GIBRALTAR´S strength and credentials as a base for the financial service industries has been spelled out by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo. “I am pleased to say that financial services has never been a politically divisive subject in Gibraltar.

Successive administrations have supported the sector without reservation,¨ he told a Gibraltar in London Day lunch held at the Guildhall in the British capital.

Attended by senior figures from Gibraltar´s finance sector as well as from the City, Picardo highlighted several important factors, including “that my government is totally committed to the continued success of this important sector to our economy.

“He also spoke of the consensus in Gibraltar amongst the government, the industry and the regulatory bodies as to the direction, shape and form the financial services sector was currently embarked on and should be taking in the future.

Picardo also took time to consider reasons that Gibraltar is attractive to companies relocating there, with taxation an important issue, but in addition the commitment to strict adherence to international laws.

“Let me put it this way. Gibraltar has complied with its obligations to transpose all EU directives and other rules into law ahead of schedule. There are none pending which have passed their transpostion deadlines. Very few other European jurisdictions can make that boast,” he said.

“We are therefore ideally placed as a point of access to the European single market in services.”

Picardo also revealed some key figures that underlined just how healthy Gibraltar’s economy was,

  • Gibraltar-based companies now handle 60 percent of all on-line bets.
  • 16 percent of the UK motor insurance market is written through Gibraltar.
  • Gibraltar is now fourth in the world in terms of GDP.
  • 12 million topurists are welcomed annually as part of the booming tourism industry.
  • The Rock is one of the Mediterranean´s most important bunkering and shipping centres.

Picardo also stressed that “Gibraltar has a prosperous and stable economy within the EU single market.

“The Government has placed and places a huge amount of store by our reputation and has worked and will work tirelessly to ensure that this is protected above all else.”

He also highlighted that since the 90s Gibraltar had been seen as the benchmark jurisdiction for anti-money laundering regulation, and was committed to be at the forefront of international standards in this area; so that the culture of compliance applies not just to EU regulation, but also to international initiatives.

Picardo also said that cultural activities now regularly take place on the Rock, including the recent Jazz and International Music “Combine all of those factors and Gibraltar is clearly amongst the most exciting prospects for European business today providing the building blocks quality businesses are looking for when considering a new location.”

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