Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has a population of approximately 29,000 spread over eight square kilometers. Despite its small size, it boasts a diversified economy made up of four main areas: financial services, tourism, shipping and e-commerce.
Financial services now accounts for a significant part of the economy, having grown substantially in the past decade, as Gibraltar has increasingly been recognised as a well-regulated finance centre within the European Union. Gibraltar joined the European Union with the United Kingdom in 1973, through article 299(4) of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Community. Therefore all European laws are applicable in Gibraltar, with the exception of two areas: those relating to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Value Added Tax (VAT).
One of the benefits of being part of the European Union is that companies domiciled in Gibraltar and regulated by the local regulator, the Financial Services Commission, can take advantage of ‘passporting’ rights, which allow the company to sell its services across the whole of the EU on the basis of a single licence issued by the Home State regulator, in this case the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission.
In the area of insurance in particular, Gibraltar has established itself as one of the premier European domiciles to set up an insurer, be it a captive or a third party insurer. But the funds sector is probably the fastest growing area of the financial sector, as investors increasingly see the benefits that using Gibraltar provides.
Finally, outside financial services, construction and gaming have been two significant contributors to the growth of the economy. On the gaming front, the Government of Gibraltar has issued remote gambling licences to 22 companies, among which are some of the largest gaming companies in the world.
Access to Gibraltar
Gibraltar has its own airport, with direct flights to London, Luton and Manchester. In addition, Malaga airport on Spain’s Costa del Sol is an hour away by car, and provides many flights to European cities.