial and business centre established by the Government of Qatar and located in Doha.
It has been designed to attract international financial services institutions and major multi-national corporations, in particular those operating in the reinsurance, captive insurance and asset management sectors, and to encourage participation in the growing market for financial services in Qatar and elsewhere in the region.
The QFC operates to international standards and provides a first class legal and business infrastructure for those operating within the QFC. The QFC was created by Qatar Law No. (7) and has been open for business since 1 May 2005.
It is noted that the QFC Authority is the commercial, administrative and legislative body responsible for leading the expansion of Qatar s financial services sector, providing a uniquely sustainable platform for regional growth in reinsurance, captive insurance and asset management.