Gibraltar is in fact a large piece of Jurassic limestone, which settled, upside down, at the foot of the Iberian Peninsula 55 million years ago when the Atlantic Ocean broke through and formed the Mediterranean Sea. Now known as The Rock of Gibraltar, it forms one of the two Pillars of Hercules manning the Straits of Gibraltar, and providing an excellent military and naval base for Britain.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory of only 6.8 square kilometers but densely populated with almost 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.
Gibraltar is not an island as most people assume, but is connected to Spain by a sandy isthmus. Over the years the isthmus has been topped by a road and the airport runway, bringing thousands of international business people and tourists to Gibraltar every year.
Gibraltar has been a British Territory since 1704. Ceded, in perpetuity to Britain by Spain in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Gibraltar joined the EU in 1973, under the British Treaty of Accession. The modern Gibraltar of today is a self-governing British Overseas Territory with strong ties to Britain, and it retains its rights to arrange its own tax affairs.
Today’s Gibraltar thrives on international tourism –attracting people from all over the world to see the famous apes, the dolphins in the Bay of Gibraltar and to indulge in the duty free shopping. In addition Gibraltar attracts many international companies and business people, due to its tax efficient structures and forward thinking policies. Yacht registration and shipping also play a big part of Gibraltar’s healthy and still growing economic development.
Gibraltar’s respected financial sector came to life with the enactment of the Companies (Taxation and Concessions) Ordinance in 1967, which allowed, under a special tax regime, international businesses to have favourable tax status. The laws and Ordinance have undergone modernisation over the years ensuring Gibraltar remains a favourite jurisdiction for any business person wishing to trade or asset own, efficiently, in Europe and in fact worldwide. Gibraltar of today is a vibrant, growing jurisdiction with a healthy economy and a forward thinking Government.