QFC virtually connects world’s financial hubs to Qatari market

October 26, 2020

Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), a leading onshore financial and business centre in the region, successfully organised a line-up of engaging virtual events spanning across three days, including the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres (WAIFC).
The diverse engagements witnessed a record attendance of over 1,000 attendees in addition to the participation of all 17 International Financial Centres members.
Marking the first time ever Qatar hosted the WAIFC AGM, the full-fledged comprehensive programme consisted of three webinars and a forum, which showcased Qatar’s strategic role in driving economic recovery post COVID-19 in the region and beyond. It also leveraged the country’s state-of-the-art technology eco-system and the QFC’s innovative digital landscape, which provided a dynamic platform to senior officials and high-level experts from over 25 countries to engage in thought-provoking discussions.
QFC Chief Marketing Officer Sarah Al Dorani said, “We are pleased to have hosted this AGM for the first time since gaining our membership last year. This is a momentous occasion for the QFC, as we continue to complement Qatar’s strategic role in accelerating economic growth, especially during these challenging times.”
Dorani added: “Hosting this event virtually enabled us to overcome the current global travel restrictions and provided participants with an optimum networking and engaging digital experience. We hope that this will be one of many events that we will host with the WAIFC, both virtually and in Qatar.”
Representing a diversified programme pertaining to economic, business and entrepreneurship themes, the first day kicked off with two key webinars, including a ‘Getting to Know Qatar’ segment that introduced the high-level guests to Qatar’s bourgeoning business ecosystem and exhibited the country’s rising FinTech landscape with interactive activities run by the Qatar FinTech Hub and SkipCash, a leading Qatari FinTech firm.
The webinar featured Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, QFC; Sarah Al-Dorani, Chief Marketing Officer, QFC; Georges Fouad Salem, Business Intelligence Manager, Qatar Development Bank; Henk J. Hoogendoorn, Managing Director, Financial Sector Office, QFC; and Mohammed Aldelaimi, Co-Founder and Managing Director, SkipCash.
The second webinar, entitled ‘Economic Recovery from the Pandemic’ set the stage for renowned speakers from WAIFC’s member international financial centres to identify how to re-engineer key areas of national economies, including Sustainable Finance, SME Finance, Regulations, FinTech and Innovation, to ignite a lasting and resilient global economic recovery.
A ‘WAIFC Technology and Innovation Forum’ focused on technology and digital innovation as catalysts to economic recovery was also hosted by the QFC in collaboration with Moscow International Financial Centre and the WAIFC. The forum gave the floor to senior representatives of the international financial centres and renowned experts who engaged in informative and thought-provoking discussions. They also shed light on the criticality of cross-industry collaborations and innovative technology-based solutions in addressing the challenges post COVID-19 and the role of their organisations in this regard.
The forum was joined by the QFC CEO alongside Arnaud de Bresson, CEO and Managing Director, Paris Europlace, and Chairman of WAIFC; Alexander Voloshin, CEO, Moscow International Finance Centre; Wayne Evans, Managing Director, International Trade and Investment, TheCityUK; and Jennifer Reynolds, President & CEO, Toronto Finance International.
Concluding the three-day programme, the QFC tapped into one of the current most trending global economic developments – the rise of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Co-hosted with PwC Switzerland, the final webinar, entitled ‘Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): Key Developments and Relevance in the Post COVID-19 Monetary Environment’, highlighted how the accelerated digitisation of commerce, trade, government, health care and financial services is reshaping the monetary environment.

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