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An Introduction to Gibraltar

Gibraltar

Gibraltar's unique position at the crossroads of Europe and Africa coupled with its special terms of membership of the European Union enables the provision of a wide range of services to meet the requirements of international investors.

Gibraltar has developed a telecommunications, financial and commercial infrastructure to meet the needs of new enterprises that are seeking a cost effective operation based in Europe.

As a business location, it provides a high quality professional service overseen by a European standard of regulation. The numerous trading entities and financial services companies, which already have a base in Gibraltar, are testament to this.

History

Gibraltar was captured by the British in 1704 and ceded to the British Crown under the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). Between 1830 and 1981 it had the status of Crown Colony. Gibraltar is currently a self-governing British Overseas Territory. Its role as a British military forward base has been significant since the Battle of Trafalgar, which established Britain as a world power, in the second world war and the Falklands conflict. Hoewever since closure of HM Dockyard in the eighties, the military aspect has declined and Gibraltar has developed a robust economy based on International finance, shipping, tourism, and the more recently Internet businesses. International communications are via undersea fibreoptic cables independent of Spain.

European Union

Gibraltar joined the EU in 1971 under the British Treaty of accession as a European territory for whose external relations Britain is responsible. As a result of the 2016 Referendum Gibraltar will leave the EU when Britain ceases to be a member.

English Law

The legal system is based on the common law and statute law of England and Wales, However Gibraltar is a seperate jurisdiction from the UK with laws enacted by the Gibraltar Parliament and it has a new, modern court facility.

Taxation

Gbraltar has its own tax system. The standard rate of corporate tax is 10% on income accrued and derived in Gibraltar. Income which has been accrued in and derived from outside of Gibraltar is not taxable.

Capital gains tax

Capital gains are exempt from tax in Gibraltar.

Withholding tax

Dividends, interest and royalties are payable free from withholding tax in Gibraltar.

OECD white listed jurisdiction

Gibraltar is a white listed jurisdiction for OECD tax transparency purposes having entered into more than the minimum number of Tax Information Exchange Agreements.

Exchange controls

Gibraltar does not have exchange control. There is complete freedom of movement in respect of all capital and current account transactions, not only with member states of the EU, but with all countries.

Transnational issues

Since the mid 1960's when the Spanish dictator Franco took exception to a visit to Gibraltar by HM The Queen on the 250th aniversary of its capture, there have been varying difficulties caused by Spain. Gibraltar currently provides substantial employment and prosperity to the adjacent area, yet Spain would like to 'recover' the territory. Successive UK Governments have stated that there will be no change in the status of the territory without the consent of its people. The Gibraltarians have shown no interest in forming part of Spain, and value their status as full British Citizens.

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