The Borneo Post (Sabah)

QFC, Labuan IBFC ink MoU to enhance Asia, MENA financial sector ties


KUALA LUMPUR: The Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority) yesterday 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 yesterday.

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. - Bernama

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