Gib Day In London, Press Release By Chief Minister

My dear friends

Thank you very much indeed for being here today.

Although a day to celebrate Gibraltar in London and indeed, this
lunch for financial services providers has become a fixture of the London calendar, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I am involved as Chief Minister with my colleague Mr Gilbert Licudi QC here as minister for Financial Services.

Last year, I attended this lunch as a professional in the sector myself and as Leader of the Opposition.

I am sorry that the Leader of the Opposition now, Mr Caruana QC who was Chief Minister last year, has not been able to accept my invitation to be with us today.

I saw last year that it is important for Gibraltar to engage with those of you in London who are already familiar with what we have to offer as a jurisdiction and to keep you up to date with developments in our economy.

In fact, it is as important for us also to engage with those of you who are here to hear for the first time what opportunities Gibraltar can provide.

Let me then first of all update you on what is happening at a macro economic level and in political terms, while Gilbert will after lunch take you through an update of what is happening in the financial services industry.

We won the General Election in Gibraltar on 9th December of last year.

That change of Government will not result in any changes of any consequence to our corporate tax regime.

In fact, the principal of the new Income Tax Act – setting out a rate of tax of 10% – enjoyed the support of my party when we were in Opposition.

The model of low and competitive corporate tax is not only one which we will respect now that we are the Government;

It is one we were advocating from Opposition when the no tax model linked to a payroll tax was floated.

But one innovation you will have already have appreciated is that I recommended to the Governor of Gibraltar the appointment of a Minister for Financial Services.

That allows the industry to have easier access to its relevant minister than if they need to access the Chief Minister for every eventuality.

Gilbert, who took Silk some weeks after we were elected into Government, is also Minister for gambling.

As you will be aware, Gibraltar is the pre-eminent jurisdiction in the establishment and regulation of remote gaming.

We are well poised to remain so; enjoying the highest standards of regulation as well as an open and accessible labour market to facilitate the operators need to recruit specialist skilled employees from outside Gibraltar – either from within or outside the EU.

That has all made possible, of course, by the establishment in Gibraltar of some of the most advanced telecoms infrastructure in Europe.

During the last period of administration by my party, we were responsible for the attraction to Gibraltar of Nynex of New York who, in the late 80s, laid a fibre network in Gibraltar before fibre had arrived in much of the rest of Europe.

Today communications is vitally important to Gibraltar’s business community – as it is throughout the world.

Gibtelecom – the largest of our local communications companies is a founder shareholder and participant in the Europe India Gateway – a new 15,000 km submarine cable from London to Mumbai.

This link, amongst a number of other telecommunication routes, plays an important part in positioning Gibraltar as an international communications hub as evidenced by the growing ecommerce and related business now being done on the Rock.

But perhaps more importantly, it puts us within striking distance of ensuring that in Gibraltar business and citizens should soon be able to enjoy the fastest broadband speeds in Europe.

And the challenge, which we pursue as a Government vigourously, is to also seek to ensure that such services are provided at a cost that is affordable to consumers and DRIVES DOWN the cost of doing business in Gibraltar.

Undoubtedly, we will face other challenges in the coming months and years.

Suggestions from Europe of a Financial Transaction Tax are a challenge not just for Gibraltar but also for you in the City of London.

Ideas about a tax on services, whether they affect pure financial services, gaming or other services will face stiff opposition from all of us who believe in open markets throughout the EU at least.

But in partnership with friends in the City, we know that Gibraltar can remain an ever more attractive destination from which to do business with Europe and the world.

In facing up to new challenges and new opportunities, what we ask you as a Government is that you share your concerns and your ideas with us so that we can become the facilitators of new business to the mutual benefit of London and the Rock.

In a modern, highly regulated world, Gibraltar has shown itself the equal of others in the establishment of the pre-eminent jurisdiction for online gaming.

Our financial services offering is equally modern in its offering, highly and efficiently regulated and innovative in outlook.

So welcome this opportunity to stay in touch, renew old contacts and establish new ones – and to remember that despite being a Rock, Gibraltar is not a hard place to do business.

ENDS

Three days of joyous celebration is how the visit by the Earl and Countess of Wessex can best be described. Red,White and Blue bunting galore and Union and Gibraltar flags flapping from everyconceivable window, terrace or indeed, corner!

For many, Prince Edward and Countess Sophie were probably the least known Royals of Her Majesty’s immediate family…The emphasis is in the pasttense because the obvious follows – Not Anymore! Both `Him and Her’ turned outto be superb Royal visitors; their interest, attention and kindness witheveryone was tangible everywhere they went – to describe them as brilliant and`super simpatico’ is probably an understatement! Their programme was tight andvaried. Included in their itinerary was a visit to housing estates andchildren’s playgrounds, the rowing clubs, brownies, a charitable project beingworked on in the Dockyard, and a call on the Gib Regiment at Devil’s TowerCamp. [Read more…]

HM GOVERNMENT OF GIBRALTAR

 

HM GOVERNMENT OF GIBRALTAR
No.6 Convent Place
Gibraltar
Tel:20070071; Fax: 20043057
PRESS RELEASE

 

 

No: 363/2012

Date: 7th June 2012

ROYAL VISIT FOR GIBRALTAR

Their Royal Highnesses the Earl and Countess of Wessex are visiting the Rock from Monday to Wednesday of next week as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. During their stay they will visit many parts of Gibraltar and meet a crosssection of people from across the local community. There will also be several opportunities for the public to give their own welcome to the Royal visitors.

Arriving at lunchtime on Monday, Their Royal Highnesses are being met by His Excellency the Governor and the Chief Minister. The Royal couple will then drive across the runwayto RAF Gibraltar to inspect a Tri-Service Guard of Honour.

At around 12.30 after a short ‘walkabout’ in John Mackintosh Square, Their Royal Highnesses will watch excerpts from the Gibraltar Academy of Dance’s production of ‘AnAudience with the Queen’ on a specially-erected stage in the Square. A walk along Main Street to the Convent will then take place, providing another opportunity for everyone to welcome them.

At a public ceremony at 7pm on Monday, the Royal visitors are laying the foundation stone for the Diamond Jubilee Monument on Line Wall Road where it overlooks the site of the new Jubilee Commonwealth Park. They then move on to a reception at King’s Bastion before attending a Government dinner as guests of honour.

Tuesday’s programme includes a visit to Headquarters British Forces, the unveiling of a plaque on the Moroccan Fountain in Alameda Gardens to honour Moroccan Workers in Gibraltar and a visit to the Museum.

In the afternoon, they drive to the Upper Rock with a stop at Queen’s Lookout to meet several local people involved with Her Majesty the Queen’s visit in 1954. Later, their programme includes the opening of a children’s playground at the Moorish Castle Estate, which has been included together with other estates at the express wish of the Chief Minister to enable the Royal visitors to meet a real cross-section of Gibraltarians from all walks of life. In the evening, Their Royal Highnesses attend the Queen’s Birthday Parade in Casemates Square followed by the Queen’s Birthday Party at the Convent.

As well as public events, Their Royal Highnesses are presenting Duke of Edinburgh awards and are scheduled to meet local religious leaders. Their itinerary also includes visits to the Mission for Seafarers, the Port Authority and the new law courts.

The Earl will visit GibDock and the two rowing clubs where he is naming a new boat and present regatta awards. Meanwhile, the Countess’s busy programme includes visits to the Girl Guides’ headquarters and to St Martin’s School.

Having visited the Laguna estate on Wednesday morning, the Royal couple will tour the airport’s new terminal building. His Excellency the Governor and the Chief Minister then say their farewells before the Royal visitors board their flight back to London.

 

The Spanish Royal Family Fail To Attend Queens Jubilee Lunch

Queen Sofia fails to attend a lunch in London due to dissagreement over Gibraltar.  A spokesman for the Spanish royals  said that Sofia’s presence would be ‘inappropriate in the current circumstances.  Queen Sofia’s cancelation came just a week after Spain made a formal protest to Britain over Prince Edward’s visit to Gibraltar.   Prince Edward will stay in Gibraltar for a period of three days, accompanied by the Countess of Wessex.

 

Gonhs Urges Government To Stand Strong On Nature Protection

The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society notes the proceedings of the meeting between the RGP and Spanish fishermen that took place on the 3rd April, and urges the Government to stand firm in the protection of Gibraltar’s marine life. It must certainly not acquiesce to terms which, in the fishermen’s own admission, were scribbled ad hoc on the back of an envelope during the meeting.GONHS also notes the significant irony in that these fishermen felt that a tacit agreement from 1999, which is illegal, should be upheld when other agreements that were set up using legal instruments under the Cordoba Agreement, and which might have gone some way to protect the environment, are now not recognised by the new Spanish Government. [Read more…]