QFC, Labuan IBFC Ink MoU To Enhance Asia, MENA Financial Sector Ties

Farah Jaafar-Crossby

KUALA LUMPUR: The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Labuan IBFC Incorporated to develop a long-term cooperation and boost the economic and financial sector ties between the two financial centres.

The MoU entails a commitment to collaborate on certain objectives including, but not limited to, marketing, awareness activities and identification of mutually beneficial initiatives.

Under the agreement’s structure, QFC and Labuan IBFC will 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.

The MoU was signed by QFC Authority chief executive officer (CEO) Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida and Labuan IBFC CEO Farah Jaafar-Crossby.

Yousuf said the partnership with Labuan IBFC would 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,” he said in a joint statement to Bernama today.

Labuan IBFC and QFC, strategically located in Asia and the Middle East 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.

Meanwhile, Farah said the MoU heralded an exciting phase of Labuan IBFC’s growth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

“We could not ask for a better partner than the Qatar Financial Centre. Its legal and operational framework, as well as 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,” she said in the statement.

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 per cent foreign ownership, 100 per cent repatriation of profits, 10 per cent 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.