From vision to reality: Celebrating 4 years of the Investment Promotion Agency Qatar

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Author: Hamad Rashid Al-Naimi, Strategy Manager, Investment Promotion Agency Qatar

The beginnings

As we mark the fourth anniversary of the Investment Promotion Agency Qatar (IPA Qatar), it is an opportune time to reflect on its journey, celebrate its achievements and envision the future of Qatar's economic diversification. The establishment of IPA Qatar has been a pivotal step in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) and building a world-class business environment that propels Qatar's growth on the global stage.

When IPA Qatar was first established, it was able to learn from peer organisations and leapfrog the traditional approaches taken by investment promotion agencies. This fresh perspective allowed the agency to focus on core functions and efficiently run its operations. With a clear vision in mind, it developed a comprehensive five-year corporate strategy focused on:

  • Image building: Creation of a national brand that captures Qatar’s transformation into an attractive global business hub.
  • Investment facilitation: Provision of a seamless investor experience through tailored support and aftercare services during business exploration, establishment and expansion.
  • Emphasis on Qatar’s FDI environment: Advocating for business-friendly policies, informed by insights gained through research and engagement with investors and local stakeholders.

From brand identity to global recognition: IPA Qatar's journey in elevating Qatar's investment landscape

An essential part of IPA Qatar's journey came down to defining our brand and visual identity. The Invest Qatar brand was carefully crafted to represent Qatar's unique value proposition to investors. Its distinctive visual identity served as a powerful tool in communicating the country’s potential and attracting global attention.

The brand’s impact was amplified through a user-friendly website, and the Invest Qatar Gateway, connecting investors with opportunities, streamlining the investment process, and fostering economic growth. This impact is evident through the rising number of strategic partnerships and remarkable business engagements, spanning different geographies and sectors, while working closely with licensing platforms to pursue the shared goal of advancing Qatar's knowledge-based economy.

In just four years, IPA Qatar engaged over 1,000 potential investors, participated in 150+ events, and formed partnerships with global organisations like Amazon, Iberdrola, Microsoft and Siemens. This proactive approach yielded significant results, as evidenced by Invest Qatar ranking first among GCC FDI brands in terms of brand awareness with foreign investors outside the GCC, according to an Ipsos survey.

IPA Qatar continues to play a strategic role in strengthening a favourable business environment for investors and bolstering the FDI ecosystem in Qatar. The country recorded a remarkable 70% annual FDI growth from 2019 to 2022. Notably, in 2022 Qatar attracted $29.78 billion in foreign investments resulting in 13,972 jobs across diverse sectors, including business services, technology, financial services, and other industries. Such achievements have placed Qatar at the top of the FDI Standouts Watchlist for 2023, reinforcing the country's status as an attractive investment destination.

In addition to its instrumental role in attracting investment, IPA Qatar actively engages in policy advocacy. To date, the Agency has made over 70 policy recommendations, aimed at creating a better business environment and promoting sustainable economic growth. Through 85 publications in eight languages, the Agency has showcased the country's unique strengths and opportunities to investors worldwide.

Personal journey

As a proud Qatari, I have a deep sense of responsibility and passion to share the inspirational story of Qatar’s rise as a dominant force in politics, economy, media, and sports. This inspired me to join IPA Qatar, where I had the privilege of being its second full-time employee. These past four pivotal years, I have witnessed and contributed to the successful establishment of IPA Qatar, along with the ongoing transformation of our economic landscape.

I am truly proud to see our achievements, putting Qatar on the map for international investors and improving the investment climate. Working with IPA Qatar is not merely a profession but a purpose, to contribute to the overarching mission of realising Qatar’s potential on the world stage.

The future

Qatar's economic outlook remains bright. According to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report in June 2023, Qatar's GDP is projected to grow by 3.3% in 2023, the highest increase in the GCC region. Combined with strong growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector, 6.8% (y-o-y) according to Qatar’s Planning and Statistics Authority’s latest reports, Qatar’s journey to achieve economic diversification is well on track. 

Looking ahead, IPA Qatar is poised to build on its successes and further elevate its efforts in investment promotion as part of Qatar's story. The Agency's future will prioritise an even better investor experience through innovative service offerings and the adoption of cutting-edge AI tools. By leveraging technology, IPA Qatar aims to attract a broader range of investors, streamline operations and strengthen Qatar's position as a leading investment destination.

As we celebrate four years of success, we look forward to a future where the IPA Qatar continues to contribute to Qatar's economic growth, seize new opportunities, and share our story with the world. Together, we will build a prosperous and diverse economy that benefits not only Qatar but also the global community.

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