Minister underscores his state’s commitment to (re)insurance development in opening speech

His Excellency Yousef Hussain Kamal, minister of finance and economy for the state of Qatar has underlined his country’s commitment to being an attractive place to do business for (re)insurers.

In his opening speech at the fifth annual MultaQa Qatar event in Doha this morning, Kamal invited companies wanting to do business in the country to make their requirements known.

“Give us your wish-lists and we will study them,” Kamal said. “We hope to create a great atmosphere for you here in Qatar.”

During his speech, Kamal reiterated Qatar’s plans to be a financial services and (re)insurance hub. He outlined several of the attractive features of Qatar and the wider GCC region to both local and international (re)insurers.

He noted some of the attractive features of operating in the Qatar Financial Centre as a (re)insurer, which include a favourable tax regime and the international-standard regulatory framework imposed by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority.

He pointed in particular to the region’s economic growth, which contrasts sharply with the situation in Europe and the US. The growth is driven by the fact that it contains around a fifth of the world’s oil and gas reserves. Kamal said the region and Qatar had used the proceeds from these natural resources to broaden the local economy through investment in other areas.

He also highlighted the number of development projects in his own state and the wider region – one example being the work done to prepare Qatar for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

In addition, Kamal also indicated the growth prospects in local insurance markets. He pointed out that the GCC as a whole had experienced insurance premium growth of 28% between 2005 and 2010 and said steady growth would continue. In Qatar, he said insurance penetration was “a fraction of the international level” at less than 1% of GDP.

Describing the features Qatar has put in place to ensure it is attractive to both local and international (re)insurers, Kamal said: ‘We are certainly moving in the right direction.”