Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA), the leading regulatory body for businesses in Qatar’s free zones, co-hosted the Qatar-China Free Zones Forum, which took place yesterday as part of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen, Fujian, China, alongside the Administration of Xiamen Area of China Pilot Free Trade Zone and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in Xiamen and the Qatari delegation which includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Central Bank and Qatar Chamber.
The forum was attended by prominent Qatari and Chinese entities, including members of the official Qatari delegation led by HE Ahmad bin Mohammed Al-Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA. Also attending was HE Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari First Vice-Chairman, Qatar Chamber, Meng Qian, Mayor of Xiamen City, Leon Wang, Chairman of Capital Nuts, and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), QFZA, Qatar Central Bank (QCB) and Qatar Chamber (QC).
Speaking at the forum, HE Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari, First Vice-Chairman, Qatar Chamber, said: “The forum highlighted that there are many opportunities between Chinese and Qatari businesses to form partnerships within the free zones, which would benefit Qatar’s economy and encourage more Chinese investors to invest in Qatar”
As part of the event, QFZA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Capital Nuts, a China-based early stage fund specializing in consumer-focused online technology investments. Lim Meng Hui, CEO of QFZA signed the agreement with his counterpart Leon Wang, Chairman of Capital Nuts. The signing was witnessed by HE Ahmad bin Mohammed Al-Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA, HE Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari First Vice-Chairman, Qatar Chamber, and Mr. Meng Qian, Mayor of Xiamen City.
QFZA CEO Lim Meng Hui said, “Capital Nuts is a leading venture capital firm in China and a global player in e-commerce funding, and we are excited to partner with them as we explore deeper collaboration across the tech sector, a key focus sector for QFZA. As well as potential partnerships in import and export, e-commerce, downstream chemicals and industry, and more.
“Capital Nuts wants to play an important role to bring Chinese technology and industry resources to Qatar,” Mr. Leon Wang, chairman of Capital Nuts said.
QFZA also signed a MoU with Shenzhen Cross-Border E-Commerce Association (SZCBEA), a non-government association focused on driving inter-border E-commerce in China. SZCBEA’s members and its strategic partners include major e-commerce players such as DHL, JD and SF Express. The signing was witnessed by HE Ahmad bin Mohammed Al-Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA.
Under the new partnership, QFZA and SZCBEA will establish cooperation guidelines to leverage the booming cross-border e-commerce and modern logistics sector by promoting QFZA's availability of resources and SZCBEA vast business contacts. Through QFZA’s logistical support, SZCBEA plans to set up a branch in the free zones. The two entities will look to exchange expertise in research and consulting projects, logistics and e-commerce innovation, to support bilateral ties and mutual economic development.
QFZA CEO Lim Meng Hui said, “Today’s meetings and partnership with SZCBEA are both a great example of QFZA’s overarching business strategy, which aims to facilitate global partnerships that benefit Qatar’s economic diversification plans and foreign companies looking to expand their presence across the Qatari market.”
Ms. Wang Xin, executive president of SZCBEA, said, “Today, we signed the MoU to further promote international cross-border E-commerce business, industrial investment, modern logistics, talents training and other sectors between our two sides, which will help Chinese enterprises enter the Middle East area, and expand to European and American markets.”
QFZA recently announced it has attracted and approved investments totalling more than 1 billion QAR (More than $300 million) from a range of major international and local companies as well as joint ventures, all within the pre-launch phase of the free zones. Investors from Qatar and abroad can apply to invest and register in the free zones through QFZA.