In an effort to understand and discuss the rising importance of the relationship between tax regulations and sport in the region, the GCC Chapter of the International Fiscal Association (IFA), a leading non-governmental organisation dealing with tax and related policy matters, successfully concluded its third meeting in Doha, Qatar.
Hosted by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFC Authority), the meeting highlighted the increase of business opportunities resulting from Qatar’s infrastructure plans for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™. Tax issues related to sport persons, tax treaties, relevant disputes and resolution matters were also discussed.
The meeting, opened by Sheikh Salman Bin Hassan Al-Thani, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Tax of the QFC Authority, was attended by leading tax experts and lawyers, as well as bankers and consultants from across the GCC region.
In his introductory address, Dr. Robert Peake, Chairman of the IFA’s GCC Chapter, said: "The International Fiscal Association is a platform for leading tax practitioners to discuss the latest developments in international tax law and practice. For the past three years, the GCC Chapter of the IFA has brought together experts to discuss prominent tax-related issues in the region. This year, with the rise of sports as a business interest in the GCC and Qatar in particular, we’ve aimed to bring together industry professionals who can shed much-needed light on the increasingly significant relationship between sporting endeavour and tax regulations.”
Joaquin Martinez, Senior Manager at Deloitte Middle East, then took the stage to highlight business opportunities deriving from Qatar’s diverse construction projects taking shape in advance the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.
“Over the past decade, Qatar has hosted a number of major sporting events and has proved its ability to deliver amazing. The Qatar 2022 World Cup will be no exception and will have a lasting economic legacy on Qatar’s economic diversification pursuits,” explained Martinez, whose wide-ranging experience in implementing impactful sporting programmes across the GCC has provided him with extensive strategic insight into the sports industry.
Philip Baker QC, an expert on international tax treaties and arbitration, reiterated the importance of establishing a sound taxation environment aimed at equipping the region with the required tools to counter possible international taxation challenges in the future.
“International tax disputes have become increasingly important for the global economy. Qatar has taken great strides in that respect by implementing 58 comprehensive Double Tax Agreements globally.”
Presentations by Patrick Way Barrister and QC, and James Bullock, Head of the Litigation and Compliance Group, provided attendees with valuable insights into tax treaties and the resolution of tax-related disputes.
“As a leading financial hub in the region, the QFC provides licensed firms with one of the most favourable tax regimes in the world,” said Sheikh Salman Bin Hassan Al Thani. “With the rising importance of tax-related issues in the region, the QFC is committed to hosting meetings and seminars that can enhance our shared knowledge to the benefit of the whole Qatari and regional market,” he concluded.
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