QATAR - Finance
CEO and Board Member, Qatar Financial Centre Authority
Shashank Srivastava joined the Qatar Financial Centre Authority in 2006 and has decades of global experience in strategic consulting and investment. His work has spanned three continents, and has held positions with Dresdner RCM Global Investors, Andersen Consulting, Abraaj Capital, and the Dubai International Financial Centre. He has also worked for Swiss Re and Prudential. He earned his MBA from the Manchester Business School at the University of Manchester.
The QFC Authority, as the strategic and commercial arm of the QFC, is dedicated to playing a major role in the expansion of Qatar’s financial services sector. Besides ensuring that this world-class environment continues to evolve to maintain best practices and facilitate the growth of the financial sector, we also help to promote Qatar as an international financial center in a number of other ways. Developing international links is an important element in our growth strategy. In the last year or so, we have entered into memoranda of understandings (MoUs) with our counterparts in China, India, Japan, Turkey, and the UK. We have strengthened our cooperation with Luxembourg for Finance, the agency for the development of the financial sector in Luxembourg, and Europlace, the promotional body for the French financial services industry. Thought leadership, by way of increasing the availability of data and analysis on the MENA region, is another important element in our strategy. With a population of over 380 million, the MENA region accounts for a combined GDP of over $2 trillion. As a key international energy exporter, the region is an increasingly attractive proposition for financial services providers. In 2012, the economies of the region’s oil producing nations grew by an impressive 5.5% on average. The QFC Authority continues to commission significant research to further its business strategy by supporting thought leadership initiatives, including events and publications, which encourage dialogue, the sharing of knowledge and best practice, and the identification and exploration of growth opportunities. During 2013, these initiatives have included the Seventh MultaQa Conference, organized with Global Reinsurance magazine. MultaQa has become the leading international insurance industry event of its kind in the Middle East. The QFC Authority also supported the second Bloomberg Doha Financial Summit, which was attended by more than 300 asset management professionals from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the US. Our research shelf includes the D&B Business Optimism Index, the MENA Insurance & Reinsurance Barometers, the FTSE Global Markets Asset Management Survey, and the GCC Mutual Fund Survey. In April 2013, we published the first annual MENA Asset Management Barometer, providing industry practitioners with detailed insight into the regional asset management. In May 2013, we revealed a groundbreaking report on private wealth and the scope for family offices in the Middle East.
It is certainly true that FDI in the GCC region is expected to increase over the coming years, attracted by strong growth in hydrocarbon-based economies, favorable demographics, and massive state infrastructure spending plans against a backdrop of developing capital markets. Heavy public infrastructure investment will create a wide range of funding and investment opportunities for the private sector, such as project finance, bond and sukuk issues, and public-private partnerships (PPPs). These all point to excellent opportunities to find growth when other parts of the world, notably the mature and debt-laden economies of the West, are still offering only modest returns. There is growing interest from overseas investors in Qatar in sectors such as health, education, and technology, as well as infrastructure and, of course, hydrocarbons. We fully expect that investors from the fast-emerging economies, such as Africa and Latin America, in addition to those from Asia, will show increasing interest in Qatar.
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